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August 21, 2019

Blackbaud Financial Edge versus Community Brands MIP Fund Accounting

The number of ERP solutions suitable for nonprofit accounting is growing, and making a decision on which one to go with can be tough. The following is a hard-nosed look at two platforms that have been around for decades, but have managed to keep up with market demand in an increasingly competitive landscape. Before we…

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Skating The Edge Between Risk and Reward at Your Nonprofit
March 5, 2019
Skating The Edge Between Risk and Reward at Your Nonprofit

Every nonprofit faces risk, but it doesn’t have to be a liability. Learn to take a holistic view of risk and use the unexpected to your advantage. What if your funding was cut by half overnight? It might sound impossible, but given the precarious financial situation most nonprofits face, it’s a very real risk. You…

It’s an Open Book: How Nonprofits Can Achieve Financial Transparency
August 7, 2018
It’s an Open Book: How Nonprofits Can Achieve Financial Transparency

All charities differ in their missions, but all are alike in one important way—to succeed, they must practice financial transparency and accountability.  In fact, Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities, uses these values as key criteria in rating nonprofits. Charity Navigator defines transparency as “an obligation or willingness by a charity…

Reap the Benefits of Your Hard Work: Practical Strategies for Using Impact Data
June 29, 2018
Reap the Benefits of Your Hard Work: Practical Strategies for Using Impact Data

Can you imagine spending months tending to your garden, only to let the vegetables you’ve been growing rot before anyone can enjoy them? Hardly. Yet when it comes to data collection and use, many organizations do just that. They toil away setting up plans to deliver services and track results. They pour sweat and tears…

Adaptive Acquisition Update: A Letter from JMT
June 13, 2018
Adaptive Acquisition Update: A Letter from JMT

Like many of you, we too learned yesterday about the acquisition of Adaptive Insights Inc. by Workday Inc. Here at JMT, an event such as this is a reminder of the fluidity of the fast-paced world we live in today and of the importance for us to remain focused on JMT’s mission, to do all…

7 Steps to Nonprofit Risk Management
May 21, 2018
7 Steps to Nonprofit Risk Management

Nonprofits face risk on all sides. In a March 2016 report, Oliver Wyman and SeaChange Capital Partners list some of the difficult conditions under which nonprofits must operate. Among these are: Tackling society’s hardest problems Limited funding Increasing costs for services Recruiting and retention Ever-changing operating environment These experts conclude, “It is no surprise that…

A Nonprofit’s Guide to Government Compliance
May 14, 2018
A Nonprofit’s Guide to Government Compliance

Compliance is a hefty responsibility for nonprofit organizations; indeed, more so than for-profit companies. As the firm Harbor Compliance points out, there’s a good reason for that—nonprofits are exempt from federal corporate taxes and can receive public funding. Both the IRS and states have requirements for nonprofits. The penalties for noncompliance can be severe. A…

Integrating Systems to Reduce Financial Risk for Nonprofits
May 7, 2018
Integrating Systems to Reduce Financial Risk for Nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations demand a lot from their software. According to a 2015 survey conducted by Software Advice, a company that provides research and online reviews of fundraising software, nonprofits want greater functionality and tools from their investments. Not only that, they want their fundraising/donor management programs and other platforms to work seamlessly together. In fact,…

How To Reduce Financial Risk for Your Nonprofit
April 16, 2018
How To Reduce Financial Risk for Your Nonprofit

Many nonprofits walk a razor-edge financially. Nonprofits address society’s most difficult issues, compete for limited funding and struggle to find and keep qualified staff to run their organization. A new report by Oliver Wyman, SeaChange Capital Partners, and GuideStar, which examines the finances of more than 219,000 U.S. nonprofits, reveals sobering realities: Around 50% have…

Get a View into Your Nonprofit’s Outcomes with Dashboards
February 26, 2018
Get a View into Your Nonprofit’s Outcomes with Dashboards

Dashboards provide a window into your organization’s performance and financial health. With the increased emphasis on outcomes—defined as a change in skill, knowledge, attitude, behavior, condition, or status—nonprofits must demonstrate the progress of those outcomes in a visual, understandable way. An article in Nonprofit Quarterly notes that a dashboard must: Align definitions of success across…

The True Costs of Nonprofit Budgeting with Excel
February 23, 2018
The True Costs of Nonprofit Budgeting with Excel

Excel is the go-to reporting and budgeting tool for countless finance teams, including financial planning and analysis (FP&A) professionals. In fact, there are more than one billion users worldwide—that’s about one in seven people! Excel is comfortable and familiar, but for growing nonprofits, it can be a real drag on your budgeting processes and productivity….

How Can Nonprofits Measure Success and Impact?
February 22, 2018
How Can Nonprofits Measure Success and Impact?

How do you know if your nonprofit is making an impact—if your mission is a success? The answer to this question affects everything about your organization, from day-to-day operations to the success of your fundraising efforts. The National Council of Nonprofits alludes to five actions: Identify what success looks like to you. Make a plan…

Outputs vs. Outcomes: What’s the Difference and Why Does It Matter?
February 6, 2018
Outputs vs. Outcomes: What’s the Difference and Why Does It Matter?

Donors want to know if their donations are impacting the work of your nonprofit through its mission. Increasingly, this means telling your story through numbers—something that nonprofits don’t always do well. Marc J. Epstein, co-author of the book, Measuring and Improving Social Impacts: A Guide for Nonprofits, Companies, and Impact Investors, says that “The need…

How to Tell Your Nonprofit’s Story
How to Tell Your Nonprofit’s Story

How do you measure the success and impact of your nonprofit’s mission? Similarly, how do your donors—be they individual, foundations, or corporate—know if their donations are impacting the work of your nonprofit through its mission? Many nonprofits gauge their impact through statistics such as the number of people served, families fed or housed, or the…

From Servers to SaaS: Your Nonprofit’s Journey to the Cloud
January 30, 2018
From Servers to SaaS: Your Nonprofit’s Journey to the Cloud

At some point in your technology journey, you’ll have to decide whether to step up your investment in servers and other infrastructure upgrades—or seek a more cost-effective option. For many businesses and nonprofits, costs related to IT infrastructure, personnel, outside services, and other expenses necessary to keep your critical applications running can consume up to…

Cloud vs. Traditional Fund Accounting Software: Comparing the True Costs
January 17, 2018
Cloud vs. Traditional Fund Accounting Software: Comparing the True Costs

In the good old days, comparing the cost between different financial management solutions was fairly straightforward. They were built on similar technology platforms and were going to be deployed in roughly the same fashion. The only considerations were subtle differences in system requirements and pricing. The advent of subscription-based (SaaS) cloud applications for fund accounting…

Top 5 Myths about Fund Accounting in the Cloud
January 15, 2018
Top 5 Myths about Fund Accounting in the Cloud

In the mission-driven nonprofit world, fund accounting software can sometimes slip down the priority list. It’s not always easy to allocate budget dollars to back-office infrastructure that doesn’t directly support the nonprofit agenda and harder to find the time and expertise to make it all work. Some of the obstacles include: Capital investment for software…

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