Nonprofit University - On-Site Courses

Through the Institute for Finance and Entrepreneurship’s Nonprofit University, we are proud to offer a full spectrum of financial proficiency and planning courses for nonprofit executives, boards, and staff.

Our courses are designed to help build financial proficiency and business acumen in nonprofit leadership and to help create sustainability in nonprofit organizations.

And best of all, because they are available on-demand, they can be taken at your convenience, at the office, at home, on your iPad, and even on your mobile phone.

Financial Proficiency Courses


A great way to develop the financial proficiency and business acumen necessary to succeed as a non-profit executive, board member, or manager is to take the full curriculum of the Institute for Finance and Entrepreneurship’s Non-profit University Financial Proficiency courses. The Financial Proficiency program includes 7 course modules that are typically delivered over a 2-day training session.

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The course curriculum includes:

How to talk about finance so non-financial people will listen 

How to talk about finance so non-financial people will listen is not a course that explains accounting concepts or financial statements.  Instead it is a course that explains the role finance plays in the operation and sustainability of an organization, explains the importance of finance to success of programs and mission, and explains how to engage management, the board, and staff in the financial and sustainability conversation.  This course introduces the mission, program, finance pyramid and focuses on how understanding finance can help everybody, and how to build that culture and practice in the organization.


Basic Non-profit Financial Statements

This is a basic course on understanding the language and structure of a non-profits statement of operations and balance sheet.  The course includes an explanation of the accounting rules that can cause budgets and financial statements to differ. The course also includes a module that has proven very beneficial to board members and staff coming from the private sector, where the key differences between non-profit and for-profit financial statements are explained.


Creating and Using Budgets

This is the basic budgeting class for Executive Directors and Board members.  It includes the role of the budget, how to create a budget, dealing with restricted funds, budget versus actual analysis, what to do when the budget doesn’t match reality or a deficit is projected, and why the budget should be continually updated and used as a management tool.


Projecting Cash Flows: Seeing the Future

This is a course on developing cash flow projections and on using cash flow projections as a tool to evaluate the short term and long term viability of the organization or of programs or growth opportunities. 


Developing a Program Budget

This course is designed for the managers whose job requires that they develop budgets (estimate revenue and expenses, and expense and time allocations) to analyze the viability of a new program.

The course also explains how program budgets are integrated into organizational budgets.


Understanding Restricted and Unrestricted Funds

Not all non-profit cash is the same, and it’s critical that managers and board members understand the different restrictions placed on non-profit funds.  This course explains the different types of restricted funds, how the money can and cannot be used, and when restricted funds can become unrestricted.  The course also offers guidance on strategies to align donor requirements and organizational needs so restricted funds can be released when they are needed for organizational operations.


Simple Metrics for Financial Management

This course explains how to use metrics to manage and report on financial performance, how to develop these metrics, and how to incorporate these metrics into the culture and processes of your organization.

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Organization and Program Feasibility


Creating a new business is always a difficult endeavor.  The endeavor becomes even more difficult when combining the mission and social purpose of a non-profit with the need to create an organization that is financially sustainable.

The Institute for Finance and Entrepreneurship’s Organization and Program Feasibility courses provide the skills a founding executive director and founding boards need to develop a non-profit that is financially viable.  These courses also provide a toolkit that can be used to evaluate the financial implications of organizational growth and program growth and contraction.

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The Course curriculum includes:

Evaluating the Feasibility of a Non-profit

This is the basic course providing the tools to analyze the financial feasibility of non-profit.  The course will focus on identification of competitors, financial analysis, and business planning.  This course will help the founder and founding board members determine if the organization makes financial sense and help identify strategies that will allow a sustainable organization can be built.

Evaluating the feasibility of a social enterprise or earned income venture 

Many non-profits are trying to earn income by starting business ventures. Business ventures, even when started by non-profits, require many of the same elements of planning and analysis found in traditional business start-ups. This is the basic course on analyzing the feasibility of the social enterprise and earned income business venture.

Evaluating the Feasibility of New Opportunities and New Programs

This is similar to the overall non-profit feasibility analysis course except it focuses on the detailed analysis of a single program.  The course also focuses on integrating the program into the existing budgets, and understanding the financial impact on the organization and staff. 

Evaluating Organizational Growth

While many strategic plans call for the growth of a non-profit’s programs and constituent base, growth is not always without risk.  A growing organization may require additional funding, additional staff, another layer of management, and it’s always important to assure that there is cash available to pay the bills.  This course will explain how to identify and analyze and risks of growth, and develop a growth strategy that is sustainable and makes a positive contribution to the organization’s mission.


Sustainability Evaluation

One of the lessons of the great recession is that it is that the future we see today may be substantially different when it arrives tomorrow.  Many organizations find themselves surprised as the world changes and there is an increase in demand for their services while at the same time their funders cut funding and there is increasing competition for the funding that is available.

While you cannot predict the future, you can prepare.  The Institute for Finance and Entrepreneurship’s scenario analysis and sustainability planning course provide training in the tools and techniques that can be used by an organization to project different future scenarios and develop an understanding of the key drivers and risks of these future scenarios.


Looking Forward: Financial Scenario Analysis

This course introduces a toolkit that can be used to conduct financial scenario analysis for the organization. These tools can be used to evaluate the implications of future financial scenarios, and to study the effects on the organization under best, worst, and most likely scenarios.

Is Your Non-profit Sustainable?

This is a course for board members and senior staff focused on a detailed analysis of how the organization generates income, pays for its operating expenses, and pays its program expenses.  The outcomes of this course are focused providing participants an understanding of which programs are “profitable,” and with an understanding of the program, funding, and external risks to the organization.

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