Frequently Ask Questions about the Financial Workbook
 

Posted in Financial Workbook on November 20th, 2006

When would this workbook be helpful to my organization?
  • As a nonprofit organization you spend much of your time seeking funding, negotiating terms with funders and accounting to funders for the funding you receive. You report to your funders using their reporting format and using their definitions (which are often different one from the other). As a result you may not have way to evaluate your funding relationships or to even know what it actually costs to deliver a program.
  • This workbook will help you evaluate all your programs using the same framework. It will help you understand better what programs are actually costing and what revenues you are receiving. After completing this workbook you will be in a better position to discuss your funding situation with your Board and funders.

Are there examples of agencies using the information they learned in the workbook?

  • One agency was surprised to find they were subsidizing a program to such a great extent. They brought this problem to the funder and asked for additional resources. If the funder does not provide more support the agency is considering declining the service contract.
  • Another agency was struck by the number of programs they were operating that were unstable. They had never understood so clearly how short term projects were destabilizing their organization. They had been too busy lurching from crisis to crisis. They resolved to seek fewer short term grants and focus on obtaining more stable funding.

Who has completed the workbook and what did they find?

  • Ten agencies in Toronto, Ontario completed the workbook. Please download the final report:Community Capacity Draining:The Impact of Current Funding Practices on Non-Profit Community Organizations

Why must I provide a copy of the workbook to Lynn Eakin and Associates under the terms of the licensing agreement?

  • The data gathered in completing the workbook provides a wonderfully detailed picture of an organizationís operations. We do not know how many groups will eventually use the workbook or how big our data pool will eventually grow, but the workbooks without identifying information have the potential to help us understand more about how nonprofit organizations operate.
  • We do not yet know how and/or when the data might be useful for research but we do not want to lose the opportunity for such detailed analysis.

This is sensitive information how will confidentiality be assured?

  • The workbooks will have identifying information removed and any report preparation will be using aggregate data so sensitive information will not be disclosed. Moreover you are protected under the terms of the licensing contract from releasing your completed workbook to third parties. While you are free to provide information you have learned from the workbook to funders and others they cannot compel you to provide them the completed workbook. This is done to protect everyone concerned your staff, your organization and your various donors and funders.

We are a small organization will we be able to fill out the workbook?

  • We have developed a coaching system which makes it very easy to fill out the workbook. A workbook coach will visit you to help you get organized before you fill out the workbook and will help you as you complete it. The coaching prevents you from making mistakes that take time to correct so it is much easier for a small organization to fill it out. We estimate between 10 to 25 hours is required for completion

How much does this workbook cost?

  • The workbook costs $500 and you can have the workbook for your organization so you can use it in subsequent years. Coaching is estimated to be approximately 4-6 hours per organization. So far groups of agencies have undertaken the workbook and a report is written about the findings. A group of about twenty agencies is cost effective to cover the training of a coach, the analysis of data and the preparation of a summary report. Coaching, group data analysis and a group report are costed separately by project. We are not yet set up to support individual organizations with coaching.

What software is required to run the budget analysis workbook?

  • Microsoft Excel 2000 or better is required to run the workbook.

 

  Most of the reports are in Adobe's PDF
(Click below to read online or download)


 
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