The Nonprofit Board Book

Let’s say you lead a nonprofit, trying to get the inside track on funding from corporate funders or big foundations:  how would you gauge how your financial and operational metrics stack up relative to those of other organizations in your sector?

Do you know how funders make decisions about what organizations to invest in and how they compare the performance of the grantees?

In the past, the answers to these and other related questions of nonprofit financial governance were something along the lines of “lots of research and manual collation of data.” Even with heroic manual effort, it was still a mystery to most nonprofits how their 990 and other public data were being viewed in the larger context of potential donors and partners.

By the Book

Because nonprofit management and boards have an ongoing need for this kind of timely information, Sage Intacct recently released the Nonprofit Financial Board Book, powered by GuideStar. While every Sage Intacct customer has the power to create custom dashboards, the Nonprofit Financial Board Book is a set of pre-built dashboards that automates the tracking and management of industry-wide best-practice metrics to deliver real-time insights that help nonprofit organizations benchmark financial health and sustainability.

Integration with GuideStar’s Financial SCAN means that these dashboard elements already follow the recommended content and visual formats from GuideStar and provide direct navigation from your dashboards into Financial SCAN’s comparative data for benchmarking.

Yes, we SCAN!

In 2012, GuideStar, the largest source of information about nonprofit organizations, and the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) introduced a comprehensive set of tools to analyze and understand the financial health indicators of nonprofits. They do this by combining publicly accessible 990 data with the Nonprofit Profiles submitted by the nonprofits themselves. This Financial Situation and Comparables Analysis (known as Financial SCAN) takes an organization’s deep financial data and shows exactly how it stacks up against peers.

Financial SCAN enables faster and more complete due diligence by funders and greater insight and control for all nonprofit organizations, with a visual, easy-to-read format that doesn’t oversimplify an organization’s story but highlights the metrics that reflect its financial stability and impact. In addition to helping funders, this comprehensive view of each organization’s finances can help the board and other leadership get a broader picture of their sources and uses of resources. For example, they can:

  • Understand the relationship between their revenues and their true costs

  • View how government receivables and facilities impact liquidity

  • Use historical data to make smart decisions for the future

Question Everything

One of the most powerful capabilities of the Sage Intacct Nonprofit Board Book and Financial SCAN is the “Questions to Consider” section, which prompts board members and stakeholders to dig deeper into financial trends and priorities, leaving no stones unturned. This in turn informs better decision-making and leads to greater preparedness when talking with funders or auditors.

This partnership with GuideStar is one illustration of how Sage Intacct is going above and beyond to serve the nonprofit community’s financial requirements more comprehensively than any accounting or ERP has before.

The Nonprofit Financial Board Book powered by GuideStar was released on May 18 with Sage Intacct’s second quarterly release of 2018. To find out more about it, contact us, check out the press release, or check out this two-minute video: