[Podcast] How to Increase Nonprofit Funding Using Accounting Software
Nonprofit funding relies on donors to help fund activities that aid the communities they serve. Having an accounting system that integrates donor management applications can help nonprofits streamline their activities and provide donors transparency and accountability.
Joseph Scarano from Araize and Stephen Halasnik from Financing Solutions, a leading provider of small business lines of credit, discuss the benefits of implementing nonprofit accounting software to increase funding for nonprofits. These solutions help nonprofit organizations find the best accounting software to fulfill their organization’s financial requirements.
What is nonprofit funding?
Nonprofit funding is the process of getting grants and donations from private entities or organizations to provide public goods, services, and programs. Nonprofits can be categorized into different types such as community service organizations, religious organizations, and advocacy groups. The most common types of nonprofits include religious, charitable, educational, and scientific.
How are nonprofits funded?
Funding for nonprofits is the process of getting grants and donations from private entities, fundraising activities, and donors. Funding for nonprofits comes from a variety of sources, including private gifts, grants, and donations. The three most common types of nonprofit funding are individual contributions, corporate contributions, and government grants.
What are some ways nonprofits get funded?
There are many ways nonprofits get funding, including grants, loans, and donations. 90% of the largest nonprofits have a single dominant source for revenue. It’s good to diversify funds, but it can be hard to know what this really means in practice.
- 50% through grants,
- 30% through events
- 15% through membership programs
- 5% through in-kind donations
Grants from local, state, and federal governments
Grants are funding that is given to individuals or organizations by a government agency. Grants can be used on anything, but most commonly they are used for education and/or research purposes.
Grants at the federal level can help nonprofits grow. State and city governments, regional commissions, and smaller foundations are often eager to invest in nonprofit growth. General startup grants or grant funds with more specific programming requirements.
Membership fees are the price that you must pay to be a part of an organization or club. Membership fees cover the cost of everything from supplies, to membership cards, and also sometimes help fund the organization or club in general.
Charity crowdfunding sites
Charity crowdfunding sites are websites that allow individuals to raise money for charitable causes. These sites typically charge fundraisers an upfront fee, which then goes towards the fundraising goal.
What can nonprofit funds be used for?
In order to fulfill its mission, nonprofits need funding. Funds are used for administrative support, fundraising and programs. Funds can also be used as a security deposit for facilities, as well as funds to purchase equipment and supplies.
How to increase funding for nonprofits?
The goal of a nonprofit accounting system is to provide adequate stewardship for its stakeholders. Nonprofit owners and board members have the responsibility of ensuring that any funding received be reinvested into the organization to follow through on its mission.
Some nonprofit employees work in multiple areas and receive salaries that are funded through various grants. Nonprofit owners then have the responsibility to allocate the employee’s salary to the specific areas or programs in which the employee has contributed when conducting accounting reports. Having an integrated donor reporting and accounting system makes it easier for nonprofit accountants, bookkeepers, and finance directors to properly distribute expenses to the appropriate grants and programs.
Organizations are beginning to use application program interfaces (APIs) that use third-party applications to allow accounting and donor management systems to help pay bills through banks, fundraising through social media, and other finance managing activities.
What are the best tools for increasing nonprofit funding?
Many nonprofits make the mistake of using accounting software made for for-profit industries. Using typical for-profit accounting systems such as QuickBooks or Peachtree requires nonprofit accountants to do more work to get accurate reports. The first level of reporting requires nonprofits to separate restricted and unrestricted funds. The next level requires nonprofits to segregate funding based on their functional areas such as support services or program services.
For more complex organizations that have multiple programs and grantors, nonprofits must segregate their grant activities based on the grantors. Nonprofit accounting has more requirements for reporting than for-profit accounting, causing the need for more complex, industry-based accounting systems.
Nonprofit accounting software acts as an electronic certified public accountant designed for the industry in which the organization serves. Accounting software, such as FastFund, provide nonprofits with industry-specific software and the tools necessary to streamline accounting activities.
Nonprofits also benefit from reaching out to other nonprofits or the association of nonprofits for their state to see what software has worked best for other organizations. Nonprofits must also develop a requirements list that highlights the most important features to be included in the new accounting system. It is important to make note of the issues associated with the current accounting system to ensure specific solutions are put in place. It is essential for nonprofits to ensure their accounting software package is consistent with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) reporting requirements.
Nonprofit and accounting software specialists predict that the future of nonprofit accounting will be led by artificial intelligence and machine learning. The software will eventually be able to recognize various sets of data and be able to classify and categorize data based on functionality.
While the human element of accounting review will most likely always be present, the increase in abilities of artificial intelligence and machine learning will reduce the time and human resources needed for accounting classifications.
About The Podcast Host
Stephen Halasnik is the host of the popular, The Nonprofit MBA Podcast. The Nonprofit MBA podcast’s purpose is to help nonprofit leaders. Stephen is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Financing Solutions, a leading provider of loans for nonprofits in the form of Lines of Credit to nonprofits. Stephen is a best-selling Amazon author and is considered a leading authority on building great, purpose-driven businesses. Stephen lives in New Jersey with his wife, Gina. Mr. Halasnik’s number one purpose is raising his two boys, Michael and Maxwell, to be good men. 10% of profits from Financing Solutions is donated to charity.
Want to read more? Check out these insightful articles:
- Nonprofit Funding Sources: Top 4 Revenue Streams
- Not-for-Profit vs Nonprofit: What is the difference?
- Nonprofit Grant Management: Best Practices for Reporting Funds
- Nonprofit Form 990: Essential Information For Preparation
- 6 Easy Accounting Strategies to Increase Nonprofit Revenue
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