Advancing non-profits

When you’re working for impact and budgets are squeezed, sound financial management is all the more essential…

Advancing non-profits

When you’re working for impact and budgets are squeezed, sound financial management is all the more essential…

Our elevator pitch says we’re a CFO service. But that’s just one side of the work we do with social enterprises –we’re here to help you through every stage, from the very beginning.

Through the early years, we’ll support the essentials like HR and accounting, as well as helping to shape your plans and develop your finance skills.

As you expand, we’ll step in as CFO to strengthen your finance operation. Your budgeting, forecasting, spending controls will all come under the microscope, as will your team and systems as we prepare you to grow at scale.

Then, when your own CFO takes over, we’re still there to support any corporate finance project. Like expanding your team, or replacing a key role. Or running the numbers before you embark on a new program. Talk to us.

We’ll know your business, and we’re there when you need us. So you’ll have a fully flexible resource at your disposal.

Where are you on the journey to social impact?


There’s urgent work to do, from day one. But before you dive in, let’s get organized.

We’ve devised this package of learning and support, to make sure your first program is built on a solid foundation.


First program finished, concept proven. Next, how do you leverage the impact and plan your future spending?

Our Foundations program takes you to that next level – pairing you with a finance mentor, who’ll work with you one-on-one.


Once your budget creeps towards $1 Million, finance can be all-consuming. Sooner or later, you’ll need a part-time CFO.

Talk to us. Whether it’s one day a month or a few days every week, we’ll step into the role with all the flexibility you need.


At around $10 Million, as the curve steepens, you’ll come to replace us with a full-time hire. 

That’s inevitable. But we’re still there when you need us – ready to fill an interim role, or support you through a new project.

Can I task my finance team with CFO duties?

Your CFO is the financial voice of your whole operation. As a skilled technician and strategist, they should be able to:

  • Help you plan new programs on a firm financial footing
  • Review historic spending and impact, to support decision-making
  • Co-manage relationships with key stakeholders – including donors
  • Take personal charge of large-scale transactions, like M&A
  • Prepare the case for funding and attract the next round of donations

It’s unlikely that you’d find a suitable candidate for this role within your finance team. A bookkeeper or controller, for example, is trained to look back through financial records and manage day-to-day spending. If you appoint a VP Finance, they’ll manage future projections, but won’t stray from finance into the business as a whole.

Only someone with the strategic mindset of a CFO can work across departments and functions, to devise a costed impact model alongside the CEO.

Click here for details of our CFO service.

When should I introduce a CFO?

Every non-profit is different. But once your annual budget runs into millions, it should become a viable option – and perhaps a necessity. It’s at this point when decisions grow in magnitude and finance begins to make heavy demands on your time, making a CFO’s input invaluable.

To begin, we can take on the role part-time, working the hours you need – perhaps a few days a month, and scaling up as your spending plans increase. Then, when you have the budget for a full-time hire, we can step aside – knowing we’ve put in place a scalable model that supports lasting change.

What help do we need in the early stages?

Finance should be a priority in every non-profit, from day one. At first, that means working with a reliable accountant or bookkeeper, and investing in your own financial knowledge. Then you’ll know the numbers are accurate and you’ll be confident in your early decisions.

We’ve devised a package for non-profit start-ups, to offer you learning and support at an affordable rate. Details here.

Further down the line, as impact accelerates and your budget increases, you’ll probably bring certain functions in-house – perhaps a small accounting team under a Controller or VP Finance. They’ll take away some of the burden, like vetting the books and setting financial controls. But strategy will still be your domain, so you’d do well at this stage to work with a finance mentor – someone who’ll build on all you’ve learned and develop your personal knowledge, as well as guiding you through challenges and decisions.  

Take a look at our Foundations program for details.

Why outsource this – surely I can just recruit a CFO?

CFOs are high calibre individuals, who can command high salaries in the for-profit space. So as a non-profit, you may well struggle to afford your ideal candidate.

That’s especially true if you’re at the early stage, still working with a lower-end budget – and even more so if you’re only looking for someone part-time.

What’s more, as you might know, CFO talent is currently in short supply. Competition is fierce, and the best candidates are snapped up quickly.

This is why so many non-profits have turned to us. We bring the expertise that’s needed, on a flexible basis. We work the hours you need, scaling up or down as your plans evolve, with no form of long-term commitment. So we can take you through the next phase of expansion, to the point where a full-time hire becomes more feasible.

Our mission is critical - why should we let you control it?

Working with us is not about surrendering control. We’re here to serve your mission, in a way that’s wholly consistent with your values. In other words, you’re still the builder – we’re just the architect, looking after the finer details.

In practice, that means we’ll work towards your goals in a sustainable way. By building out your finance system, and helping you to make safe, informed decisions. Just as we’ve done for a host of non-profit clients – especially healthcare organisations like Muso Health, Noora Health and Integrate Health.

I’ve been let down before – can I trust you to deliver?

We understand your concern. Trust is undeniably an issue in all areas of the finance industry, and we constantly hear tales of consultants who promise all then under-deliver.

Sadly, this is a measure of how the industry operates. Agencies hire in consultants on freelance contracts, then place them with clients without a care for the end result. Consequently, consultant and agency are detached from the client, and that vital sense of ownership is gone.

From the beginning, we set out to deliver something different. By only using our own consultants, who work with us on staff, and by managing the whole engagement through a structured process.

It starts on a personal level. Our consultants will get to know your people, your culture, your company values. We’ll hear concerns, learn from the past, and become a part of your team – because no-one should ever feel a sense of “them and us”.

Then on the consultancy side, we work to a standard model: a proven system that ensures we ask the right questions, identify areas of improvement, and take ownership of problems right through to resolution.

Finally, we use a peer review model across our casebook, so your challenges are considered by our full panel of experts – not just the people you meet.

This holistic approach is central to the way we work. So while we don’t expect to earn your trust immediately, we certainly have the tools to prove our worth to you in time.

Do you have experience with non-profits in our space?

Quite possibly. We’ve worked with US-based healthcare providers with operations across the world – improving provision for general health, mental health and childbirth. And beyond health, we’ve helped clients with other social aims such as prevention of sex trafficking and modern-day slavery.

Of course, there are non-profit sectors we haven’t worked in. But in our experience, the first consideration is trust: knowing you can rely on your finance team to deliver your goals.

After all, the underlying challenge is the same for any non-profit that’s expanding operations:

Increasing donations…controlling spend…reducing debt…all to extend cash reserves, and achieve impact goals in a safe, sustainable way.

Can you take on a short-term project?

Yes, we can integrate at any stage, to support your long or short term objectives.

In the past, non-profits have called us in to:

  • Recruit new finance personnel
  • Create budgets and forecasting models
  • Prove historic impact for fundraising
  • Improve donor proposals
  • Create a new Chart of Accounts
  • Tighten spending controls
  • Upgrade reporting and systems
  • Replicate finance across new territories
  • Manage complex non-profit corporate transactions

This type of contract work is ideal for larger non-profits, where a CFO is in post but needs some flexible support to deliver impact at scale. More details here.

If we work together, what’s the level of commitment?

There is no long-term commitment. Others may seek to tie you into a fixed contract, but to our mind, work should only continue for as long as we deliver value. So we’ll plan our delivery in clear sequential steps – but for your assurance, the arrangement runs from month to month.

Where will you be based?

There’s a balance between working from our premises and yours. We want to get to know you and your team, so we like to spend time on site with you if possible – especially in the beginning. But chances are, you won’t need us there in person every day. So we’ll usually maximise your hours by doing most of our work remotely.

Do you become my finance department?

No, that’s not our role. We’re here to make you self-reliant by growing your finance team and introducing the right people and systems. Initially, we can head up that team, acting as your CFO. But that’s a temporary measure, until we grow your operation to the point where you can replace us with a full-time hire.

What’s the next step?

Once you contact us, we’ll arrange a phone call with one of our senior team. This will be a chance for us to understand your impact goals, operational model and financial challenges – and a chance for you to quiz us in granular detail.

Then if we move ahead, we’ll send you a “scorecard” to fill in. This is designed to highlight the gaps, so we can design your finance program for maximum impact.

Next, we’ll supply a fixed quotation, based on standard fees for each item of work, and review it with you to finalize a timescale for delivery. So if the work is urgent, we can take it on as a concentrated project. Or if it’s a continuous process of refinement, we can stagger it over 6 – 12 months.

Importantly, the cost is the same whatever the timescale. And if the program is phased, you can cancel at any time and only pay for the work we’ve delivered.

Case studies
Noora Health
We took this non-profit back to basics – introducing best practice accounting, while taking steps to minimise tax liability.
Read More
Integrate Health
We helped Integrate Health transform its finance operations, at a time when funds increased and tighter management was needed.
Read More

Getting started

Ask us about training or mentoring. Or professional support – from courting new donors to helping you grow and meet demand sustainably.