Expansion? Bring in a CFO

Work with an expert in non-profit finance, before you extend your services or operational reach

Every non-profit begins with the CEO as de facto head of every department. Juggling finance with all aspects of program development and delivery.

It’s a matter of necessity through the start-up and early growth phase. But as operations expand, finance can soon become all-consuming.

So what then?

Can you soldier on as CFO?

You’ve held the fort until now, by mastering finance at the overview level of a CEO. But as you ramp up budgets and activity, complexity sets in and stakes grow higher.

Unless you hail from a finance background, you’ll need an expert perspective from this day forward.

And if you’re a finance expert?

There’s still the matter of time, not to mention objectivity. Finance will start to dominate your working day, unless you’re delegating. While your decisions will be taken solo, with no secondary judgement.

In either scenario, stakeholders will be justifiably anxious. Leaving only one solution…

Bring in a Chief Financial Officer

Someone you can trust with these essential duties:

  • Identify potential donors and strengthen your fundraising tools
  • Keep a tight rein on costs, to protect your cash position
  • Produce granular data that you can act on with confidence
  • Model your future spending, so you can grow sustainably
  • Create accurate forecasts, to give your stakeholders faith in the numbers
  • Interpret balance sheets, to pinpoint risks and opportunities
  • Introduce tested systems and internal controls, in readiness for expansion
  • Build a solid finance team, with the skills you need for the future

Initially, it’s doubtful that you’ll need a full-time hire – or that your budget could stretch to one. Most non-profits find it’s easier to bring in someone on a part-time flexible basis to work the hours needed and steer the business through the first wave of expansion.

At Vanreusel Ventures, we can provide this flexible expertise.

As we see it, we’re preparing the ground for your first full-time CFO, who’ll take over one day to scale the business, building on our foundations.

Why choose a Vanreusel CFO?

The obvious answer is our experience with non-profits. We’ve helped a growing number of social enterprises to extend their impact programs outside the US by building scalable finance systems, attracting new donors, and more.

But there’s more to it than pedigree. It’s the way we work with you, in partnership.

As you may know, the few agencies that support non-profits typically follow a standard model, whereby each client is paired with a freelance consultant, based more on availability than matching criteria. The upshot being a lack of commitment, where the agency takes no ongoing interest and the consultant feels no sense of attachment.

Having seen the damage this causes for companies that are wholly reliant on donors, we took the decision early on that all our CFOs should work on staff, and work the Vanreusel Way. Meaning:

  • Your financial challenges are appraised through a proven system we’ve devised and refined to maximise your results.
  • You have the full support of our analysts, and peer review from the whole Vanreusel team.
  • We integrate. It’s not about one person helicoptered in as a trouble-shooter. It’s our team working with your team: getting to know you, your people, your mission and values. So instead of handing you a cold set of recommendations, we can help you reach your impact goals in a more nuanced, appropriate way.

This is why we call it a partnership. We work not as a bolt-on, but as a key member of your team. So you get the loyalty and cultural fit of a full-time hire, with the flexible hours and deep expertise you’d expect from an agency.

Is this solution right for you?

A part-time CFO from the Vanreusel team will suit you if…

  • You run a US-based not-for-profit company, with operations in other countries.
  • You work in any humanitarian field – especially healthcare provision.
  • You’ve experienced rapid growth, with a budget in the region of $1M – $2M.
  • You’ve secured donations in the past, but need to multiply your fundraising efforts to meet future targets.
  • You need to understand your key numbers, and how they affect program delivery.
  • You want to take financial decisions with total confidence.
  • You need to spend less time on spreadsheets, and more time delivering the business plan.
  • You feel “exposed” – like an imposter – when it comes to discussing numbers.
  • You need to address the risk of insolvency or fraud.
  • Your stakeholders ask challenging questions, and you want answers at your fingertips.

First Steps

If this describes you, let’s discuss your plans to scale operations and where a CFO fits in. Starting with a short no-obligation call to see what happens next.