Start your non-profit on solid ground

Let’s build the foundations of your new social enterprise, through a combination of mastery and support

Picture your non-profit 5 years in, where it’s all going to plan. Where you’re making a tangible difference in people’s lives, and planning to expand or scale by opening new territories.

Now compare this with a worst case. Where you barely make ends meet, and barely make an impact – perhaps leaving you to wonder if it’s even viable.

As the land lies today, both futures are possible. So what makes the difference?

Why is it that some non-profits take one route and reach every milestone with ease, while others take the second…and struggle on for years?

Many factors come into play. But few more so than finance.

Your success is governed by your financial knowledge, the team you build around you, and the systems that control the acquisition and flow of money through the business.

With the right knowledge, people and systems, you’re in control of the future. But remove just one element, and the business is immediately subject to these common points of failure:

  • Inadequate controls, causing inefficient spending and spiralling monthly costs.
  • Data limitations: poor reporting, in terms of depth and accuracy.
  • Weak analysis: an inability to read between the numbers and make informed decisions.
  • Limited capital, due to lack of data proving impact to donors.
  • Slow progress against the business plan, compromising impact.

These problems are far too common among failing non-profits. But invariably, they need never have arisen, as they stem from poor decisions taken at the point of launch. Decisions that imposed long-term limitations and rendered target outcomes unachievable.

Fortunately however, these and other common errors are easily avoided, simply by adopting best practice from the outset. So we’ve created an affordable new package, for non-profits who choose to begin as they mean to continue.

An essential mix of mastery and support

As CEO of a non-profit business, you need a firm grasp of the numbers and a professional team behind you. So here, you’ll receive the best of both.

It will be some time before you can bring in a CFO, even on a part-time basis. Until then, your stakeholders will look to you for every financial decision. So the question is, do you have the necessary skills? For example:

  • Can you read a balance sheet, and interpret the figures?
  • Can you plan spending, to maximize impact while protecting cashflow?
  • Can you build an accurate forecast, to plan your use of resources?
  • Can you attract funding by courting and persuading potential donors?
  • Can you build a finance system that will scale with you over time?

If yes, then you can get through the start-up phase with limited support. But if you’re like most CEOs, and all this falls outside your comfort zone, there are things you ought to master – without getting side-tracked by the misinformation that flies around online.

To this end, we’ve put together our own program, Strength In Numbers. Over 6 x 1-hour teleclasses, it takes you through cashflow, management accounting, budgets, forecasting and more – showing you how to reach your goals sustainably and avoid the pitfalls of growth.

You’ll have full access to this program, and other learning materials, when you work with us.

As CEO, you need an overview of all things finance. But managing figures day to day is not a job for you. Even at this early stage, your accounts and payroll are better left in the hands of specialists.

So we’ll introduce you to our accounting partner, who’ll attend to these tasks and collaborate with you on setting a budget. Then we’ll bring in a CFO from the Vanreusel stable, to put your business plan under the microscope and highlight the inherent risks and opportunities.

This is the groundwork that will free you to execute the plan, safe in the knowledge that the financial side is in order. Then as you meet your goals, and operations expand, our service to you will adapt – from mentoring to CFO support and custom projects.

Is this solution right for you?

Whether you’re at the feasibility stage or already invested in program delivery, we’ll steer you through to the first major milestone – then stay the course with you, as you grow and scale over time.

You should consider this start-up package if:

  • You’re a US-based non-profit, delivering impact programs anywhere in the world – especially in the healthcare sector
  • Your budget is below $0.5M, but your plans are more ambitious
  • You have expertise in your own field, but need a deeper knowledge of finance – and you’re committed to learning more
  • You need a reliable, expert team to handle your payroll and accounts – affordably
  • You need help with certain tasks, such as budgeting and guarding against overspending and fraud
  • You fear that you’ll lose control, the more your budget grows
  • You see yourself in part as a financial caretaker, keeping guard until a CFO can take the reins
  • You need to connect with new donors urgently, before cash reserves run dry

If any or all of this describes you, we should discuss your finances at the first opportunity.

First Steps

Smart financial management begins on day one. Of course, we understand your time and budget limitations. But if you’re willing to lay the foundations now, we can steer you past the hazards – and set you on a course that will accelerate and spread your impact.