Education and Group Learning

Group Learning

Below is a selection of NFF's continuum of workshops, webinars and other group learning opportunities.

With support from funders, we often customize these services in a variety of ways to meet the needs of a group of nonprofits. (View and listen to an example of an NFF® workshop focused on Assessing the Financial Health of CDCs!)

If you'd like to participate in any of these services, we welcome you to contact your nearest NFF office! To get started, please check out our free online resources, described further below.


Resources & Introductory Seminars

  • Recession Planning Webinar (90 minutes): For organizations in need of preliminary guidance, this webinar provides an online crash course in assessing risk and financial planning.
  • Getting to Know Nonprofit Finance Fund®: Nonprofit Finance Fund is dedicated to connecting nonprofit finance to mission through a wide range of loans, financial consulting, facility-planning services, growth services and thought-leadership. In this session, NFF staff will provide an introduction to NFF's mission and financial services that help nonprofit organizations improve their capacity to serve their communitiess.

Workshops and Training

  • What's in a Budget? (1/2 day): Especially valuable for managers of organizations with budgets between $200,000 and $2.5 million, this workshop encompasses a review of how to approach budgeting for successful annual financial management and external communications, how to use program economics as a method for making adjustments on the margin to improve overall performance, and concepts for thinking about and adjusting scenarios when operational changes occur. Participants in this workshop will be able to take what they have learned and apply it to their day-to-day budgeting practices as well as to their conversations with board and other stakeholders.
  • Recession Fundamentals Workshop (1/2 day): We provide nonprofit leaders with guidance and tools to manage through these challenging times. Topics include: assessing organizational preparedness; evaluating risk exposure and tolerance; identifying and quantifying options; and communicating financial stories to funders. We discuss tips on cash flow planning, access to credit, program profitability and scenario planning.

  • Linking Money to Mission: A Balancing Act (1 day): Learn to balance your organization's mission with its financial realities. Plan for an in-depth and dynamic discussion of your organization's financial situation, plans for the future, and strategies for achieving long-term goals. NFF will:
    • Give you a crash course on interpreting financial statements to reveal the financial reality underpinning your programs
    • Engage in dialogue about the challenges posed by growth, endowments, property ownership, and much more
    • Use real-life case studies, with financial information drawn from IRS Form 990s and audits, to demonstrate how the choices you make impact your organization's financial health and viability
    • Discuss the use of financial information in communicating to funders and other stakeholders your organization's financial story and resource needs

  • Building Is Not Buying* Workshops: All nonprofits require revenue and capital to survive and thrive, yet each serves a very different (and commonly misunderstood) purpose. Because our sector lacks an “equity ethic,” our institutions are chronically under-capitalized and ill-prepared to withstand business and artistic risk. Using a nonprofit organization as a case example, NFF will walk participants through what it means to raise revenue to cover the full costs of doing business and to secure capital to support change and innovation at the organizational level.
  • Nonprofit Financial Literacy: This workshop increases the comfort level of nonprofit managers and board members in reading and interpreting nonprofit financial statements. Using nonprofit examples, we will review the statements of activities and financial position and explore how these statements can be used together to inform strategic planning. Workshop participants will:
    • Review the fundamental concepts and structure of nonprofit financial statements
    • Discuss techniques for interpreting this data and incorporating it into decision making
    • Explore how to set goals that help maintain financial health
  • Facility Projects: Planning, Funding, and Financing Strategies: This workshop demystifies the various fundraising and financing strategies available to pay for a facility project. Study the impact acquisition and/or renovation can have on your organization's mission, programs, structure, operations, fundraising and financial health. Topics include:
    • Planning for your project and understanding its impact on your organization
    • The relationship between operating, project and fundraising budgets
    • An overview of project cash flow statements
    • Planning a capital campaign
    • The lending process and various financing options

2-Day Clinics

  • Financial Leadership Clinic (2 days) [visit the webpage!]: In this two-day seminar, we work intensively with up to six nonprofits in a common sector. Combining recession-related topics, individual financial exercises, audit analyses, and peer-based learning, we coach participants in how to articulate their unique opportunities, challenges, and financial goals. This small-group peer learning format can be adapted to focus on the specific needs of a sector or cohort of organizations. We also provide follow-up coaching between day one and day two of the Clinic, and offers customized technical assistance after completion.Over the course of two days, nonprofits learn to:
    • Read and interpret your own financial documents
    • Understand the dynamics of your business model
    • Identify your nonprofit's specific financial needs and objectives
    • Better articulate financial management goals to your staff, constituents, board members and potential funders
*For more information, see George Overholser's seminal piece "Building is not Buying."

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