Innovative Practice Groups

Funder Services-Innovative Practice GroupsNonprofit financial education is often about compliance and accounting; ours focuses on improving effectiveness. NFF’s practice groups connect program officers with financial tools and concepts that will help them improve grantees’ chances of success. Grantmakers learn to assess grantees’ key financial indicators and understand their critical business needs. Our goal is to combine funders’ program knowledge with our practical experience in finance, resulting in grants that help nonprofits more reliably deliver on mission. One-on-one engagements and coaching are available on a flexible basis. Innovative Practice Groups explore a variety of topics, including:
  • Applying the Build / Buy Funding MethodSM and learning from others doing similar work;
  • Connecting key “whole enterprise” finance concepts to grantmaking;
  • Using financial data in talks with grantees;
  • Evaluating grantees’ operating health and risk tolerance;
  • Comparing grantees to peers using data across a range of dimensions;
  • Exploring the financial impact of grantmaking decisions;
  • Sharing practice and experience with peers.

Full or Half-day Workshops

"NFF delivered an invaluable workshop on financial frameworks which helped program officers become more astute about the kinds of grants they make and the consequences of them. There is no other way to learn this than to have NFF work it through with program officers. But once they get it-- they are able to think on a much more sophisticated level about the way we support grantees. The cost saving in the long run is large." Patricia H. Brandes, Executive Director, Barr Foundation

Our workshops are interactive and tailored to each funder’s grantmaking process. Whenever possible, we apply case examples (often from the foundation’s portfolio) to the topic at hand.

Two-day, Hands-on Financial Clinics

Clinics allow for intensive exploration of core financial concepts. Using financial statements from grantees, the group analyzes business dynamics and identifies short- and longer-term revenue, expense and capitalization needs. Session participants are better equipped to communicate within their foundations about grantees’ financial situation and resource requirements.

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