Our partners over at Abila have done a tremendous amount of research and have put together Key Nonprofit Accounting Predictions for 2016. We have found this tool to be very useful for nonprofits and are bringing you some of the top findings to help you uncover the challenges you may be faced with this year, and some thoughts about turning this into advantages for your organization.
Below is a deep dive into Nonprofit Accounting Prediction #1: A Focus on Growth vs. Sustainability
According to Abila’s Nonprofit Finance & Accounting Study, more than 70 percent of nonprofit professionals say they expect to see growth within their organization in the next three years. What does this mean? Likely, we’ll begin to see a shift from the traditional sustainability model adopted by many mature organizations to a focus on new earned income and funding strategies.
This shift will have tremendous effect on strategic planning across the organization. Because, as increasing resources and opportunities are available to the nonprofit sector, organizations are developing new ways to profit from growth. Here are four growth strategies to consider:
- Expand: Grow existing mission-critical programs to increase fundraising opportunities and/or grant revenue opportunities. Expanding your existing programs can be as simple as widening the geographic area served, or broadening reach and awareness within the community.
- Develop: Launch new programs that help serve your mission within the community or nationally. Reach and serve new demographics and expand into new geographies to increase awareness and overall potential reach toward mission delivery.
- Consolidate: Combine forces with other nonprofits of similar mission/like demographic served to capitalize on organizational efficiencies, have access to more resources and people, and consolidate expertise within the field.
- Partner: Strategically partner with larger, similar mission-driven nonprofit organizations, or even a for-profit corporation. A strategic partnership can help boost funding to expand or develop existing and new programs. Plus, increased funding, awareness, and manpower from a larger organization will boost mission delivery.
Determining the best growth strategy depends on the resources your organization has at its fingertips. Will you require new funding sources to get your growth strategy off the ground? Will you need to budget for more people? Will you need to expand your infrastructure resources to support it?
Finally, do you have the right technology in place to ensure your team is working as efficiently as possible? At the very least, you should consider using a robust, modern true fund accounting system that allows you to manage financial complexity and track diverse funding sources and programs.
Choosing the right accounting package for your organization can seem like a daunting task. At RBP Methods we work with nonprofit accounting systems built from the ground up for your industry. Our implementation team will take the time to get to know you and understand your needs. Our mission is not to sell software. We’re here to be a business partner that you can trust. Many can say it, but we live it. For more information on the right nonprofit solution to help your organization grow, contact us.