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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations

Financial Management for
Nonprofit Organizations


Financial Management Basics for the Nonprofit Professional

Effective financial management is crucial to a nonprofit’s ability to achieve its mission. In this program, we’ll explore long-term financial planning; the capital, operating and cash budgets; financial accounting and financial statements; and foundations of nonprofit financial management.

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Choice #1: Mornings of March 5, 6, 12 and 13, 2024 | Virtual format over Zoom
Choice #2: Mornings of October 22, 23, 29 and 30, 2024 | Virtual format over Zoom
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Cost assistance opportunities are available. Email for more information.

Key Benefits

Hone your expertise in reading and interpreting financial statements, preparing operating and cash budgets, and making capital decisions. You will examine the IRS Form 990 and discuss its importance in communicating the organization’s financial information to audiences outside the organization.

Who Should Attend?

Nonprofit executives responsible for fundraising, marketing and communications, human resources and volunteer management, operations, and budgeting.

Nonprofit leaders, board members and community leaders.

Program Objectives

This program’s goal is to understand the crucial role good financial management plays in a nonprofit’s accomplishment of its stated mission. Through hands-on, applied study, participants will explore key elements of nonprofit financial management.

In order to help participants improve their skills in reading and understanding nonprofit financial statements, the program begins with an examination of these statements, using audits of several nonprofits.

Building on those skills, participants will learn about the importance of timely and accurate financial reports, and about how to use those reports to make more informed decisions for the organization. We will also explore analytical tools, such as financial ratios, so that participants may gain a better understanding of their organizations’ financial health and operating efficiency.

The IRS Form 990 is a key report that nonprofits must submit annually to the Internal Revenue Service. We will explore the contents of the IRS Form 990—and will also discuss how this report can be used not only to improve communication with supporters and funders, but also to improve financial management in general.

Nonprofit leaders must be able to construct an annual operating budget. In doing so, they will ensure that resources are properly allocated to maximize programmatic output and to position the organization for long-term success. Using a case study, participants will construct an operating budget during a program session.

Finally, the program will focus on management of the organization’s cash resources. Using a case study, participants will engage in decision-making scenarios focused on how to manage a nonprofit’s cash over the course of a fiscal year.

Program Schedule
Day 1
8:30 - 9 a.m. Introduction to the program. This will include participant introductions.
9 - 10 a.m. Exploring Nonprofit Financial Management
10 - 10:30 a.m. Nonprofit Accounting and Financial Statements
• Statement of financial position
• Statement of activities and change in net assets
10:30 - 10:40 a.m. BREAK
10:40 a.m. - 12 p.m. Nonprofit Accounting and Financial Statements (Cont.)
• Statement of cash flows
• Statement of functional expenses
12 - 12:15 p.m. Applied learning from the day’s activities
Day 2
8:30 - 8:40 a.m. Introduction to Day 2
8:40 - 9:30 a.m. The Outside Audit
• The auditor’s letter
• Financial statements
• Notes to the financial statements
9:30 - 10:30 a.m. The IRS Form 990
• Types, sections, and subschedules of IRS Form 990
• Hands-on 990 activity
10:30 - 10:40 a.m. BREAK
10:40 a.m. - 12 p.m. Making Sense of the Numbers
• Developing financial reports
• Key ratios for nonprofit organizations
• Applied financial analysis
12 - 12:15 p.m. Applied Learning from the Day's Activities
Day 3
8:30 - 8:40 a.m. Introduction to Day 3
8:40 - 9:30 a.m. An Overview of the Operating Budget
• Definition
• Mechanics
9:30 - 10 a.m. Operating Budget Case Study
• Instructions
10 - 10:30 a.m. Operating Budget Case Study
• Group work
10:30 - 10:40 a.m. BREAK
10:40 - 11:15 a.m. Operating Budget Case Study
• Continue Group Work
11:15 a.m. - 12 p.m. Operating Budget Case Study
• Group Presentations
12 - 12:15 p.m. Applied Learning from the Day’s Activities
Day 4
8:30 - 8:40 a.m. Introduction to Day 4
8:40 - 10 a.m. Cash Management
• The importance of cash management
• The cash budget
10 - 10:30 a.m. Cash Budget Case Study
• Begin Group Work
10:30 - 10:40 a.m. BREAK
10:40 - 11 a.m. Cash Budget Case Study
• Continue Group Work
11 - 11:45 a.m. Cash Budget Case Study
• Group Presentations
• Follow Up Discussions
11:45 a.m. - 12 p.m. Applied Learning from the Nonprofit Financial Management Program
12 - 12:15 p.m. Wrap-up Discussion

Jim Croft, Ph.D.
James Honan, Ed.D.
Katy Scrogin, Ph.D.
Scott Steffens, CPA

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Jim Croft
Jim Croft, Ph.D.

Jim Croft is a principal with JW Croft Consulting Group (JWCCG) in Chicago. JWCCG brings leadership and financial management experience to the nonprofit community and is positioned to help organizations meet strategic objectives and achieve their mission.

In addition to his work at JWCCG, Croft is a member of the MBA faculty at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where he teaches nonprofit management, nonprofit financial management and fundraising. He also teaches nonprofit financial management at the Kellogg School of Management Center for Nonprofit Management at Northwestern University.

From 1984 to 2015, he served as executive vice president and chief financial officer for the Field Museum in Chicago. In addition to leading the institution’s financial operations, he was responsible for facilities management and several other operating units. For several years he served concurrently as the museum’s chief development officer, managing the annual giving, major gifts, planned giving, and corporate and foundation giving programs. He was also responsible for a major capital campaign that successfully concluded in 2008.

Croft also held several positions in The Salvation Army where he served as a community center executive director, finance officer and chief business officer. He has also served on several nonprofit governing boards.

In 2016, he received a four-year appointment to the Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) Nonprofit Advisory Committee (NAC). NAC members serve as advisors to FASB staff as they consider accounting standards that are used by U.S. nonprofit organizations.

He received a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where his doctoral work was in higher education leadership with research focused on nonprofit financial management. He also studied business administration and management at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Roosevelt University and National Louis University.

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Katy Scrogin
Katy Scrogin, Ph.D.

Katy Scrogin is a nonprofit practitioner and educator dedicated to the importance of financial literacy. Having taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, she also conducts prospect research and works with development teams to craft fundraising appeals and communications.

Before moving into independent consulting, Dr. Scrogin served as the vice president for programming at the Chicago Sunday Evening Club (CSEC). In addition to producing and contributing to daily and weekly podcasts at CSEC, she planned, constructed and monitored the organization’s operating budget, and also prepared financial reports for management and the board of directors.

Dr. Scrogin holds a Ph.D. in religion from Claremont Graduate University, a master of theological studies from Vanderbilt University, and a BA in German and Spanish from the University of Texas at Austin. She also serves as a writer, editor and translator, and holds an editing certificate from the Graham School at the University of Chicago.

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Guest Speakers
James Honan

James Honan, Ed.D., professor at Harvard University, teaching and research interests include financial management of nonprofit organizations, organizational performance measurement and management, and higher-education administration.

Scott Steffens

Scott Steffens, CPA, partner at Grant Thornton LLP who works with not-for-profit, higher education and professional services organizations.


Center for Executive and Professional Development
HLH 201