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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Nonprofit Financial Management Executive Certificate

Nonprofit Financial Management
Executive Certificate


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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Mornings of October 4, 5, 11 and 12
Online Program
Register Now
Register by Tuesday, September 27
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

The overall program goal is to examine the role financial management plays in the nonprofit organization's successful accomplishment of its stated mission. As such, we will explore several key elements found in a successful nonprofit organization. We will give special focus to reading and making sense of financial statements, as well as to financial planning, developing an operating budget, and the importance of cash management.

The following objectives are key to achieving the course’s goal:

  1. Assist in learning how to read and interpret nonprofit financial statements.
    1. Discuss changes found in new accounting standards (ASU 2016–14).
    2. Review the four basic statements found in a nonprofit audit report.
    3. Define the difference between net assets with and without donor restrictions.
  2. Discuss the importance of accurate and timely financial reports to management and board decision making. Additionally, the discussion will include the importance of providing critical financial information to charity rating services, granting organizations, lenders, and regulatory agencies.
  3. Describe the importance of financial planning to the success of a nonprofit organization. The following procedures and documents are essential to this process.
    1. Long-term financial planning
    2. The operating budget
    3. Planning and managing operating cash (cash budgets)
  4. Examine the capital structure of a nonprofit organization. This includes the use of debt, reserves (net assets), and capital campaigns in financing organizational assets.
Program Schedule
Tuesday, October 4, 2022
8:30 - 9 a.m. Introduction to the program. This will include participant introductions.
9 - 9:30 a.m. Introduction to Nonprofit Financial Management
Session Leader — Jim Croft
Guest — James Honan EdD, Harvard University
9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Nonprofit Accounting and Financial Statements
Session Leader — Jim Croft
Statement of Financial Position | Statement of Activities and Change in Net Assets
10:30 - 10:45 a.m. BREAK
10:45 a.m. - 12 p.m. Nonprofit Accounting and Financial Statements (Cont.)
Session Leader — Jim Croft
Statement of Cash Flows | Statement of Functional Expenses
12 - 12:15 p.m. Applied learning from the day’s activities
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
8:30 - 8:40 a.m. Introduction to Day 2
8:40 - 9:30 a.m. Making Sense of the Numbers
Session Leader — Jim Croft
Developing Financial Reports | Key Ratios for Nonprofit Organizations
9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Nonprofit Financial Statements — Case Study
Session Leader — Jim Croft
Group Project — Analyze your Financial Statements
10:30 - 10:40 a.m. BREAK
10:40 - 11:30 a.m. The Outside Audit
Session Leader — Jim Croft
Guest — Scott Steffens, CPA - Grant Thornton, LLP
The Auditor's Letter | Financial Statements | Notes to the Financial Statements
11:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. The IRS Form 990
Session Leader — Jim Croft
Types of IRS Form 990 | The 12 Sections of Form 990 | Required Sub-Schedules
12 - 12:15 p.m. Applied Learning from the Day's Activities
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
8:30 - 8:40 a.m. Introduction to Day 3
8:40 - 10 a.m. Introduction to Financial Planning and Budgets
Session Leader — Jim Croft, Katy Scrogin
Long-term Financial Plans | Capital Budgets | Operating Budgets
10 - 10:30 a.m. Operating Budget Case Study
Begin Group Work
10:30 - 10:40 a.m. BREAK
10:40 - 11:30 a.m. Operating Budget Case Study
Continue Group Work
11:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. Operating Budget Case Study
Group Presentations
12 - 12:15 p.m. Applied Learning from the Day’s Activities
Wednesday, October 12, 2022
8:30 - 8:40 a.m. Introduction to Day 4
8:40 - 10 a.m. Cash Management
Session Leaders — Jim Croft, Katy Scrogin
Cash Management Activities | 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
Session Leader — Jim Croft, Katy Scrogin
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
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.

Program Materials, Accommodations and Fees
  • Materials are included and will be provided at the beginning of the program
  • Registration includes breakfast, lunch, snacks and parking
  • Program fee is $650 per person subject to standard cancellation policy


Center for Executive and Professional Development
HLH 201