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Assessing Non-Profits Using
Financial Statements and Ratios

Length

2 weeks

Effort

3-5 hours/week

Format

100% online, self-paced

Course Overview

Nonprofit organizations may not be in business to make money, but they must still pay close attention to their finances to achieve their mission. Nonprofits, like all organizations, need to have enough money to pay salaries, run programs, purchase goods, or pay debts. Often nonprofits come under fire when they don't have a good financial balance, have too much cash, have high expenses, or are not putting the right amount of money toward programs serving their mission. Tracking the financial health of a nonprofit is not only the responsibility of the chief financial officer but also of its administrators, board members, directors, and key program staff.  It's the responsibility of the entire organization to engage in the process and secure the organization's ongoing financial health.  

In this course, Professor Grasso draws on a wealth of first-hand experience with nonprofit management to give you a guided tour through the structure and interpretation of typical nonprofit financial statements. Professor Grasso will walk you through reading and interpreting financial statements including an income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. Using financial ratios, he will show you how to analyze the health of an organization by analyzing its cash reserves, debt burden, and expenses. You will practice calculating 10 different ratios and interpreting their results. And Professor Grasso will provide you with guidance on how to adjust your organization's strategy based on those results. 

As you move through the course, carefully-crafted tools and activities will guide you in applying what you learn about financial assessment and management to the specifics of your own nonprofit organization. 

Who Should Enroll: Leaders, administrators, new board members; decision-making program staff; CEOs and executive directors without a formal finance background from a range of types of nonprofits. People seeking promotion into administrative or managerial roles.

Joe Grasso Circle
Course Author

Joe Grasso
ASSOCIATE DEAN
Cornell IRL School

Key Course Takeaways

  • Use accounting statements and financial analysis to assess the financial strength of your organization
  • Apply basic financial principles to nonprofit management
  • Read and interpret financial statements
  • Account for key business activities
  • Calculate financial ratios to further explore your organization's financial condition

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