Updated: Sep 11, 2019
July 29, 2019
by Soojin Conover, Vital Village Network
Following the part 1 blog of the #DataCafe series, let’s look into funding growth. While it is one of the NOW Learning Community’s shared measurable domains, measuring funding growth helps with sustainability planning for community based organizations. Information on funding growth could be helpful to streamlining the finance management process by discovering current operational issues. It could also inform the activities on building financial capacity, such as financial partnering, fundraising, researching funding sources, and leveraging dollars to support direct services (Boller et al., 2012). Understanding current financial status and funding structure may be a first step toward capturing funding growth, and furthermore, challenges and opportunities in financial sustainability.
Funding growth can be measured by examining changes in received financial resources, which can be captured by using non-profit accounting software solutions. The solutions usually allow monitoring accounts payable/receivable, expense tracking, cash management, donation management, budgeting, billing and invoicing, revenue recognition, tax management, and etc. If you would like to do budgeting without using any accounting solutions, here is an example of budgeting best practices. The changes in the amount of received financial resources can be summarized by tables or graphs. One good way of visualization is a stacked bar graph, showing not only the amount but also the sources.
Other measurement examples (surveys or interviews) intended to get information about opportunities and challenges for funding, also related to partnerships, are available below. The overall information may allow exploring a big picture of funding sources that would prompt thoughts and questions about goals and opportunities as well as missed opportunities. It could be useful to plan future funding directions and strategies for potential funding growth.