If the events of 2020 have taught not-for-profits anything, it’s that financial reserves are essential to long-term survival. An endowment is different from operating reserves and generally is designed to provide steady income to a not-for-profit while its core investments grow untouched. But that steady income can be a financial safeguard in times of crisis.

a green plant growing from a pile of coins; image used for blog post about not-for-profit endowment

So if your organization doesn’t have an endowment, or if you’ve neglected to build on an existing one, you might want to focus on it as soon as your not-for-profit is back in fighting shape. Just make sure you understand the regulations governing spending and have the resources to manage investments.


Continue Reading What to Know About a Not-for-Profit Endowment

The PKF Texas not-for-profit team hosted its next Zoom webinar, “Forging Ahead: Planning Your Fundraising and Investment for 2021.” Once again, PKF Texas Audit Senior Manager, Nicole Riley, CPA, CFE, moderated a panel, which included Ryan McCauley, Regional Director of Foundation & Institutional Advisory, Northern Trust; and Sara Wise, Senior Consultant, Mission Advancement.

Thumbnail image spotlighting Nicole Riley, Ryan McCauley and Sara Wise for PKF Texas' Zoom webinar “Forging Ahead: Planning Your Fundraising and Investment for 2021"

With 2021

Current financial pressures mean that your not-for-profit probably can’t afford to pass up offers of support. Yet you need to be careful about blindly accepting grants. Smaller not-for-profits that don’t have formal grant evaluation processes are at risk of accepting grants with unmanageable burdens and costs. But large organizations also need to be careful because they have significantly more grant opportunities — including for grants that are outside their current expertise and experience.

graphic of a manila folder with the word "grants" and a dollar bill; image used for blog post about not-for-profits accepting grants

Here’s how accepting the wrong grant may backfire in costly and time-consuming ways.


Continue Reading Considerations When Accepting New Grants for Your NFP

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses and not-for-profit organizations alike. With Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed into law, what options do organizations have to receive funds?

The Not-for-Profit team wants to share with you a special information sheet answering questions you may have:

thumbnail image of PDF for cash options for not-for-profit under the CARES act
  • Five ways to get cash now under the

One of the strongest predictors of a not-for-profit’s long-term survival is multiple revenue sources. Many organizations with only one or two found that out that the hard way when they failed during the 2008 recession.

a hand pointing to a computer screen with a web page about revenue streams; image used for blog post about not-for-profit revenue sources

The same is likely to be true for not-for-profits that do — or don’t — survive the current novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.


Continue Reading Finding Multiple Revenue Sources During a Crisis

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has put enormous financial stress on many not-for-profits — whether they’re temporarily shut down or actively fighting the pandemic. If cash flow has dried up, your organization may need to do more than trim expenses.

a pencil and eraser point to a drawing of a lightbulb with a question mark in the middle; image used for blog post about assessing a not-for-profit's financial situation

Here’s how to assess your financial condition and take appropriate action.


Continue Reading How is Your Not-for-Profit’s Financial Situation?

Borrowing isn’t just for businesses. Many not-for-profits borrow money for major capital purchases, new program funding and even to manage current cash flow. But if you’re hoping to borrow, it’s important to understand that there are likely to be obstacles ahead, including finding a lender that offers reasonable rates.

two men meeting, paperwork on a wooden table, perhaps a lender meeting for nonprofit organizations


Continue Reading Finding a Lender for Your Not-for-Profit Can be Tough…

Not-for-profits with multiple sources of support are generally less likely to have budget shortfalls and are better able to grow and expand their services. If you’re looking for new funding sources, consider cause marketing.

overhead view of a wooden desk with a piece of paper in the center that says "marketing strategy" with books sitting to the left, titled "marketing and pricing"

Made possible via a partnership with a for-profit business, cause marketing can boost your budget, your public profile and even your volunteer base.
Continue Reading Why Cause Marketing is Good for Not-for-Profits

Restricted gifts — or donations with conditions attached — can be difficult for not-for-profits to manage. Unlike unrestricted gifts, these donations can’t be poured into your general operating fund and be used where they’re most needed. Instead, restricted gifts generally are designated to fund a specific program or initiative, such as a building or scholarship fund.

It’s not only unethical, but dangerous, not to comply with a donor’s restrictions. If donors learn you’ve ignored their wishes, they can demand the money back and sue your organization. And your reputation will almost certainly take a hit. Rather than take that risk, try to encourage your donors to give with no strings attached.


Continue Reading How to Persuade Donors to Remove “Restricted” from Gifts