Nonprofit Accounting Basics



A board officer is a board member with additional duties and responsibilities. State laws stipulate which officer positions a nonprofit must have.

Oversight: Fiduciary Duty

As the fiduciary of the organization, the board as a body and each individual board member must always act for the good of the nonprofit.

Personal Giving

If your organization does not rely fully on earned income or government grants or contracts, it most likely is involved in raising funds from individuals, foundations, and/or for-profit corporation


Every nonprofit needs operational guidelines for staff and the board. The purpose of the policies is to serve as a guide for actions and behavior and as a reference for ethical decision making.

Policy Development Outline for Small and Midsize Nonprofit Organizations

The following steps are designed to prompt responses that can become the components of a gift acceptance policy that can serve as a guideline for staff and board.  


Satisfactory protection against liability (and loss) starts with rigorous risk management.


Operational reserves

Operational reserves are funds an organization accumulates over the years by operating with a surplus.

Risk Management Plan

The board bears the responsibility for the safety of the organization.

Role in All Volunteer Organizations

Most nonprofits start as all-volunteer organizations (AVO), without a paid staff. The organization operates with the support of its board and maybe additional volunteers.

Setting Organizational Direction

The board is responsible for defining and guarding its mission, setting the direction for the organization, and ensuring clearly-set values guide every decision.

The Basics of Nonprofit Dissolution

Weathering the storm of major disruptions financial disruptions is a challenge for all organizations.

Volunteer Protection Act

The Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 provides personal immunity to individuals who act on behalf of an organization in a volunteer capacity.

What Board committees are recommended for a newly formed nonprofit?

Question: I will be forming a new nonprofit organization soon and I am in the process of recruiting the initial Board of Directors and drafting governing documents.

Who handles the finances?

Every nonprofit must clarify how the board and the staff interact when handling the financial issues affecting the organization.

Your First Board

Every nonprofit corporation needs a board.


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