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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Increasing Nonprofit Organization's Efffectiveness

By Deborah Hayden


October 12, 2017
Thursday AM

During September we heard often from candidates for borough Assembly that they wanted to increase the ability of nonprofit organizations to operate in a business-like manner or to be more self-sufficient. For the past three years, the Strengthening Nonprofits Collaborative has been engaged in projects that will enhance nonprofit operations in both these categories.

We learned two years ago of the Alaska Community Foundation's Philanthropy Hub which houses eight nonprofit organizations in a single location in which they share equipment, administrative assistance, internet and telecommunications. This reduces duplication and cuts expenses considerably.

We then conducted a survey of Ketchikan nonprofits and asked them what resources they needed and what they might have that they were willing to share. Surprisingly, shared space was not at the top of respondents' priorities. Among the top needs expressed were event supplies and strategic/business planning.

There have, for years, been many instances of Ketchikan nonprofits sharing supplies, and helping each other with events. In addition, many nonprofits have annual strategic planning sessions in which they set priorities, tie budgets to the priorities, establish timelines and actions plans, just like every other business. Yet, there is always room for more of these activities as the survey showed.

Since the survey, we have been working on establishing an event supplies library that may conjoin with the tool library Matt Peebles operates in space provided by First City Players. This is an admirable example, among many others, of sharing resources, in this case, space, that is already happening.

This Saturday, October 14, we will offer a training in Financial Management and Responsibility for Nonprofits.

Kim Singstad, a highly qualified nonprofit accounting expert will be the presenter. We are grateful to the Chamber of Commerce for donating their offices (another shared resource) for this event which will be from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Some of the subjects Kim will cover:
* Characteristics of financially healthy nonprofits
* Basic accounting concepts like accrual vs cash, use of balance sheet, income statement and cash flow, ratios, setting up the right type of system
* Budgeting
* Controls like separation of duties, policies and procedures, flow charts
* Board member roles and responsibilities as they relate to financial management
* Requirements like 990 filing, payroll tax filing, grantor funding requirements

Kim is donating her time and expertise for the benefit of all nonprofits.

This training is open and free to all nonprofit boards, staff, and volunteers.

Deborah Hayden
Strengthening Nonprofits Collaborative
Ketchikan, Alaska

About: I am the facilitator of Ketchikan's Strengthening Nonprofits Collaborative whose mission is helping nonprofits share resources, increase efficiency in operations and achieve their missions.


Editor's Note:

The text of this letter was NOT edited by the SitNews Editor.


Received October 09, 2017 - Published October 12, 2017

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