Looking for a guide to non-profit financial reporting? Running a charity is a lot different from running a business. Since you’re raising money to use for a greater cause and not just for earnings, you need to be transparent about your finances. It is to gain the trust of new donors and keep existing ones loyal to your organisation.
You can do this through prompt financial reporting that will not only allow you to be transparent about funds but also help your team plan the best activities and programs for your goals.
Unfortunately, financial reporting can be a bit tricky if you’re a non-profit organisation, especially since you’re dealing with different people and raising funds from different sources.
To make things easier, we rounded up some smart tips to help you deal with the common challenges of financial reporting:
Our guide to non-profit financial reporting
Embrace automated reporting
If you’ve been using the same manual reporting since you started your non-profit, this is the time to embrace automation to make your life a lot easier.
While there’s nothing wrong with manual reporting, it can also be time-consuming, especially when you’re dealing with a huge amount of donations after your organisation has grown.
It’s also more prone to errors because you’re doing everything by hand, and you can’t avoid any mistakes in data gathering that could affect the quality of your report.
With automation, you can ensure more accuracy in your reports without taking up too much of your time.
You can also guarantee lesser errors since it’s easier for you to spot any discrepancies and mistakes with an automated financial report for non-profit organisation.
Give your team access to real-time data
Being a charity means that you’re constantly making huge decisions and taking important steps to continue benefiting the causes that you’re fighting for.
But the lack of access to real-time data may affect you and your team’s decision making, especially if you’re just looking at old reports and relying on them to decide on current challenges.
With the right financial reporting system, you can give your team access to real-time data. It allows you to evaluate the efficiency of your campaigns, so you can make better decisions for your organisation.
Create better graphs and charts for easier digestion
When creating a financial report for your non-profit, you need to find ways to make the information easy to digest for your audience.
It is when you can benefit from using graphs, charts and other material that will allow you to present Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and other data during board meetings.
This will help you save time in your discussions while making sure that everyone is on the same page in your organisation.
Deliver reports whenever they’re needed
Being a non-profit organisation puts you under a lot of pressure to raise funds, organise activities and create campaigns that will help support your cause.
Your finance team is also working hard to keep up with the financial demands of your non-profit, so there are times when requests for financial reports may not be delivered on time, putting your organisation in a bad light.
Having a system that can generate financial reports fast will help your team become more efficient in keeping up with the demands of the board or your donors and you can also easily answer questions more confidently because you have data to back up your statements.
Combine different forms of data
An excellent financial report for non-profit organisation should be able to combine both financial and operational performance data that give board members and donors a clear picture of what you’ve accomplished within a specific time frame.
If you adopt an automated financial system, you will have the ability to create dashboards that combine different forms of data that you can easily extract and present during discussions to support your plans and proposals.
Organise your data better
Organising a huge amount of data can be overwhelming if you do it manually. But you have to keep everything to make sure that nothing is unaccounted for and that you can easily generate reports whenever you need them. By keeping all your data in one accounting system, it would be easier for you to track your expenses and the funds you raised in your campaigns. Organisation will also make it easier for the rest of your team to access the information they need to make their jobs more efficient.
Guide to non-profit financial reporting: the bottom line
Financial reporting is a crucial part of the success of any non-profit organisation.
So, if you’re still struggling in this area, embrace these tips into your system and see the difference that it can make to your non-profit organisation.
You are working for a greater cause, after all, and you need all the tools that you can get to make sure that you are achieving your goals faster. So, why not give these tips a try today?
Want free support with some of your work? The Ideal Life Project has you covered.