*New* Financial Sustainability Webinar Series
NCA and Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) are pleased to present a three-part webinar series on financial sustainability designed specifically for Accredited Chapters. In the three webinars recorded below, NFF experts presented the basic concepts and principles of nonprofit economics, financial planning, and management best practices. These recordings arm participants with a common language with which to engage in the accelerator, including discussion about the financial drivers and dynamics of the CAC field.
Securing the resources needed to operate a strong Chapter can be challenging. As a statewide membership organization, as opposed to a local, direct service organization, it can be hard to establish a secure, diverse funding base. It is, however, as important for a Chapter as it is for any other kind of organization, to minimize the vulnerability that comes with having only a single funding source for operations.
Fund Development Plans
Summary of State Funding for Chapters
Some Chapters have had success securing a legislative appropriation that supports local CACs within a state and, in some cases, also provides funding for the operation of the Chapter.
Other Chapters have accessed state funding through an RFP process, typically tied to a state agency such as the state’s child protection agency, Department of Health/Human Services, Office of the Attorney General, Judicial branch, etc.
Chapters have a legal and fiduciary obligation to manage the finances of the organization responsibly. Every Chapter should have current, relevant and comprehensive Financial Management policies; conduct an annual independent audit; and have grant management policies consistent with funder requirements.
Chapter directors/Coordinators and their Boards of Directors (or other governing entities) share responsibility for the sound financial management of the organization, and must draft and implement financial policies and procedures. Policies and procedures should address how revenues and expenditures are handled, reported, monitored, etc. Chapters should review financial policies every 1-2 years to ensure they are current, relevant and familiar to all Board and relevant staff members. As Chapters evolve, funding sources typically become more diverse and expenditures may also grow and diversify. Financial policies should evolve over time to reflect these developing complexities.
Chapter Monitoring and Communications
Chapters play a role in monitoring member centers and MDTs, but that role must be clearly defined and specific to avoid confusion and conflict with each Chapter’s membership. At a minimum, Chapters should develop and adopt protocols related to Membership Requirements or Criteria that clearly define expectations on the part of the Chapter as well as the member entity. Chapters should also define procedures for dealing with non-compliance issues and consequences for chronic non-compliance with membership requirements. In addition, if the Chapter has responsibility for administering funding to its members, the monitoring protocols should also address those expectations, procedures, and non-compliance consequences.
NCA Chapters are required, as a condition of their sub-award contracts with NCA, to have an independent financial audit completed each year. The audit must be completed and submitted to NCA within nine months of the end of the Chapter’s fiscal year. Prior to submission to NCA, the audit should be reviewed and officially accepted by the Chapter’s Board of Directors or other governing entity. It is highly recommended that a representative of the independent auditing firm meet personally with the Board to provide an in-depth review of the audit report, respond to questions, and share observations related to internal controls, policies, procedures, etc.