Financial Management for NGOs


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A Guide to Finance for Social Enterprises in South Africa. 2011

Published by GreaterCapital 2011

ISBN: 978-92-2-124609-1

Subtitle: "Researched, compiled and written by GreaterCapital." The Guide to Finance for Social Enterprises is a collaborative effort between GreaterCapital, a subsidiary of the GreaterGood group, and the International Labour Organization (ILO). GreaterCapital is a social enterprise providing strategic impact investment advice that seeks to link sustainable, impactful organizations to capital, and to maximise the positive effect that they have on their beneficiaries. The ILO is the tripartite UN agency that brings together governments, employers and workers of its member states in common action to promote decent work throughout the world.

-1. Introduction
-2. What kind of enterprise are you?
-3. Should you be looking for outside finance?
-4. What type of finance should you be looking for?
-5. Who offers finance?
-6. How to position yourself for successful financing
-7. Glossary, bibliography and resource

Download this document here (PDF, 2.26MB, 60 pg)

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Developing a Financing Strategy

Published by Civicus

The toolkit will help you to develop a process for ensuring the financial sustainability of your organisation. We believe that thinking through a financing strategy for your organisation in a systematic way, and writing that strategy up as a basic reference document for the organisation, will help you towards gaining financial sustainability. If you use this toolkit in conjunction with other toolkits, you will increase the capacity of your organisation to plan for sustainability, and to generate the funds needed.

Download this document here (285.82 KB, PDF, 57 pg)

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Mango's Guide to Financial Management for NGOs.

Mango's Guide to Financial Management for NGOs provides practical advice to everyone working with NGOs, to help them use their funds effectively to meet beneficiaries' real needs. It is based on a real understanding of what NGOs do, from Mango's experience of working with NGOs around the world, in the field and in head office.
The Guide has five sections:
  1. Introduction - key responsibilities for trustees, senior managers, finance staff and donors. Principles of financial management for NGOs.
  2. Getting the Basics Right - the building blocks: keeping accounts, financial planning, financial monitoring and maintaining control. Also: working with beneficiaries, managing audits and legal requirements.
  3. Advanced Issues - financial sustainability, working with donors, giving and receiving grants, accountability (including cost-effectiveness) and overseeing controls.
  4. What NGOs Do - a short introduction to what NGOs do and what this means for managing their work. The important implications for managing NGOs are summed up as two golden rules.
  5. Resources - practical resources available to download and use, including Mango's highly-rated training manual, a complete financial system and Mango's Health Check, available in eight different languages.


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Sample Financial Reports


 There are three essential financial reports in any organization: the Balance Sheet, the Income Statement, and the Statement of Cash Flows. This section is covered in the technical note found above.

A Balance Sheet is always divided into two parts. The top half shows the organization's assets (what the organization owns and what others owe the organization), while the bottom half shows the organization's liabilities and equity (what the organization owes and has to pay out). The top and the bottom halves are always in balance; that is, they add up to the same amount. An example of a balance sheet can be found here.

An Income Statement records all the revenue your organization earns and the expenses it incurs over a predetermined period of time. By adding all the revenue your organization receives from selling goods or services and then subtracting the total cost of operating your organization, the income statement shows net profit.  An example of an income statement can be found here.  

The Statement of Cash Flows monitors the flow of cash in and out of your organization over a period of time. This statement also identifies the sources and uses of your organization's cash. An example of a statement of cash flows can be found here.


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Financial Control and Accountability.

CIVICUS. This toolkit provides an introduction for the non-financial manager or leader on controlling the finances of the organisation in such a way that the organisation can be held financially accountable. Download
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Financial Management - Handbook for CBOs

(2005) IDASA. To look after the past, present and future finances of your organisation means that financial management involves three different, but connected, jobs. They are:
- Financial planning (future); 
- Financial control (present); and 
- Financial monitoring (past).

To make these three jobs more understandable, this notebook starts with the broad concepts and then takes a look at each of the different jobs in more detail. It is, however, important to remember that the main goal of this notebook is to give a general idea of what financial management is and why it is important to a business or organisation. If possible, however, it is always advisable for an organisation to employ a qualified bookkeeper, either part-time or full-time, who already has a good understanding of the principles and responsibilities of financial management. 

Download PDF (1150KB) from IDASA website at, under Programmes, Institutional Capacity Building.

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Fiscal Management.

 Part of the National Minority AIDS Council “Organizational Effectiveness Manuals Series”.  The purpose of this training manual is to present the fundamentals and practical aspects of fiscal management.  Download PDF(2.49MB, 59 p) 

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Practical Financial Management for NGOs

Download Practical Financial Management for NGOs A Comprehensive Course handbook orientated towards getting the basics right.

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