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Can you please describe the roles that staff and board members play in the strategic planning process?

Posted on by Gina

Thank you for your question, Susan. As you are aware, strategic planning is the process of establishing longer-term goals for an organization – typically for a three to five year period. Strategic planning is important for all organizations as it helps to provide a context for the day-to-day efforts of staff and volunteers, and ensure…

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Our organization has a small pool of funders and would like to increase it to improve the long-term viability of the organization. What specific recommendations or resources would you suggest to aid in that process?

Posted on by Gina

Our organization has a small pool of funders and would like to increase it to improve the long-term viability of the organization. What specific recommendations or resources would you suggest to aid in that process? Diversifying your funding sources is an important step in ensuring your organization’s sustainability.  It is important to explore a mix…

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Question: My board wants to be involved in the day-to-day decisions of the organization. How do I help them to understand their role?

Posted on by Gina

Answer: It is common in the sector for boards to want to involve themselves in day-to-day issues, especially with smaller organizations. However, there are a couple of key risks associated with this approach, most importantly, if the board is focusing on operational or even tactical issues, they will “miss the forest for the trees”. Remember,…

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Question: How much detail should be in the monthly financial reports to the board?

Posted on by Gina

Answer: The board should receive financial information in a consolidated format. They should be focusing on month-to-month or year-over-year trending, and significant variances, not on the minutia. Detailed financial reports should be provided for the Executive Director and Finance Committee. Please refer to our Resources page for sample report formats.


Question: How do I create a reserve fund and how much do I need?

Posted on by Gina

Answer: Every organization should have a reserve fund, very much in the same way that every individual should have savings. Money in reserve is set aside for specific projects, emergencies, unbudgeted expenses, short-falls, legal issues, and closures. Reserves can be ‘built’ over time, using surpluses generated from fundraising, donations, memberships, and fees for service. The…

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