Financial Leadership for Nonprofit Executives

Guiding Your Organization to Long-term Success

You don't have to be a trained accountant or have an MBA to be a financial leader. This useful guide makes the process understandable and doable. You'll find clear, logical steps to learn how to get accurate financial data-in a format you can understand.

134 pages. ©2005.
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Reader Reviews for this Book

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Review posted February 1, 2023


This is a wonderful book that provides a clear and logical approach to establishing and ensuring a culture of financial sustainability within a nonprofit organization. Even after serving on a board for a number of years, it was nice to have such a clear framework laid out in such an understandable way.


Review posted November 15, 2022


Excellent foundational book for new executive directors of nonprofits.


Review posted October 15, 2022


Great reference for anyone working on nonprofit budgeting or financial planning. Lots of examples and worksheets to help you think through the budgeting and planning process. I recommend this tool for board members and nonprofit staff.


Review posted August 19, 2022


A great hybrid between a textbook and an evening read. Financial Leadership has excellent background for someone between the beginning and intermediate level. I greatly appreciated it and will continue to consult it

Nan Devlin

Review posted July 15, 2022


This book provided a much needed outline when setting up our nonprofit. It provided a template for a financial vision.


Review posted June 25, 2022


This was a helpful succinct guide to financial leadership for non-profit executives. I have an undergraduate level degree in accounting (that I've not really used for 20 years) so it possible that I was more familiar with some of the concepts than people might be with no background, but I think the book would be helpful and pretty accessible either way. It does a good job of defining terms and they use a fictitious but realistic non-profit example throughout the book to demonstrate concepts. While the book focused on organizations larger and more complex than the two non-profit boards I serve on, I think the information was helpful for me to get a better idea of next steps for moving forward. I'd recommend it to other well-meaning folks involved in keeping non-profit organizations healthy or launched (i.e. boards, staff, etc).


Review posted June 16, 2022


This is a great book for new executives or to give new board members the knowledge required to do their financial duties.

Karen Lundstrom

Review posted June 3, 2022


This is an excellent resource for explaining how nonprofit finance works. If you have no training, or only a little background in for-profit accounting and finance, this will help you track and asses your organization's financial health. Easily accessible for novices and anyone who needs to get information to them.


Review posted May 2, 2022


An OUTSTANDING resource. This is an excellent resource for explaining how nonprofit finance works/pitfalls and other insights. If you have no training, or only a little background in for-profit accounting and finance, this will help you track and asses your organization's financial health. Great for board members directors and anyone who needs to get information to them. I found the book to be an easy read but with very pertinent and important information. It talks about and looks to somewhat dispel the myth of profits earned by non-profits in a logical way. It also talks about considerations that are important for the all financial folks in the organization, especially the treasurer when it comes to planning and positioning the non-profit for future growth and success in the long term.


Review posted January 10, 2022


Great book for the just starting Non-Profit Executive really explains in plan language the basic fundamentals of finance in a typical non-profit. Highly recommended!


Review posted November 23, 2021


As a new executive director with primary skills in people and program management, this book has been a lifesaver in helping to understand key concepts and best practices.


Review posted November 17, 2021


I am not a great numbers person but I am trying to help my nonprofit get stronger and grow in my leadership skills in this field. There are some concrete details in this book and it came across as organized and helpful without being overly business focused.


Review posted September 20, 2021


This book gave me great examples to share with the finance and administrative teams so that we can all get on the "same page" when it comes to financial reports!


Review posted August 18, 2021


Our nonprofit really needed the direction this book provided. This was eay to understand and access the parts we needed.


Review posted July 16, 2021


Loved this book. Absolutely great guide. Must read!


Review posted February 26, 2021


This book was helpful and informative. The information in the book gave me very good guidance in talking to our program directors and managers that do not have a strong financial back ground. I had been finding it increasingly frustrating to review the same concepts over and over again. There were many areas in the book that I was able to work through with employees so that we were could more easily work on financial reporting that would be useful for them to manage. I know that at least one of these managers now has their own copy and another one, has my copy on permanent loan.


Review posted February 2, 2021


This book was very helpful, easy to understand, and shared good concepts that could be put to use with ease. I would recommend this!


Review posted January 7, 2021


I selected "Financial Leadership for Nonprofit Executives: Guiding your Organization to Long-term Success" to help prepare our new organization for the future. The book is a nice guide for young nonprofits. Nonprofit leaders, new to their position will gain more security with this book at your fingertips. The Chapter that provided for me the most guidance, is Chapter 4: Financial Planning. I also found Chapter 5: Communicating Progress the most thought provoking.


Review posted January 3, 2021


This is a wonderful resource to our organization. It will be shared with our administrators as well as the Board of Directors.


Review posted November 16, 2020


This book is a very comprehensive resource for folks that want to learn more about how to read and understand nonprofit financials. I have been working in finance and executive leadership for many years and this book was useful for me as a staff person, a board member, and helping others that are looking at our financials.


Review posted February 26, 2020


This is a good intermediate level book on nonprofit finance, complete with practical leadership tips. It is a lot of content to digest if you do not already have a basic understanding of nonprofit finance.


Review posted February 26, 2020


It has helped our corporation and board members understand the financial information that is presented and have clearer oversight over the monthly reports and the yearly budgets.


Review posted February 21, 2020


This book was extremely helpful.


Review posted October 23, 2019


The information i received out of this book is phenomonal and will share with the Board and let them read as well.


Review posted July 25, 2019


A clear presentation of budgeting and financial concepts for non-profit leaders (including program managers). Chock full of great examples to train audiences in reading financial information and telling financial stories. Also provides approaches for assessing programmatic cost effectiveness and spending. A great tool for discussions with leadership or for addressing places where an organization may be stuck.


Review posted July 9, 2019


This book came recommended to me. I appreciate the tools to help get accurate financial data. Also the "Red, Yellow, Green" evaluation relates to my background with lean manufacturing, this provides a quick visual indication of the areas we need to focus on. We have been working over the years to improve our financial data, this book is another step forward on that journey.


Review posted May 10, 2019


Solid financial tips for all nonprofit organizations. Written in plain English. Keep handy on your reference shelf.


Review posted April 2, 2019


I loved this book. It covered the basic steps involved with financial management and formatting in non-profit organizations . I can apply this information for the non-profit that I currently serve.


Review posted July 24, 2018


The book is easy to read and an essential read for those who have all volunteer working boards. Managing the finances for a nonprofit is important for 990's and the future growth of the nonprofit corporation.


Review posted March 12, 2018


This book provides practical suggestions and can be used with 'non-finance' board members to help build their capacity and oversight of the organization.


Review posted March 9, 2018


As the board chair of a 300K nonprofit, I found this book to be more in depth that I needed. As the title states it if for Nonproift Executives and probably larger nonprofits at that. I'm sure the concepts are valid for all nonprofits. It was a little too much for me in my role at our nonprofit.


Review posted November 28, 2017


Very interesting and helpful.


Review posted September 29, 2017


provides a basic overview of the key financial reports needed to understand and question a nonprofit for a board member with no financial or accounting background

Robert Crawford

Review posted September 28, 2017


I found Financial Leadership very informative with usable graphics and understandable text.


Review posted August 28, 2017


This book is basic and too the point. The charts and pictures make it easy to understand for all types of learners.


Review posted May 20, 2017


This book provides valuable insight into how to prepare your nonprofit for financial success and how to be a goo dtseward.


Review posted February 22, 2017


Great illustrations, easy to transition right into practical application. Keeping it nearby for easy reference


Review posted October 30, 2016


An excellent resource book on financial leadership, especially for executive directors with limited background in finances. It's a fairly easy read but packed with relevant information on resource management.