FMA’s approach to cohort-based capacity building is informed by more than 15 years of experience helping nonprofit organizations of all kinds surmount their most trying financial challenges. For initiative-level work, we begin with a cohort-level engagement strategy to establish buy-in from individual organizations. We then develop individual relationships with an assessment of a client organization’s particular needs, then work with them to formulate a work plan for addressing those needs through a structured intervention that builds the skills necessary to implement the plan. Next, we provide follow-up as a partner in troubleshooting and executing the plan’s implementation. And, finally, we take stock of what we have accomplished with a frank and transparent evaluation of the outcomes.
A new study examines FMA’s work on a Wallace Foundation-sponsored initiative aimed at improving the financial management skills and practices of 25 Chicago afterschool providers through training and coaching. The report details two models for this professional development that we delivered and shows that each produced long-lasting improvements. Moreover, organizations receiving the less-expensive group training and coaching improved almost as much as those receiving more intensive customized coaching.
We’re exceedingly proud of this validation of our Strategic Financial Management Initiative, and we are thrilled to share it with you. Click here to download the full report! For a more concise summary of the work, you can download the Executive Summary here.
For a colorful story from the midst of the engagement, download Stories from the Field: Fiscal Fitness for Nonprofits
An exploratory study FMA conducted as the basis for the design of this initiative is available here: Administrative Management Capacity in Out-of-School Time Organizations
Are you interested in learning what others have to say? Read some of the coverage:
- An article by Wallace Foundation’s Nancy Devine in The Foundation Review, a peer-reviewed journal of philanthropic practice, digests the findings of the formal evaluation and identifies some lessons learned. Click here to download The Groundwork for Successful Cohort-Based Fiscal Capacity-Building: An Evaluation of the Strengthening Financial Management Initiative.
- “In a webinar on Thursday, May 28th, Child Trends and partners discussed how nonprofit executives benefited from an innovative professional development program funded by The Wallace Foundation, and how other nonprofit leaders can improve their financial management skills.” See a recording of the webinar here or below:
- Philanthropy News Digest: The Skills to Pay the Bills: An Evaluation of an Effort to Help Nonprofits Manage Their Finances
- ChildTrends: Strong Fiscal Management is Key to Nonprofit Sustainability
- Education Week: After-School Nonprofits at Risk From Poor Money-Management Skills, Study Finds
- Wegner CPAs Blog: With Cost-Effective Training, Nonprofits Can Improve Financial Management Practices
Would you like to be part of the discussion, or do you have a question about the study? Contact Andrew Schwalm at 212-931-9112 or firstname.lastname@example.org