UHV workshop strives to make nonprofit budgets easier to understand

Jan. 5, 2013 at 5:04 p.m.
Updated Jan. 4, 2013 at 7:05 p.m.

The final workshop in a three-part series for those working or volunteering at nonprofit organizations will delve into how to understand a variety of financial reports and practices.

The Victoria College/University of Houston-Victoria Library is hosting the workshop Jan. 18 to assist nonprofit groups with improving budgetary performance.

"Typically, there's not a lot of financial expertise on volunteer boards," said Joe Dahlstrom, VC/UHV senior director of libraries. "It's important for board members to have a firm grasp of financial issues so that they can make the best use of their funding."

Amanda Breu, instruction and outreach librarian at the VC/UHV Library, said the workshop will be useful for those who have to create or approve budgets.

"It will be really beneficial to anyone in a nonprofit organization who plays a role in dealing with the budget in one way or another," Breu said. "Whether it's fundraising or monitoring existing money, a sound understanding of financial practices can ensure the organization has enough funds to support all the different programs and staff throughout the year."

The workshop will teach participants how to distinguish between restricted and unrestricted funds and how to understand the relationship between financial duties and fundraising obligations.

Also during the workshop, participants will learn an overview of key budgeting and financial decisions and how to discuss a standard operational budget template. Lessons regarding balance and profit/loss sheets also will be incorporated.

Rose Mary Fry, owner of RMF Consulting in San Antonio, will lead the workshop. She specializes in strategic planning, nonprofit finance, fundraising and board governance. Fry previously served as the founding executive director of the Texas Nonprofit Management Assistance Network and the executive director of the Nonprofit Resource Center of Texas.

"Ms. Fry is an excellent trainer because she brings her personal experience to the workshops," Breu said. "She has more than 35 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations, both as a board member and in a consulting role. She spends some time getting to know the people attending and what organizations they are representing, so she can ask questions and give examples that are specific to the attendees."

The previous workshops focused on grant writing and nonprofit board members' roles and responsibilities.

The workshop series is supported by grants from the Trull Foundation, Gulf Coast Medical Foundation and M.G. and Lillie A. Johnson Foundation.



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