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Welcome to the Financial Management for Non-Profits course brought to you by Carmichael. We hope that you enjoy the course!



Course Overview

Every non-profit organisation must manage its finances in a transparent and effective manner. Indeed, funders, donors and beneficiaries, very much depend on board directors and trustees to make best use of all of an organisation’s resources, finance included. In this course, we will take a practical look at the elements of financial management that non-profits must get right.


Target Audience

This course is designed with the needs of social enterprises and growing non-profits in mind. It provides a practical hands-on approach to financial management for directors, senior managers and supervisors who do not have a background in accounting or finance.


Course Structure

The course is divided into 6 component parts and takes approx. 3 hours to review. Participants should allow for additional time to review the practical templates and suggested reading material which accompany the course. Topics are self-contained to facilitate micro-learning for the time conscious participant.


Lesson 1: Introduction to Financial Management

This lesson provides an overview of the elements of financial management and provides a helpful glossary of terms typically used in accounting and business language.

Topic 1: The Language of Finance

Topic 2: Four Elements of Effective Financial Management

Topic 3: Working with an Accountant


Lesson 2: Planning and Budgeting

Planning and budgeting are one of the cornerstone elements of financial management. Aside from ensuring that a workable and resourced plan of action is in place, non-profit boards and managers must also consider the risks associated with their organisations, the level of reserves to hold and sources of funding.

Topic 4: The Role of Planning

Topic 5: Cash Flow and Sustainability

Topic 6: Sources of Funding

Topic 7: The Role of Reserves

Topic 8: Risk Management


Lesson 3: Financial Bookkeeping

The element most commonly associated with financial management, financial bookkeeping requires organisations to keep proper books of account so that a true picture of assets, liabilities, income, expenditure and cash flow can be ascertained at all times.

Topic 9: Bookkeeping Fundamentals

Topic 10: Record Keeping

Topic 11: Costing Products and Services


Lesson 4: Financial Controls

Transparency and accountability are essential in any non-profit organisation. Hence, a number of financial controls are required to manage the finance function in an effective manner.

Topic 12: Setting Financial Controls

Topic 13: Procurement


Lesson 5: Financial Reporting

The fourth element of financial management focuses on financial reporting. Every non-profit organisation produces financial reports of varying levels of detail and complexity.

Topic 14: Financial Reporting – Technical Requirements

Topic 15: Interpreting Financial Statements

Topic 16: Data for Board Decision-making


Lesson 6: Financial Management Quick Links

In this final lesson, we provide a fast and easy-to-access list of all the templates and practical resources covered during lesson topics. Upon completion of the course, the lesson page can be accessed time and again to access and download practical ready to use forms and policy documents.


Carmichael would like to acknowledge this project was approved by Government with support from the Dormant Accounts Fund.


The content provided in this elearning resource is not exhaustive and should not be construed as advice. The resource is intended to aid in the development of human resource management knowledge by participants completing the course. If you plan to use the content and especially the policy templates and other sample documents accompanying this course in your organisation, please ensure that you first adapt them to suit your own requirements. No liability can be accepted for any consequences arising from the use of the content provided in this course.


Course Commencement & General Instructions

  1. Please progress through each of the lessons in the course sequentially.
  2. To move from one lesson page to another, click on the ‘Mark Complete’ button located at the end of each lesson page. Once you have clicked the ‘Mark Complete’ button, you may then progress to the next lesson in the course.
  3. Some lesson pages contain interactive resources. To open an interactive resource, click the orange ‘Launch’ button contained on the web page. Click on the ‘Next’ buttons or arrows within each interactive resource to move from one screen to the next within each of these resources.
  4. Document names in blue within a lesson or topic page denote that the document is available to download. Just click on the document name (in blue) to open it for viewing and download.