This webinar by BDO USA, LLP focuses in on part of their most recent nonprofit benchmarking survey, specifically the perspectives of nonprofit CFOs. The webinar begins by focusing on four challenges in which CFO responses differ from other C-Suite executives:

  1. Liquidity – 34% of CFOs rate maintaining adequate liquidity as moderate to highly challenging compared to 17% of the broader C-Suite.
  2. Rising Overhead Costs – 67% of CFOs rate this as moderate to highly challenging compared to 50% of the broader C-Suite.
  3. Regulatory Compliance Burdens – 52% of CFOs rate this as moderate to highly challenging compared to only 38% of the broader C-Suite.
  4. Cybersecurity – 50% of CFOs and 57% of the broader C-Suite agree this is a moderate to highly challenging problem for nonprofit boards.

The webinar continues by offering some of their suggested best practices for how nonprofit CFOs can collaborate effectively with other leaders. The first best practice, “Connect Dots,” focuses on integrating the financial position with the mission strategy. Nonprofits, much like for-profit businesses, operate within a resource-constrained environment – in light of this, they must be strategic in how they deploy the resources they have if they want to maximize their success in achieving their missions. The second key point of focus is “Communicate Early and Often.” This point centers around “avoiding surprises in the budgeting process,” meaning that it is important to make sure that other members of the C-Suite and the board know and understand the resources they have to work with in a given year or planning cycle. The final key point of focus offered by the webinar is to “focus on risk,” specifically from cybersecurity to compliance. Unlike risk in an investment portfolio, risk in operations is never compensated. Everything that the board and C-Suite leadership can do to minimize this risk will pay off in the long term for nonprofit organizations looking to succeed in their missions. 

Our View

We believe that this webinar and the overall benchmarking content from BDO is a must-read for nonprofit leaders of all sizes, scopes, and types.

It is important for nonprofit organizations to be able to compare themselves against a benchmark of their peers.

The four challenges mentioned (maintaining liquidity, rising overhead costs, regulatory compliance burdens, and cybersecurity) are significantly important issues facing nonprofit leadership. Addressing these with a common front can help to make sure they do not become material issues that could prevent mission success.

  • This webinar by BDO USA, LLP focuses in on the CFO’s perspective portion of their recent nonprofit benchmarking survey.
  • Four key issue areas that are addressed include maintaining liquidity, rising overheard costs, regulatory compliance burdens, and cybersecurity. To address these, the webinar suggests “connecting dots,” “communicate early and often,” and “focus on risk.”

Visit BDO's website to watch the webinar and read more