The Nonprofit CFO As An Internal Spokesperson

You’re looking for grants. Why should you read on?

A strong relationship with your CFO is important because:

  • Foundations will want to know if you have the infrastructure to be able to report accurately on the grants.
  • They will want detailed information about what the money is being used for, which requires coordination with program and finance.
  • Understanding the financial health of your organization will allow funders to evaluate if you are capable of meeting your programming or operational goals.
  • Funders are concerned about how nonprofits look at risk, cash flow and debt ratios. The stronger your partnership and communication are with the head of finance, the more honest you can be with the funder about your organization’s needs, which will help you gain foundation support.

The skill set that is necessary to be an efficient nonprofit chief financial officer (CFO) has broadened in response to the changing landscape of the nonprofit sector. A CFO that is merely equipped to manage your organization’s finances isn’t enough to stimulate impact and growth. The CFO’s ability to convey messages about the organization’s financial health plays a central role in its success.

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About Sue Waterbury

Sue Waterbury is the Vice-President of DRG. Her areas of expertise are in helping international relief, poverty, and health and human services organizations recruit new leadership in the areas of development, finance and executive management. Prior to her work in executive search, she spent more than 20 years working in the financial sector.

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