Workshop helps nonprofit board members understand finances |

Workshop helps nonprofit board members understand finances

What is the difference between a balance sheet and profit and loss statement? What about between cash flow and profits? Why are projections important for organizations?

All of these questions — and many more — will be answered during a half-day workshop Oct. 8 in Grass Valley.

“A nonprofit is a business,” said Judy Nichols, a veteran certified public accountant and former chief financial officer for an insurance company. But she said many board members are not comfortable with financial reports, from balance sheets to cash flow statements.

“They want to be of service to organizations and have a fiduciary responsibility,” Nichols said. “What they’re looking at often seems like gobbledygook.”

The Center for Nonprofit Leadership of Nevada County and Nichols will present “Demystifying Finances: What Every Board Member Needs to Know,” a four-hour workshop Oct. 8 at United Methodist Church, 236 S. Church St., Grass Valley.

Registration is $100 for five members of an organization to attend — basically, $20 per person — and $5 for each additional member. Nonmember organizations pay $150 for five members to attend and $10 for each additional person. Registration deadline is Oct. 4.

Nichols will educate board members, executive directors and staff about how to make sense of the numbers.

“I want it to be in plain English,” she said.

Nichols will cover financial documents, including profit and loss statements, while outlining the importance for short- and long-term projections for organizations.

“I’m trying to give them a sense of the business,” she said. “They need to see what happens in every situation.”

Attendees should bring a sack dinner, since the fee includes only light refreshment. CNL can arrange boxed meals for groups. Contact the CNL administrator at for details.

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