Financial Planning: Top 5 Courses For Nonprofits

Cersai Stark

Cersai Stark

An organization will require a good knowledge of accounting systems to operate efficiently. Likewise, financial planning is an essential component of a nonprofit plan. It provides a great way to measure the performance of an organization. 


Financial Planning
Financial Planning


  • One of the critical needs for nonprofits is carrying out sound financial planning.
  • Financial planning ensures the sustainability of an organization as it provides the strategy for securing financial resources


What are the top financial planning courses for nonprofits?

In this section, we will consider a few financial planning courses and programs that can equip nonprofit leaders to handle financial resources. 

1. Nonprofit Finance (Rice University)

The Nonprofit Finance Certificate from Rice University assists individuals with the resources and tools for handling their organization’s finances. 

By and large, many nonprofits struggle in some areas of financial management. Some of the outputs of proper financial management include financial statements or reporting, policy, planning, analysis, and strategy, among others. Hence, the Nonprofit Finance certificate course seeks to address these issues while teaching participants how to develop long-term financial plans.

The cohort aspect of the program allows discussion on case studies with individuals serving organizations with differing interests and viewpoints. By and large, this equips participants to gain a deeper understanding of how to apply the program material. The program is intended for executive directors, CFOs, and CDOs as well as nonprofit employees aspiring to high leadership positions 

2. Nonprofit Financial Stewardship (Harvard Kennedy School)

This four-week online program is designed to assist nonprofit managers to learn the tools, processes, and ideas of excellent financial management. To begin with, a nonprofit organization’s long-term health depends on sound financial management. Hence, nonprofit leaders must strike a balance between producing public benefit and managing the bottom line. 

Likewise, senior executives running nonprofit organizations must be able to accurately interpret financial reports, ask the right questions of their financial officers, and make strategic management decisions. Participants in the Nonprofit Stewardship course will learn how to understand financial statements, budgeting and resource allocation, tools, and Frameworks and Concepts in Financial Management. 

3. Nonprofit Finance: Toolkit for Leaders (Kellogg)

The Nonprofit Finance course equips nonprofit leaders with how to identify threats to a nonprofit’s financial sustainability and how to ask the right questions. Also, participants will be guided by experts in nonprofit finance and accounting. The goal of the course is to provide students with a good understanding of how to successfully manage an organization’s financial resources.

The Nonprofit Finance program is available in a virtual live format. Live virtual programs are designed to provide a rich experience similar to in-person seminars. Both live conversations and lecture sessions allow for interaction with the faculty and classmates. 

4. Financial Success for Nonprofits (eCornell) 

The Certificate in Financial Success for Nonprofits prepares nonprofit executives and prospective leaders to focus on purpose while attaining financial sustainability. Likewise, participants get to learn how to use financial statements and ratios, establish board governance and strategic leadership, raise funds, generate alternative revenue sources, and make strategic programmatic changes. All in all, the course is suitable for individuals working at a well-established nonprofit or a new nonprofit organization.

5. Master of Nonprofit Management – Financial Management (Liberty University)

The Master of Nonprofit Management course provides individuals with the resources and tools to assist their organizations in making sound financial decisions. Hence, the program teaches participants how to assist NGOs of all sizes in acquiring new funding, establishing sustainable goals, and achieving financial stability.

The master’s degree program can help nonprofit leaders pursue their goals both for those already working in the nonprofit sector and those wishing to explore the industry for the first time. Participants will learn how to establish strategic plans and innovative solutions using best practices in nonprofit governance and finance. 


To sum up, one of the critical needs for nonprofits is carrying out sound financial planning. This applies to both new organizations as well as organizations seeking to expand their accounting staff. Financial planning ensures the sustainability of an organization as it provides the strategy for securing the financial resources required to carry out a nonprofit’s goals and objectives. 

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