United Way of Central Indiana supports more than 100 programs and agencies, all with missions to help those in need. That help may be financial, emotional, educational or a combination of all three. Without United Way's focus on education, income, health and basic needs, countless Hoosiers would be homeless, hungry, battered or illiterate. The list goes on.
That is where I come in. I speak to agencies and their boards about the uncomfortable thing others don’t want to...their finances. I volunteer my time and expertise to train organizations about the importance of cash flow and why planning and budgeting are so important.
I teach current and potential board members what they should be looking for on financial statements. I explain how to put controls in place to help prevent fraud and why getting a grant is not always a good thing. Glamorous? Not really. Rewarding? Absolutely!
I truly enjoy these opportunities to give back by educating local nonprofit agencies. I am particularly gratified when I read on the evaluation forms what the attendees have learned and will put to use in their own organizations.
Here are some comments from recent attendees about the most interesting thing they learned in the session:
- "The ratio information will be immediately useful."
- "How to read the financial statements."
- "The board should review the 990 along with the audit."
For agencies to fulfill their missions and serve as many people as possible, they must be able to sustain themselves. Although the conversations can be difficult and often times eye opening, I am honored to offer training and assistance to the agencies served by United Way of Central Indiana. Let’s LIVE UNITED to continue helping people learn more, earn more and lead safe and healthy lives through United Way.
--Barb Bitzer, CPA, principal, Simons Bitzer & Associates, P.C.