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Harvard Kennedy School

Nonprofit Financial Stewardship: Concepts and Techniques for Strategic Management

Harvard Kennedy School Online Executive Education Programs
Oct 14—Nov 17
USD 2200

How it works


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Sound financial management is critical to the long-term health of any nonprofit organization.

The challenge for nonprofit executives, though, is to strike a balance between creating public value and managing the bottom line. Senior executives leading nonprofits need the ability to read financial reports accurately, ask the right questions of their financial officers and make strategic management decisions based on a solid understanding of the general business principles that apply to all organizations.

Understanding Nonprofit Finances

Nonprofit Financial Stewardship: Concepts and Techniques for Strategic Management is a four-week online program designed to help managers in nonprofit organizations understand the tools, techniques and concepts of good financial management. This nonprofit financial stewardship executive program represents a unique learning opportunity for nonprofit and nongovernmental organization managers to interact with Professor James P. Honan of Harvard Kennedy School as well as with colleagues around the world.

Nonprofit Financial Stewardship focuses on four topics:

  • Mission, money and impact
  • Understanding financial statements
  • Tools, frameworks and concepts in financial management
  • Budgeting and resource allocation


Nonprofit Financial Stewardship: Concepts and Techniques for Strategic Management is a four-week online program made up of four modules. The program combines readings, online discussion, videos and a workbook exercise, all of which allow you to apply the information learned in each module directly to your organization.

Module 1: Mission, Money and Impact: "Money for What?”

How does a nonprofit know if it’s achieving its goals? What is your organization’s key performance challenge? What are you trying to accomplish and how does that link to your organization's financial plan?

You'll be invited to:

  • Share information about your organization’s mission, its overall financial condition and its impact in the world.
  • Identify a key challenge that you and your organization face in the areas of strategic financial management and financial stewardship.
  • Create a draft logic model for one of the key strategic priorities of your organization.

Module 2: Understanding Financial Statements

How do financial statements work?

You'll use tools to analyze your financial statements and answer questions about your organization’s financial challenges.

Module 3: Tools, Frameworks and Concepts in Financial Management

How can you better understand your financials?

You'll do exercises to understand cost accounting, pricing, break-even analysis and ratio analysis.

Module 4: Budgeting and Resource Allocation

How do you allocate your financial resources? How do you think about budget cutbacks? What data are you supposed to track to ensure your financial resources are allocated effectively?

You'll engage in a case discussion and an interactive exercise.

Who should attend

Nonprofit Financial Stewardship: Concepts and Techniques for Strategic Management is an online program designed to reach an audience of nonprofit and NGO managers from around the world.

Recommended applicants include nonprofit and nongovernmental organization:

  • Chief executive officers
  • General managers
  • Program staff

Participants in this four-week online program will follow the same guidelines as their colleagues attending on-campus programs, where participation is based on thorough preparation and active engagement throughout the program. Each two-week module can be expected to take at least 10 hours of work.


James P. Honan is Senior Lecturer at the Graduate School of Education. Honan’s teaching and research interests include financial management of nonprofit organizations, organizational performance measurement and management, and higher-education administration. At Harvard, he is Educational Cochair...


Detailed Description
Detailed Description

Next dates

Oct 14—Nov 17
USD 2200

How it works

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