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Bridging Strategy and Finance: A leadership lab series for nonprofit leaders

March 19, 2021 @ 1:00 pm4:00 pm EDT

Bridging Strategy & Finance: A leadership lab series for nonprofit leaders

We’re online! This leadership lab series will meet online through Zoom. All registrants will receive the access link and password via email.

A three-session course for those holding executive, board member, or chief financial officer (or similar) roles at nonprofit organizations

The chief financial officer (CFO) in any organization plays a vital role in sustainability and mission effectiveness. Today, the individuals in these roles face particular pressures in light of the global economic crisis and our uncertain future.

If you’re in a position overseeing your nonprofit’s finances, “Bridging Strategy and Finance” will provide you with the tools and resources you need to strengthen your organization. Together with experts from the financial services field and nonprofit peers, we’ll explore the strategies, systems, and communications techniques you can use to best steward your organization’s financial future.

This three-session course is designed to combine learning opportunities and workshopping breakouts to engage CFOs, CEOs/executive directors, board members, and development staff. Build your essential leadership team and strengthen your organization’s vital financial backbone by working through this series together.

Key Outcomes:

  • Discover communications strategies that can help you effectively share financial information with staff, board members, and others.
  • Unpack the value of the CFO’s role in driving mission impact by bringing a financial perspective to programming, operations, and organizational strategy.
  • Explore the continued impact of the COVID-19 crisis to help your organization plan for an uncertain future.

Participants will meet virtually, once per month, for three months.

Price: $179
Mandy Sharp Eizinger, Tamela Spicer, Jeff Williams, and Christina Hardy
Deadline to Register: March 12


Meeting Dates & Times

This leadership lab includes three sessions. Participants will meet virtually on March 19, April 16, and May 21. This lab is a live, interactive experience. It will not be recorded or made available to registrants after the end of the live sessions.

Session 1  //  Friday, March 19  //  1–4 p.m. (ET)
Reporting for results: Communications strategies to use with your team
No team can succeed without effective communications. Yet, for so many in our sector, financial conversations feel like they’re held in a different language – one that only a few practitioners can speak. In this first session of the leadership lab, we will explore how to:

  • effectively frame financial questions for a non-financial audience,
  • report key financial information, and
  • differentiate your communication approach for specific audiences such as your CEO/ED, board, and/or development staff.

With these communication strategies in place, your audiences will gain a greater understanding of their role in taking the budget from Excel spreadsheets to implementation.

Session 2  //  Friday, April 16 //  1–4 p.m. (ET)
From spreadsheets to strategies: Using financial reports to inform strategic decisions
This interactive session will focus on helping your organization make sense of financial reports in order to inform strategic decisions. Through engaging discussions with CFOs and CEOs/EDs, we will explore how you can use the budgeting process and financial reports to ensure your strategic plan doesn’t become an unfulfilled wish list.

Together, we will share tools and tips to:

  • help CFOs and CEOs/EDs connect financial practices and systems to the organization’s strategic framework,
  • represent strategic priorities in financial reports,
  • use financial reports for program and strategy evaluation.

Session 3  //  Friday, May 21 //  1–4 p.m. (ET)
Is the new normal here yet? Catch your breath & reset.
Nonprofits have had to make many new decisions in navigating the COVID-19 crisis, and every indicator suggests that further new decisions and processes will be needed to thrive in the near future. In the final session of this leadership lab, we will:

  • reflect on changes in the field and decisions your specific organizations have made in order to determine what we can collectively learn from these choices;
  • take a moment to explore what that future might look like and how your ideas might show up in your work; and
  • share templates, resources, and activities to help your organization adapt for the next budgeting cycle and/or strategic planning session.


This series is generously sponsored by:

Logo: Plante Moran


Photo: Mandy Sharp Eizinger
Mandy Sharp Eizinger, M.S., is a program manager at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy. Mandy brings to her role training in Gallup Strengths Coaching and a people-centered approach to developing individuals and programs to make meaningful and measurable impact. Learn more about Mandy.

Photo: Tamela Spicer
Tamela Spicer, M.A., is a program manager at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy. She specializes in board development, change management, fund development, strategic thinking, and is particularly skilled in working with faith-based organizations. Learn more about Tamela.

Photo: Jeff Williams
Jeff Williams, M.A., M.B.A., is the director of the Community Data and Research Lab (CDRL) at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy. Williams oversees a staff of researchers, database experts, and web developers who promote access to data and provide insights into nonprofit and philanthropic organizations and activities. He oversees the lab’s annual research agenda, supervises staff, and is a member of the Johnson Center’s leadership team. Learn more about Jeff.

Photo: Chris Hardy
Christina Hardy, CPA, is a partner at Plante Moran. With more than 15 years of accounting, auditing, and tax experience, she advises not-for-profits on the many financial aspects of their organization so they can move the needle on their missions. Christina specializes in human services organizations, foundations, economic development organizations, and grant-funded organizations. She is Plante Moran’s West Michigan not-for-profit leader, a member of the firm’s not-for-profit quality review group, and one of the firm’s Women in Leadership champions. Learn more about Christina.


March 19, 2021
1:00 pm–4:00 pm EDT
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