Today’s blog post is written by Brie Jonna, Implementation Specialist, PatronManager.
Off the top of your head, if you were to name who is involved in understanding and making financial decisions at your organization, who comes to mind? Likely, your board of directors, or perhaps your executive-level management? Now think about whose actions affect your organization’s finances. Who sells the tickets? Who uses the office supplies? Who processes the donations? Have the people in those roles ever been made aware of how they personally affect your organization’s finances and overall success? If not, shouldn’t they?
Before coming to work here at PatronManager, I held a variety of roles (including office management, marketing and outreach, and financial management) both in arts organizations, and other small local businesses. What I learned while bookkeeping at one of those businesses, an incredible local restaurant and market, really stuck with me. They followed a model called The Great Game of Business, which at its core encourages every employee to operate as if they own the business.
One of the key components and probably most well-known facet of The Great Game is open book finance (also known as open-book management). Put simply, open book finance is the practice of allowing everyone at your business access to your financial records. Because of the nature of the business model, many non-profits already practice open book finance, even if not intentionally; but if you’re not one of them, there are many advantages to consider.
Even though non-profits are not driven by the bottom line, financial stability is still deeply important and necessary for a mission to be fulfilled. Having an organization that is financially strong can only help you focus on your mission without having to cut corners for lack of resources. Many of the principles of open book finance can be applied at your organization to help you achieve that financial strength as well as engage employees, and have staff at all levels of your organization making informed decisions. Read the Article