National Association of Counties - 2014 Achievement Award for Montgomery County DHHS FIRM Program

Financial Leadership in Practice

Financial Leadership unlocks the power of financial management as a strategy, evaluation, and leadership development process that improves an organization's ability to successfully create community change. By tying the financial, programmatic, operational, and leadership efforts of an organization together, we develop a richer understanding of the organizations we serve, the benefit of our work in the community, and we ensure that we are accounting for and allocating our resources so that they contribute to effectively fulfilling our mission today while also reinforcing our sustainability moving forward.

About the Seminar: Financial Leadership in Practice, Orgforward's flagship financial leadership program, is a unique approach to building financial leadership capacity within community benefit organizations. Bringing together leaders including board members, senior staff, and financial practitioners, the program engages participants in active learning, exploring the context, infrastructure, communication, and assessment needed to leverage financial management for greater organizational and community benefit. The areas addressed throughout the workshop include:

  • Identifying the context for financial leadership success and benefit to an organization's ability to advance its vision 
  • Deepening the understanding of how financial literacy and management should contribute to and support vision and mission execution throughout an organization
  • Building financial leadership teams that include governance, programmatic, operational, and financial voices
  • Developing strategies that improve financial literacy and strategic conversations across an organization
  • Examining the financial architecture and planning needed to support strategic thinking and effective business modelling for accountability and sustainability
  • Improving financial communication, clarifying the role financial reporting plays in evaluating organizational effectiveness and efficiency in achieving mission and vision goals
  • Developing compelling narratives that illustrate both the financial and community benefit success of an organization (Return on Mission)
  • Evaluating organizational integrity and risks to sustainability

Intended Audience: The greatest benefit is to organizations that are able to commit a team of leaders to the program. Recommended team members include Treasurer or Board Chair, Chief Executive (Executive Director), and the senior finance staff/volunteer member (CFO, COO, finance director, office manager – depending on organization structure and staffing). Senior program staff and/or volunteers can also benefit from being part of the team and participating in the program. What is most important is to have members that can influence their peers at the board, staff, and financial team levels of the organization. We have found that the broader the representation from the organization, the greater the outcomes for participants and the organizations they represent.

Recommended Time frame: The seminar is designed to span two consecutive days (16 hours – including breaks and lunch) and is taught by a team of two facilitators. The curriculum is divided into four primary sections and delivered as follows:

  • Day 1 AM - Leadership & Strategy
  • Day 1 PM - Planning & Architecture
  • Day 2 AM - Reporting & Communication
  • Day 2 PM - Organizational Integrity, Risk & Sustainability

Outcomes & Take-Aways: Participants actively work with their leadership team and other peers to develop strategies for implementing change to strengthen the financial systems, processes, and communications that support organizational success. Each organizational team works on a Financial Leadership Action Planning Guide throughout the seminar, leaving with clear action items and/or next steps to take within the organization(s) they represent. Participating organizations leave with a workbook and resource guide including copies of the presentation, seminar worksheets, relevant handouts, a financial leadership action planning guide, and a listing of relevant resources and articles.

Faculty: Justin Pollock (bio) & Claudia Schechter (bio)

Program Adaptation:The curriculum is intended to be progressive in nature with all sections acting interdependently. However, there is flexibility in the design to allow modifications and inclusion of appropriate materials and/or presentations by partnering agencies.

For more information, please contact us

Bring this seminar
to your area / agency?

Financial Leadership in Practice is intentionally designed to be offered in partnership with coordinating organizations. It has been offered by:
  • Regional Capacity Building Agencies
  • Community Foundations
  • National Collaboratives
If you are in the practice of bringing organizations together for leadership and professional advancement, please contact us for details.

Partnering Agencies
(Current and Past)

Nonprofit Montgomery & Montgomery County Dept of Health and Human Services

NeighborWorks America

Maryland Nonprofits