Financial Management for Centers for Independent Living

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About this Course Manual

Welcome to Financial Management for Centers for Independent Living. This course is designed to instruct and assist center for independent living (CIL) directors, managers, fiscal staff, and board members as to the critical importance and "know how" of sound fiscal management. This manual was extensively overhauled in 2016 to incorporate changes brought about by the consolidation of federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance on grantmaking, which replaced the OMB Circulars on the subject—also referred to as Uniform Guidance or the "Super Circular" or 2 CFR 200. The requirements can also be found in the Uniform Administrative Requirements for HHS – CFR 75.

While a center may have a strong independent living mission and core set of operating values, the absence of sound fiscal management and practices will ultimately force the center to close its doors. Many centers as well as other not-for-profit agencies are faced with reduced funding, increased public scrutiny, and an increase in demand for services. Regular demands are being placed on not-for-profit organizations by various funding sources and outside agencies for better accountability and operational detail. Now more than ever centers must practice and continue to strive toward sound and effective management strategies. Financial management and stability are key components in the overall operations of any not-for-profit organization.

Effective financial management strategies and policies will not guarantee program and/or center success, or compliance, but can help facilitate it. Processes such as budgeting and fiscal planning can help ensure the continued growth and development of CILs. The focus of these training materials is to outline effective financial management practices and suggest strategies for running a fiscally sound organization regardless of the adequacy of resources. This course is not designed to assist in the reporting requirements, contract obligations and/or mechanics of specific federal, state and local grants, and/or other funding awards.

We hope this course will teach you new concepts and practices, make you aware of what you don’t know relative to financial management, and most importantly, inspire you to assess your financial management practices, make necessary changes, and forever appreciate the value of sound fiscal management. It should be noted in closing that while there are a number of critical differences between centers and other types of not-for-profit organizations, financial management is a core function that is common to all not-for-profits. There are other community and national training programs and resource materials targeted to not-for-profits in general that centers are encouraged to investigate and take advantage of whenever possible.

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