I recently read a little book entitled Building Capacity Through Financial Management: A Practical Guide by John Cammack. It is published by Oxfam.
The book is very inexpensive (around $15) and you can get the book for free at http://www.oxfam.org.uk/resources/downloads/buildfincap_book.pdf The book covers topics such as Capacity-Building and Finance; Assessing Financial Management Capacity; Building Financial Management Capacity; Planning and Budgeting; Accounts Record-Keeping; Financial Reporting; Financial Controls; External Audit; Organisational Aspects of Financial Management; Moving Toward Sustainability; Reserves; Core Costs; a ‘Toolkit’ for Financial Management Capacity-Building; and Training for Financial Management Capacity-Building. It was published in October 2007 so it is relatively up to date
If our ultimate goal is to assist our partners in becoming successful, independent, and sustainable we cannot ignore deficiencies, or a complete lack of financial management and reporting abilities. Unfortunately this is not only a Southern issue. Many many Canadian have very limited financial abilities and they could benefit as much as their Southern partners in reading the aforementioned book. Such limitations will make it virtually impossible for them to access funding from many sources. CIDA, US foundations, governments often have far higher standards and requirements than CRA.
Mark Blumberg is a lawyer at Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto, Ontario. He can be contacted at or at 416-361-1982 x. 237. To find out more about legal services that Blumbergs provides to Canadian charities and non-profits please visit http://www.canadiancharitylaw.ca or http://www.globalphilanthropy.ca
This article or note is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be legal advice. You should not act or abstain from acting based upon such information without first consulting a legal professional.
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Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.