Fundamentals of Financial Management (Planning, Strategy & Investments)


The following information explains three basic tenets of financial activity; financial planning, financial strategy, and financial investments. Whether you are responsible for these areas or not, a basic understanding of these elements is helpful for understanding overarching operations within your organisation and their potential impact on donors.


What is a financial plan?

A financial plan is an overview of your current business financials and projections for growth. Think of any documents that represent your current monetary situation as a snapshot of the health of your business and the projections being your future expectations.

Important components of a financial plan are:

Profit and loss statement
Cash flow statement
Balance sheet
Sales forecast
Personnel plan
Business ratios and break-even analysis
Source: How to Write a Financial Plan for Your Small Business — 2022 Guide
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Why is a financial plan important?

A financial plan is a snapshot of the current state of your business. The projections inform your short and long-term financial goals and provides a starting point for developing a strategy. It helps you, as a business owner, set realistic expectations regarding the success of your business. You’re less likely to be surprised by your current financial state and more prepared to manage a crisis or incredible growth, simply because you know your finances inside and out.

Aside from helping you better manage your business; a thorough financial plan also makes you more attractive to investors. It makes you less of a risk and shows that you have a firm plan and track record in place to grow your business.

Financial Planning Resources

Financial Plan Templates:
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Text: A financial strategy is not only managing an organization’s finances but managing with the intention to succeed in attaining the organization’s long- term goals and objectives. Therefore, a good financial strategy combines financial planning and strategic planning, promoting achievement of goals through careful, planned investment ( One important part is to have the organization’s mission, vision and values clear (

Text: An investment is an asset or item acquired with the goal of generating income or appreciation (an increase in the value of an asset over time). When an individual purchases a good as an investment, the intent is not to consume the good but rather to use it in the future to create wealth and always concerns the outlay of some capital today – time, effort, money, or an asset – in hopes of a greater payoff in the future than what was originally put in. An investment involves putting capital to use today in order to increase its value over time. It therefore requires putting capital to work, in the form of time, money, effort, etc., in hopes of a greater payoff in the future than what was originally put in and can refer to any medium or mechanism used for generating future income ( 

Text: It means that investments can take many shapes and enable NGOs to take advantage of a variety of resources. Considering all available investment resources when developing a financial plan promotes optimal use of financial resources.

  • Time  
  • Physical assets 
  • Money

One of the keys to spending wisely is in treating the money you have – no matter where it came from – like it’s your money. Bootstrappers often talk about the way spending your won hard-earned cash makes you rethink the quality of every investment. This is a healthy mindset toward investment.

  • Spend up to 20% on market research. 
  • At least 75% on building your minimum viable product 
  • Spend what remains on what is pressing or important.  

How to Spend Your Startup’s Initial Investment (