Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Management Reporting And You

A nonprofit might have the greatest plan in the world, but it's still just a plan at the end of the day. It has no more guarantee of success and is only potential. To help reach that potential, good oversight is needed to ensure that the plan is followed as closely as possible.

This is where management reporting comes into play. These are a series of reports that detail how the nonprofit is doing. According to Howard Berman in “Making a Difference,” performance reporting is just a subset of an overall, larger, management reporting performance assessment and evaluation function.

Berman wrote that to successfully complete such a report, the following six questions must be answered:

  • Is the enterprise doing what it said it was going to do? Is it executing its operating plan, producing the anticipated outputs, on time and on budget?
  • Is the enterprise doing what it said it was going to do efficiently? Is cost divided by output at least continually improving -- if not, at an absolute best practice?
  • Are the outputs that the enterprise is producing achieving the expected outcomes? Is it achieving the expected results -- or benefits for the involved stakeholders?
  • Are the realized outcomes being achieved in an efficient manner? This is a combination of questions 2 and 3.
  • Are the outcomes producing a significant impact? Are they producing a result that would not have otherwise been achieved?
  • Is the effort sustainable? Can it be continued or will it fail of its own weight, due to either financial and/or operational imbalance?

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