Budget, Cash Flow, Reserves and Investment for Charities

Budget, Cash Flow, Reserves and Investment for Charities

Dr Isabel Sim

25 - 26 Mar 2021

Day 1: 09:00AM - 05:00PM
Day 2: 01:00PM - 05:00PM

Online via Zoom

From understanding the board and senior management as a charity's financial stewards, to tips and insights on budgeting and cash flow management for charities, learn how to develop a comprehensive action plan to address financial management gaps in this VCF / CCTG supported seminar.

Programme Overview

The COVID-19 battered economy has led to a fall in donations as citizens and businesses alike shift their immediate concerns to personal livelihoods and economic survival. How do you ensure sustainable operations during these difficult times?

To preserve public trust, charities are held to high standards of accountability and transparency. How do you ensure accountability to your stakeholders?

Governance and financial stewardship for charities are therefore necessary for charities to strategically manage their financial resources while preserving public trust. Only when the charity's board, management and finance staff work closely together to ensure proper governance, compliance and processes will they then be able to survive and thrive in this economic environment.

The seminar will shed light on 5 fundamental questions that all board members and senior management must ask to understand the importance of financial management for charities:

1. Do we have the right size, right team, and right resources for our charity to succeed in its mission?
2. Are we applying fund accounting and full cost recovery accounting best practices so that we do not fall into starvation cycle?
3. Where are we underinvesting and what are our risks in underinvesting in these areas?
4. Do our reserves and investment meet the long-term needs of our beneficiaries and not just our organisational budget?
5. Is our annual report just beautiful pictures and stories? Does it give a full and accurate reflection of our charity’s work?

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the seminar series, you will learn how to:
1. Evaluate your charity’s financial management and internal controls at the policy and operational levels.
2. Develop your charity’s accounts with key stakeholders in mind, to enhance disclosure and transparency.
3. Analyse your charity’s financial management systems and related governance requirements, based on its maturity and structure.
4. Create powerful financial storytelling through public narrative to enhance stakeholders’ engagement, and accountability.

Programme Trainer

Dr. Isabel Sim is the principal consultant at Integrative CSR Consulting Pte. Ltd. She was formerly Senior Research Fellow, Department of Social Work, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore as well as Director (Projects), Centre for Social Development (Asia). She served as Head of Corporate Governance Practice, Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations (CGIO) and Senior Lecturer, Department of Strategy and Policy, NUS Business School from 2012 to 2014.

She obtained her PhD in finance from The University of Western Australia in 2011. She is the editor of the series Accounting and Finance Handbooks for Charities including Budgeting and Cash Flow management, Fund Accounting for Charities, Full Cost Recovery for Charities and Cost-Effective Audit for Charities. She is also the lead author for Accounting for Good – Helping Charities Do Good Better, a project in collaboration with NUS and ISCA. Besides extensive experience in applied research in the charity sector, Dr. Sim has more than 15 years of experience in teaching working adults. She has taught accounting, corporate governance, finance, and economics subjects in MBA, EMBA, and other professional programmes.

Dr Isabel Sim


Programme Conduct

The seminar is skill-intensive, filled with practical tips, to enable participants to deep-dive into charity governance and financial stewardship issues. They will apply their experience and knowledge in accounting and financial management, and be equipped to take practical steps, in ensuring the charity’s long-term sustainability.

We therefore strongly encourage charities to send their board, management and finance staff to obtain a holistic learning experience that you can translate to your organisations. This seminar is especially useful for CEOs, Finance Directors and Finance Managers.

The seminar is split into 5 sessions:

Session 1: Board and senior management as charity’s financial stewards
Are the financial resources fully utilized to deliver the charity’s programmes and services for its beneficiaries? Understand the board and senior management’s role and responsibility as the charity’s financial stewards. Explore the practical issues that boards and senior management face in managing charity’s financial resources.

Session 2: Enhancing accountability to stakeholders by developing an effective and efficient charity financial management system
Learn to evaluate your charity’s financial system at the governance and policy level. Does your charity have a customised financial management system in place? How can your board and senior management utilise it for efficient and effective decision making?

Session 3: Tips and insights on budgeting and cash flow management for charity
Understand how charities prepare budgets and manage cash flow. Using charity examples to explore the different approaches to budgeting and cash flow management. Learn to manage charity’s budget realistically to weather the unexpected changes.

Session 4: Explore Best Practices for Prudent Reserves and Investment Management to ensure Charity’s Long-term Sustainability
Understand the importance of forward financial planning by setting the appropriate level of reserve and its implication on charity’s long-term financial sustainability. Using charity examples to compare reserve and investment policy as well as disclosure practices.

Session 5: Action Learning Project
Using the key learnings from the two days, each charity will identify gaps in their current financial management policies and processes in budget, cash flow, reserves and investment management. They will be coached by Dr Isabel Sim on how to develop a plan of action to address these gaps.

Programme Fees


S$926 (After VCF)

S$1,926 (Standard)


Closes 28 Dec 2020

S$605 (After VCF)

S$1,605 (Standard)


S$1,605 (After VCF) for 3 pax

S$4,500 (Standard)

VCF subsidy of up to SGD $1,000 per pax is available for NCSS members. CCTG subsidy of 90% of seminar fee is also available.

After clicking the register button, you will be directed to the registration page. Please find the correct run to register.

Prices include prevailing GST.

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