At some point, a national riverine community legal advocacy center is bound to start attracting funding. The funds would mostly be coming from donors who are impressed with the center’s advocacy work. Once you get to that point, you need to set up proper systems, to ensure that the funds that are received are properly accounted for. It would otherwise be very demoralizing for the donors to learn that the funds they donated to the national riverine community legal advocacy center were not properly utilized.
It is a good idea to hire an accountant, to help with the management of the advocacy center’s funds. Ideally, this should be an accountant who is conversant with the management of non-profit organizations’ finances. If the center can’t afford a full-time accountant, it can at least hire an accounts assistant or an accounts clerk. All in all, there has to be someone whose responsibility it is to manage the center’s funds.
It is also a good idea to invest in an accounting software application, to help with the management of the advocacy center’s funds. Accounting software doesn’t really cost a lot of money, but it can make a great difference in financial management.
Yet another important measure is to put in place a system for approval of expenditures. The objective would be to ensure that the advocacy center’s funds are spent in a transparent manner. Once the expenditures are approved, they can subsequently be scheduled for incurrence. To this end, an application (created along the same lines as the Biolife scheduler) can be introduced: to ensure that the expenses are properly scheduled. So we end up with a four step process: where expenditures are first proposed and then approved before being scheduled and finally incurred. The objective is to ensure that no unauthorized expenditures are incurred. And the ultimate goal is to ensure that the advocacy center’s funds are properly and consistently protected.