Deanna Peterson, Director at Your Part Time Controller (PTC), discusses the challenges and strategies for improving communication and collaboration between the development and finance departments in nonprofit organizations.
The conversation begins with a celebration of PTC’s 30th anniversary and their commitment to helping nonprofits across the country. The hosts, Jarrett Ransom and Julia Patrick, share their personal experiences with Eric Frank, the founder of PTC, and how he influenced their perspective on the importance of aligning development and accounting.
Deanna explains that the main issues between the two departments stem from their different personalities and approaches. Development professionals are often extroverted and focused on building relationships, while accountants prioritize accuracy and compliance. These differences can lead to misunderstandings and tensions.
To address these challenges, Deanna suggests assuming the best intentions when communicating with the other department and asking open-ended questions to understand their perspectives. Regular meetings between the two teams are crucial, especially before board meetings or during grant seasons. By fostering better communication and understanding, the departments can work together towards their common goal of advancing the organization’s mission.
The hosts highlight the importance of including a representative from the development team in finance committee meetings to enhance collaboration and promote mutual understanding. They also emphasize the significance of data visualization in telling the nonprofit’s story, as it brings together the finance and development perspectives.
Deanna acknowledges the fear of asking questions or discussing finance-related matters for those unfamiliar with financial concepts. She emphasizes the value of education and training, which PTC provides to help board members and nonprofit executives understand financial reports and make informed decisions.
The conversation touches on the challenges of grant applications and the need for close collaboration between development and finance. Timely communication and understanding of grant restrictions can prevent issues and ensure efficient utilization of funds.
In conclusion, the interview stresses the importance of working together and building strong relationships between the development and finance departments. By fostering communication, enhancing financial literacy, and collaborating on data visualization, nonprofits can achieve better outcomes and advance their missions. The hosts express their appreciation for PTC’s expertise and resources, encouraging viewers to explore their website for more information. Connect with: Your Part-Time Controller