Leadership and The Workplace

Nonprofit Spark

Renee McGivern

Nonprofit Spark – Funders: Stop asking non-profits for budgets! – 07/16/12

My guest this week has a truly radical idea that you’re going to love. She first shared it with me a week ago and then in our actual interview but you know, I could not get my head around it at first. It was almost too simple. She is on a mission to persuade funders to stop asking for budgets from nonprofits who are applying for grants! Say, what??

Carol Cantwell is the founder of Fun with Financials, a San Francisco-based company that teaches nonprofits practices that support informed financial decisions. It also assists foundations with their grants and processes so they support nonprofit financial health.

Over the years, Carol gained experience working in financial roles at a nonprofit and while working with hundreds of social justice organizations on their finances. She knows full well the burden placed on nonprofits to devise budgets and variations of budgets and reports about budgets in order to obtain foundation grants. She’s pointing to the pink elephant in the room that most of us who’ve sought grants haven’t dared to say a word about.

I’m so delighted by this that Carol and I have set up a Twitter conversation about it at to start a movement to eliminate budgets for funders. Check out the conversation at #nofunderbudget.

Before you participate in the Twitter chat, listen to this interview about Carol’s radical, elegant and completely responsible idea.