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Abstract: Rebecca Wilson, a recent policy school graduate, has started an unexpectedly successful small nonprofit to help urban high school students tap the many sources of financial aid for post-secondary education and thus boost their odds of attending college. As she seeks to expand her operation, she needs to reach beyond the network of friends and supporters who bankrolled the start-up. Applying for foundation support requires her to prepare formal financial statements for the first time. It embeds basic accounting in the context of a comprehensible organization, to solidify students intuition about the function of financial statements, and guides them through the preparation of simple but complete actual and pro forma statements. An Excel spreadsheet paired with the case offers templates that allow students to construct realistic financial statements with very limited preparation and a minimum of computational drudgery.
Learning Objective: This is a fictional case, with a simple but appropriately detailed scenario, used to introduce students to the structure and purpose of balance sheets and income statements in nonprofit organizations.