fbpx Nonprofit Financial Stewardship | Harvard Kennedy School
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  • Online
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    We are currently accepting applications for this program. Please contact the program director for additional information.

    Executive Certificate: This program is a core program in the Nonprofit Leadership concentration. This program can also be used as a third program for any concentration in the Executive Certificate series.
    Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs): This program aligns with one or more Executive Core Qualifications.

Program Overview

Successful nonprofit executives must navigate complex financial-compliance requirements and simultaneously deliver an inspirational message about their organization’s mission. An ability to set ambitious long-term goals and map a strategy for achieving them—all while remaining accountable for meticulous financial management—is of paramount importance.

Nonprofit Financial Stewardship: Concepts and Techniques for Strategic Management, a five-week online program led by Faculty Chair James P. Honan, will help you achieve this critical objective. Along with nonprofit and NGO managers from around the world, you will master the tools, techniques, and concepts to provide the caliber of financial management that your organization demands.

This executive program, developed by Harvard Kennedy School faculty, covers all aspects of nonprofit financial stewardship. You will learn to connect the dots between mission, money, and impact. You will explore the most efficient methods of budgeting and allocating resources. And you will acquire a thorough understanding of financial statements, giving you greater confidence in your decisions.


Nonprofit Financial Stewardship: Concepts and Techniques for Strategic Management combines readings, online discussion, videos, and workbook exercises, enabling you to apply what you learn directly to your organization.


This online program is broken into four modules:

  • Mission, Money, and Impact: Identify a key challenge that your organization faces in strategic financial management and financial stewardship—and create a draft logic model for solving it.
  • Understanding Financial Statements: Use the proper tools to analyze your financial statements and answer questions about your organization’s financial challenges.
  • Tools, Frameworks, and Concepts in Financial Management: Complete exercises to understand cost accounting, pricing, break-even analysis, and ratio analysis.
  • Budgeting and Resource Allocation: Engage in a case discussion and an interactive exercise addressing a key concern (e.g., budget cutbacks or tracking data) to ensure effective allocation of financial resources.

Application Information

Sample Schedule

This five-week online program begins with a one-hour onboarding session, followed by eight hours of live sessions over the ensuing four weeks.

NFS Webinar

NFS Webinar: Introduction to Accounting and Financial Statements

This free webinar is held in conjunction with the Nonprofit Financial Stewardship executive program and features Professor Eric Schwartz, Managing Director in PricewaterhouseCoopers National Assurance Health Services.  

The Introduction to Nonprofit Accounting and Financial Statements webinar provides a great opportunity to learn the basic principles of nonprofit accounting.  It is designed to introduce basic accounting concepts and financial statements to individuals who have had little or no experience with finance or accounting. 

Please register here.  You will then be taken to a page with the webinar link.


“Linking mission activities to money was an area for which I wanted to gain some knowledge and tools. I got exactly what I needed from this course.”

2015 Program Alumnus
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Online Learning

Learn more about the online learning experience at Harvard Kennedy School. These online programs are designed for nonprofit and NGO managers across the globe and offer highly interactive, live sessions.

Faculty & Research

Faculty Chair
James Honan Photo

James Honan

Senior Lecturer on Education, HGSE

Harvard Faculty and Guest Speakers
Eric Schwartz

Eric Schwartz

Managing Director in PricewaterhouseCoopers National Assurance Health Services

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