The Nonprofits Assistance Fund has developed a how-to resource to guide nonprofits through the steps of calculating and understanding the full cost of programs. The process includes decisions about how staff spend their time, what budget items are shared among several program areas, and how to allocate an appropriate amount of overhead to programs and administration. The guide, spreadsheet template, and a tutorial webinar are all available here.
This eStudy done in partnership with the Hubert Project (complete with a roadmap and two modules) walks through the steps of calculating true program costs with a real-life, nonprofit example featuring The Cedar Cultural Center.
We also recommend you retire the old overhead vs. program services pie chart and use this Core Mission Support template Core-Mission-Support-New-Graphic-in-Excel-2017.xlsx (18 downloads) instead. Need convincing? Read Curt Klotz’s blog post, “A Graphic Re-visioning of Nonprofit Overhead.”
And here is some useful information to help you address the overhead myth.
The Real Cost Project: Increasing the Impact of Philanthropy in California a joint statewide initiative by Northern California Grantmakers, San Diego Grantmakers and Southern California Grantmakers to increase philanthropy’s impact across California.