Revitalise at the Better Boards Conference


Financial Reserves: Finding the goldilocks zone

Dr Craig Furneaux

Senior Lecturer, QUT Business School, Accountancy

Dr Craig Furneaux is a Senior Lecturer at the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, and is the Subject Area Coordinator for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, Faculty of Business and Law, Queensland University of Technology in Australia.

Craig has over 30 years’ experience leading innovation in, and researching with, nonprofit organisations. Craig research focus on the resources (including various types of capital); the routines and capabilities; and results (social impact) of for nonprofits and social enterprises. He is also interested in faith based charities in civil society. His eprints are available here.

He currently serves as Area Editor, for Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, which is the top journal in the nonprofit sector.

When considering organisational finances, boards and CXOs are left with the challenge of how much is enough?

Too few cash reserves leave organisations vulnerable to external shocks and challenges. Too much of a reserve might reduce donations, due to a perception that income was not being spent on mission. So, what level of reserves is ‘just right’? Based on research using ACNC data, this session provides evidence base to answer the following questions:

  • • Why do we need reserves?

  • • What are the different types of reserves (both restricted, unrestricted), and what can you use them for?

  • • How much of a financial reserve do you need?

  • • How to create a reserves policy for your organisation?


QUT's Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies is the Academic Partner for the Better Boards Conference 2021

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