News & Insights

Who understands your school's finances? The answer should not be "just the CFO." Or even just the CFO, the president, and the finance committee chair. Ideally all board members and senior administrators should have a solid understanding of a school's finances -- and perhaps the faculty and staff as well. 



Why? Because people who are on boards or hold leadership positions in a school are governance stakeholders, even if they don't serve on the finance committee. And governance stakeholders need to understand how all kinds of decisions have an impact on institutional finances.

For example, say you're thinking of adding a new course or program. How will the new program affect enrollment, donations, and foundation support?  What about facilities -- is deferred maintenance saving money in the short run but creating expensive problems down the line? And the endowment -- do you know what your school's annual draw is? These are questions that governance partners should be able to consider and answer.

Many stakeholders who do not have a financial background feel uncomfortable exposing their lack of knowledge in a larger group of peers. So consider ways to offer educational opportunities so that board members, administrators, staff, and faculty without a financial background can learn and grow in knowledge together. 

Welcome to Your Key Financial Statements,” a resource from BoardSource, may help. This primer can be used as an introduction to the key financial statements -- the income statement and the balance sheet -- and important financial terms. It also provides a sample balance sheet and a sample income statement with explanatory notes so that users can analyze and understand data. This downloadable resource is free for BoardSource members and only $12 for non-members. 

Who on your team could benefit from this resource? Consider sharing this with your finance committee to be used in an upcoming board meeting during the committee’s report. Or consider using it in a faculty meeting as part of an education session.

For more information, check out these articles from In Trust magazine:


For further resources and information, contact the In Trust Center via email at or by phone at 302-654-7770.


Top Topics

Roles & Responsibilities



Board Essentials

Upcoming Events

The In Trust Center hosts learning community spaces throughout the year. Check out our upcoming events below.

Strategic Partnerhips


In this on-demand webinar, Rick Staisloff, senior partner of rpk GROUP, will discuss essential aspects of strategic partnerships. He will explore current trends, identify partners, navigate the due diligence process, and addresses common challenges. In addition to technical components of partnerships, he will also examine the intangible – yet critical – elements of partnerships, such as building trust and managing relationships.

Closing the Trust Gap


The current and very troubling condition of trust is a clarion call to action. But despite the dismal data showing pervasive organizational distrust, every organization can assess their current level of trust, learn and adopt a proven trust building framework, and then develop a meaningful and long-lasting plan of action. This webinar details the knowledge and practical next steps to strengthen workplace culture as a result of closing the trust gap.

In Trust Center Resource Grants


An In Trust Center Resource Grant offers member schools a chance to explore innovation at their institutions through a matching grant opportunity of up to $15,000. Listen to this 30-minute information session, including Q&A, as we provide details on eligibility requirements, funding priorities, application process. Previous grantees are eligible to apply as long as they are not within our current funding cycle.

Can’t Find What You’re Looking For?

In Trust Center provides Resource Consulting to our members at no charge. Contact us today and let us guide you to the most helpful resources for your situation.

Contact Us