How to use this Guide

  • The Guide has over 100 pages, so don’t try to read it all the way through in one sitting! Add it to your bookmarks so that you can refer to it frequently, a bit at a time.
  • Look at The Guide Navigator (the blue 'spider' diagram to the right) to get a ‘big picture’ of what is covered and go to the sections you are most interested in.
  • Each page in The Guide is 'tagged' with key words representing common themes (for example, accountability, budgeting, donors etc).  Use the 'tag cloud' to click on the words that interest you to see all related content.
  • Use the search function (top right) to look for a specific word or phrase to find all the pages linked to that word.
  • Many areas of financial management are inter-related, so most pages contain links to related content elsewhere in the Guide.
  • Use the Resources Bar (right hand side) to see the glossary, case studies, tools, examples, other pages in the Guide, external sites and further reading related to the page you are on.
  • Print pages that you want to share or keep for frequent reference. Just click on the "Print this page" link at the top-right of every page.
  • Download further reading, tools and examples.  Some of the documents are in Word format others in PDF format. 
    You can get Adobe Reader free here:


The Guide has seven sections:

  1. Financial management in context - what NGOs do, integrating financial management into programmes, and improving financial management in your organisation.
  2. Working with beneficiaries - reporting to beneficiaries, accountability and a New Management Agenda.
  3. Financial governance - legal requirements, responsibilities, audit and fraud.
  4. Getting the basics right - the 4 building blocks: keeping accounts, financial planning, financial monitoring and internal controls.
  5. Grant management - receiving and giving grants, working with donors and partners, accountability.
  6. Financial sustainability - developing a financing strategy, risk assessment, building reserves, types of funding, managing and financing overheads.
  7. Free downloads - practical resources available to download and use, including tools, case studies, example documents, top-tips, external links and further reading, each represented by a different icon.

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