Key Points

· In 2013, the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock eliminated budgets from its application requirements. Over the last 18 months, it has worked to overhaul the financial information it requests and the ways in which it is used.

· This article examines the role of financial information in the grant application process, the practice of developing and reviewing funder budgets, and the ways in which they too often fail to provide information relevant to a thorough review of the financial health of a nonprofit organization.

· The Veatch Program provides a case study in how to engage board and staff members in the development of a new standard for reviewing financial information. This article provides an overview of the process, timeline, and tools used to replace funder budgets with a more accurate financial review – a shift that helped reduce the administrative burden on Veatch grantees and provided the program with more relevant insight into grantee financial health based on actual financial data.

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