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Practices in Equity: Applying Equity to Financial Management
April 13 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Financial management is about more than just the numbers. Our financial plans and strategies embody and reflect what we value as organizations. And in day-to-day operations, it’s not just about the financial systems, staff, and processes we have in place – but also about the who: who is invited to participate in planning, who has access to data, and who is involved in making decisions that impact everything from on-the-ground program delivery to long-term organizational sustainability. During this conversation, BDO-FMA will explore:
- what an inclusive financial management function looks like and how to incorporate inclusion into financial planning and monitoring processes
- ways to help ensure equity in building and managing your fiscal team
- how to use clear, consistent fiscal policies and procedures as a tool to advance equity goals
While we consider this an opportunity to share some best practices in this area, we hope this discussion also serves as an opportunity for participants to share honest thoughts and experiences to date with implementing more equitable financial management practices, which are key to long-term organizational health and sustainability.
Dana oversees the BDO FMA Midwest staff and manages client delivery, relationship development, and the administration of the Midwest office while supporting local strategy development. She plays a role in managing key Midwest initiatives and leading both coaching and in-depth client engagements. Her experience at FMA includes overseeing and delivering services for the MacArthur Art & Culture Loan Fund, which provides consulting and loan financing for arts and culture organizations across Chicago, as well as the Chase Stronger Nonprofits Initiative, which serves organizations led by and/or serving communities of color.
Before joining the FMA team, Dana spent six years at Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) providing loan financing and delivering customized client consultations and workshops to both funders and nonprofits—including business model assessments, financial projections, capitalization planning, and financial literacy coaching. During her time there she managed the administration of a $1.1-million loan fund, led an initiative to provide financial technical assistance to a large arts organization, and helped design an Excel tool and corresponding discussion guide for program officers at a national foundation. Prior to NFF, Dana worked as an Executive Assistant at Homes for the Homeless, one of the largest providers of transitional housing in the country, where she supported the executive team in implementing reporting processes and requirements for NYC contracts.
Dana received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Amherst College. She spent a semester at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, where she worked as a volunteer in a local group home while traveling extensively throughout Southern Africa. Beyond her professional and academic experiences, Dana supports the important work of nonprofits as a board member of 2nd Story, an organization that crafts story-sharing experiences to build empathy and promote positive social change.
Melissa joins us with many years of experience in nonprofit arts administration, primarily in roles with theater companies. She was most recently the Marketing & Audience Services Director at Emerald City Theatre (a former FMA client) where she analyzed data collection tools, oversaw the migration to a new CRM, conducted analyses of patron demographics and engagement, and implemented new ticket pricing strategies. Prior to her work with Emerald City, she had roles with the League of Chicago Theatres and American Theater Company.
She is a board member for the Bayless Family Foundation, and served on the Marketing Committee for the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Year of Chicago Theatre.
Melissa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Communication Studies from University of Northern Iowa and a Master of Arts in Communication Studies from Louisiana State University.