June 21, 2024

Dynamic dashboards are essential for nonprofits, turning complex data into compelling visual narratives. They simplify the presentation of financial and operational metrics, aiding in decision-making and enhancing communication with stakeholders.

On Wednesday, April 4, 2024, GRF hosted an informative webinar, “Illustrating Your Nonprofit Story with Dynamic Dashboards,” featuring Ahkeeia Ward, CPA & EA, and Elinor Litwack, CPA. The session highlighted the transformative power of dynamic dashboards in nonprofit reporting and storytelling.

Key Features and Benefits of Dynamic Dashboards

  1. Real-time Data and Interactivity: Dynamic dashboards provide real-time updates, ensuring current and relevant information. Their interactive elements, such as hover-over features and clickable details, allow users to explore data without overwhelming the main view. This interactivity boosts user engagement and understanding.
  2. Visualizing Financial Health: Dashboards effectively display financial trends, such as cash balance changes, monthly burn rates, and year-to-date income and expenses. These visualizations help identify potential issues like budget overruns, enabling prompt corrective actions and fostering fiscal responsibility.
  3. Tailored Views for Different Users: Dashboards offer customized views for different stakeholders. Executive directors, financial officers, and program managers can access data tailored to their specific needs, enhancing efficiency, and reducing information overload.
  4. Efficiency and Clarity: By consolidating various financial reports into a single, coherent view, dashboards eliminate the need for multiple Excel sheets. This consolidation saves time and enhances clarity, making complex information more accessible and easier to interpret.

Practical Examples and Use Cases

How could dynamic dashboards help your organization?  Here are several effective dashboard examples:

  • Program Performance Dashboards: These dashboards focus on metrics like funding sources, outcomes achieved, and efficiency ratios, helping nonprofits demonstrate their value to donors and stakeholders.
  • Executive Dashboards: High-level dashboards summarize financial data, cash flow trends, and budget comparisons, allowing executives to quickly assess the organization’s financial status and make strategic decisions.
  • Operational Dashboards: These dashboards monitor day-to-day metrics, aiding managers in overseeing project progress, resource allocation, and operational efficiency.

Integration with Existing Systems

Dynamic dashboards can be integrated with existing accounting and management systems:

  • Sage Intacct: Known for its robust native dashboard functionalities, Sage Intacct excels in integrating both financial and non-financial data. This feature is particularly powerful as it allows nonprofits to tell a comprehensive story that goes beyond mere numbers. By including non-financial data, such as program outcomes, volunteer hours, and other key metrics, organizations can provide context for financial changes and trends, making it easier to explain why numbers have shifted. This comprehensive approach to data presentation supports more transparent and impactful storytelling, helping stakeholders understand the full scope of an organization’s activities and achievements.
  • QuickBooks: QuickBooks is highly regarded for its ease of use and accessibility, making it an excellent choice for nonprofits with limited accounting expertise. It offers customizable reporting features and integrates well with other tools, enhancing the efficiency of data management. QuickBooks provides real-time financial tracking, ensuring that organizations have current information for informed decision-making. As a cost-effective option, it is particularly suitable for smaller nonprofits or those operating with tight budgets.
  • Martus: Recommended for enhancing forecasting and projections, Martus integrates seamlessly with Sage Intacct and QuickBooks. This makes it a versatile tool for nonprofits, especially those in multi-entity environments.

GRF Can Help

Dynamic dashboards are catalysts for transparency, accountability, and strategic growth in nonprofit organizations. By adopting and integrating these dashboards, nonprofits can significantly improve their storytelling capabilities, ensuring their financial and operational narratives are clear, compelling, and actionable.

GRF’s advisors are ready to help you implement dynamic dashboards tailored to your organization’s needs. Our team will assist you in maximizing the potential of these tools to enhance your nonprofit’s impact and effectiveness. Reach out to us for further guidance and support.


Elinor Litwack, CPA

Partner, Outsourced Accounting & Advisory Services

Ahkeeia V. Ward, CPA, EA ​

Outsourced Accounting & Advisory Services Manager