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The positions of secretary and treasurer are both important to the overall function of a nonprofit organization. Depending on the regulations for 501c3 organizations in your state and the budget of the organization, the positions may be separate or combined. Smaller nonprofit organizations may choose to combine the positions of secretary and treasurer to reduce the amount of manpower needed to successfully manage the organization.
The funding for a nonprofit organization comes from donations, grants and fundraisers. In order to maintain the status of a nonprofit business, the organization must make sure someone's in place who keeps track of all of the money that comes in, where it comes from and where it goes. The treasurer accounts for all of the money received by the foundation and makes sure to allocate it to the correct account. This person is also responsible for recording receipt of the funds and depositing them into the organization's bank account.
Another duty of the treasurer is to help the board determine the operating budget for the nonprofit organization. The treasurer oversees the receipt and payment of bills and can assist in estimating the projected income for the nonprofit. This helps the board to better allocate funds to different projects and community outreach programs that the foundation supports as well as plan for operating expenses and maintain a contingency fund in case of an unexpected bill or emergency situation, such as unexpected building maintenance.
The secretary for a nonprofit is in charge of communication for the organization. She maintains regular business hours in order to be able to greet guests, board members and donors, answers the telephone and returns messages. The secretary also takes pledges and donations on behalf of the organization, drafts letters and other correspondence and processes all incoming mail. The secretary may serve on the board of directors for the nonprofit and attend all board meetings. In this role, the secretary manages communication among board members, assists the chairman and steps in for the chairman at a board meeting if necessary.
A nonprofit must produce many different reports for donors, the board of directors and the government. The secretary builds and distributes all of these reports, making sure to update them correctly on a regular basis. Examples of these reports include expense reports, allocation of funds and cost analysis for fundraisers and other events. The secretary also drafts letters and donation reports to be used by donors for tax deductible contributions to the foundation.
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Residing in Los Angeles, Kristin Swain has been a professional writer since 2008. Her experience includes finance, travel, marketing and television. Swain holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Georgia State University.