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Fathom Tips: Nonprofits and Not-for-Profits
Fathom Tips: Nonprofits and Not-for-Profits

Best practices for nonprofit reporting and analysis

Updated over a week ago


πŸ’‘ Pro Tip: You can download and view a sample Fathom nonprofit report at the bottom of this article.

Using nonprofit terms in Fathom

Fathom has a predefined Not-for-Profit terminology that removes for-profit vocabulary and replaces it with not-for-profit language in the Reports, Analysis, and Forecast.

πŸ’‘ Pro Tip: If Fathom's predefined Not-for-Profit terminology does not suit your specific organisation, you can create your own custom terminology in the Organisation Settings.

To change the terminology for your entity:

  1. Go to the Settings for the company or group by selecting the 'Cog/Gear' icon for the entity

    1. In a benchmark group, go to 'Step 1 - Group Setup'.

  2. Select the Terminology drop-down menu.

  3. Choose 'Not-for-Profit' or another terminology

  4. Save changes

πŸ“ Note: Many nonprofits only have Income and Expenses, so they would generally only use 'Change in Net Assets', which replaces 'Net income' in Fathom's Not-for-Profit terminology.

For terminology, there need to be terms listed for all possible subtotals and amounts, even though they may not be used by a nonprofit or appear in its reports. Fathom uses 'surplus/deficit' for a couple of terms (e.g. 'Gross Surplus/Deficit' in place of 'Gross Profit') in the Not-for-Profit terminology.

Nonprofit metrics or KPIs

While Fathom has several default financial KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to choose from, you can also create custom KPIs to track for your nonprofit.

πŸ’‘ Pro Tip: Not sure what to track? See which KPIs we recommend nonprofits track and why.

There are four main types of custom KPIs:

Custom KPI Type

How a nonprofit might use it...

Import and track data outside of your Chart of Accounts, such as:

  • The number of donors

  • The number of donations

  • The number of volunteers

  • The number of completed or ongoing projects or initiatives

Track the performance of important accounts or headings at a glance, such as:

  • Matching gift income

  • In-kind donations

  • Cash

Create custom formulas using your financial and non-financial results, such as:

  • Donor growth rate

  • Average donation amount

  • Fundraising ROI

  • Volunteer retention rate

If you have divisions (e.g. classes, locations, tracking categories), then you can track the performance of a metric for specific divisions, such as:

  • Change in Net Assets

  • Total Income

πŸ’‘ Pro Tip: You can also filter variables by division when creating a custom Formula KPI to essentially create your own custom Divisional KPIs.

Learn more about setting up KPIs for your nonprofit organisation by seeing our 'Step 4 - KPIs' article.


Nonprofits have specific reporting needs outside of not-for-profit terminology, including:

πŸ’‘ Pro Tip: You can download and view a sample Fathom nonprofit report at the bottom of this article.

For more general information on reporting in Fathom, please see the following articles:

Restricted and Unrestricted Funds

Nonprofit organisations often have to report on the funds they can freely use (unrestricted funds) and the funds that are donated or earmarked for specific projects (restricted funds).

There are a few ways to report on Restricted and Unrestricted funds in Fathom. The option you use largely depends on how your Chart of Accounts is set up.

Reporting option

When to use it...

You have split up your Restricted and Unrestricted funds by class, location, tracking category, etc., in your source accounting system.

Your Restricted and Unrestricted funds are tracked in separate accounts in your Chart of Accounts, and you would like to label or group them.

If neither of the above options works based on your setup, you can import your Restricted and Unrestricted funds amounts into Fathom via Excel or Google Sheets.

Using divisions

If you have Restricted and Unrestricted amounts separated by division (e.g. class, location, tracking category), then you can display these amounts in separate columns in a financial statement.

To do this:

πŸ’‘ Pro Tip: If you're using QuickBooks Online or Xero, then you can also import the divisional budgets for Actuals v Budget reporting for each division.
πŸ’‘ Pro Tip: If you have several divisions with Restricted or Unrestricted amounts (e.g. Events - Restricted, Projects - Restricted, etc.), then you can add each Restricted division to the same Financials by Division table and show the Total column to display the Total Restricted Funds amount. Then, add another Financials by Division table to display the Unrestricted amounts.

There are several other options for reporting on divisional amounts. For more details, please see our 'Using Divisions in Reports' article.

Using headings in the Chart of Accounts

You can create headings or subheadings in your Chart of Accounts in Fathom to label or group Restricted and Unrestricted funds within a classification.

You do not need to create these headings in your source accounting system.

To label Restricted and Unrestricted amounts with headings:

  1. Go to the Settings for the organisation via the 'Cog/Gear' icon.

  2. Hover over the accounts and select the checkbox next to the accounts.

  3. Choose 'Create heading'

  4. Type in the heading

  5. Select 'Apply'

  6. Save changes

πŸ’‘ Pro Tip: To ensure all the changes you make to the Chart of Accounts save properly, we recommend only making and saving up to 20 changes at a time.

πŸ“ Note: To use headings to label or group accounts of Restricted and Unrestricted funds, you cannot have Restricted and Unrestricted funds in the same account. If the funds are mixed together, you could potentially use Adjustments to move the Restricted amounts into one account and the Unrestricted amounts into another; otherwise, see the non-financial KPIs option for reporting on Restricted and Unrestricted funds.

Importing via non-financial KPIs

If you are not using divisions to separate out Restricted and Unrestricted amounts and both types of funds are housed in the same account(s), then you can import the Restricted and Unrestricted amounts into Fathom.

Commentary & Notes

Nonprofits will often need to add notes or commentary detailing fund sources and restrictions.

While it is not possible to add notes directly to financial statements, you can add a text box above or below a financial statement to provide commentary. Fathom enables you to add text to any page in a report.

  1. In a Fathom report, select the 'Text & Commentary' option from the left sidebar.

  2. Select one of the text options.

  3. Double-click the text box to type.

πŸ’‘ Pro Tip: Use the '@' icon or option on your keyboard to bring a period's specific financial or non-financial amounts into a text box.

For more details on the text options in reports, please see our 'Text & Commentary in Reports' article.

Additional knowledge & common questions

Sample Report:

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