Instructor for this course

Unlike for-profit businesses that exist to generate profits for their owners, nonprofit organizations exist to pursue missions that address the needs of society. Nonprofit organizations serve in a variety of sectors such as religious, education, health, social services, commerce, amateur sports clubs, and the arts. Nonprofits do not have commercial owners and must rely on funds from contributions, membership dues, program revenues, fundraising events, public and private grants, and investment income.

Nonprofits (also referred to as Not-for-profits) have unique needs.  Concepts such as accounting for public funding, donations and other sources of revenue and expenditures can present different challenges than in for profit organizations.

This course introduces basic concepts unique to nonprofit entities. We discuss the types of nonprofit businesses and some of their related compliance requirements as well as their organization structure and staffing.  We delve into the financial statements used by nonprofits, the concept of fund accounting and set the stage for another segment focused on accounting for nonprofits.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize the difference between for-profit and nonprofit organizations. 
  • Explore important concepts for setting up a nonprofit.
  • Explore the types of nonprofit designations as identified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code.
  • Explore the requirements of fund accounting.
  • Identify other important Accounting Concepts for nonprofit organizations.
  • Identify the various accounting cycles in a nonprofit.
Last updated/reviewed: November 22, 2020

Included In Certifications

This course is included in the following Certification Programs:

15 CoursesNot-For-Profit and Small Business Entities Certification

  1. Introduction to Accounting For Not-for-Profit Entities
  2. Accounting for Not-for-Profit Entities
  3. Identifying and Implementing the Proper Balance of Internal Controls
  4. Segregation of Duties for Core Business Processes
  5. Bookkeeping: Journals, Subsidiary Ledgers and General Ledger
  6. Bookkeeping: Payroll And Expenses
  7. Bookkeeping: Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable And Receipts
  8. Effectively Managing and Controlling Travel and Entertainment (T&E) Expenses
  9. Management Internal Control Essentials
  10. Financial Statement Essentials for Not-for-Profits
  11. Not-for-Profit Financial Statements Part 2
  12. Not for Profit Financials - Focus on Net Assets
  13. Cyber Risk in Small-Medium Entities
  14. Fraud in Small-Medium Entities
  15. Not-For-Profit Accountability and Responsibility

16 Reviews (63 ratings)Reviews

Anonymous Author
This course was a good intro for me since I have been working in the for-profit sector for most of my career and now work for a NFP. The instructor was very clear and to the point with all of the concepts. I plan to take her other more in-depth courses for NFPs.
Anonymous Author
Very good overview of the difference between for-profit and non-profit entities. The discussion on the various types of non-profits could have been a bit more concise, especially for participants from non-US jurisdictions.
Anonymous Author
This course from Lynn Fountain provides an excellent foundation in regards to not-for-profit types, initiation, funding and accounting. A solid source of introductory information!
Anonymous Author
This instructor courses are always very helpful and are well thought out. I always look for her courses on-line as I always learn something new and interesting from her classes.
Anonymous Author
A good pre-courser to Accounting for Not-for-profit entities. It discusses the peculiarities of a NFP entities as compared with a Profit. It is structured and easy to follow.
Member's Profile
Very basic intro course for not-for-profits. The section listing all types of NFPs was quite tedious, this could have been listed on slides and just mentioned a few.
Member's Profile
It was good but would like to get more practical examples. I thought it was a good foundational course that will set me up for future accounting.
Anonymous Author
What surprised me most was the numerous kinds of 501c not-for-profit situations and which ones were required to file and not file with the IRS.
Member's Profile
Very good course for learning about the basics of a not-for-profit entity. Liked the way the instructor presented the material.
Member's Profile
Good foundational course on nonprofit accounting, this would be useful for anyone that is helping with an organization.
Member's Profile
easy to understand, good examples are used, emphasized the importance and difference of profit and non profit
Anonymous Author
Ms Fountain knowledgeably presents the material in a way that connects to the recipient.
Anonymous Author
A good reminder of the basic concepts and differences with Not for profit accounting.
Anonymous Author
The glossary/index is very helpful. I saved it to use as a reference in the future.
Anonymous Author
Well organized. Basic concepts were presented in a clear and coherent manner.
Member's Profile
This course covers what the topic states and the slides are effective.


Course Complexity: Foundational

No advanced preparation or prerequisites are required for this course.

Education Provider Information

Illumeo, Inc., 75 East Santa Clara St., Suite 1215, San Jose, CA 95113
For more information regarding this course, including complaint and cancellation policies, please contact our offices at (408) 400- 3993 or send an e-mail to .
Course Syllabus
  7:21Introduction to Not-for-Profit Entities
  6:21Setting Up Non-Profit
  14:37Types of Nonprofits
  8:05Financial Statements
  3:40Fund Accounting
  4:09Important Concepts
  7:47Accounting Cycles & Summary
  1:04:59Introduction to Not-for-Profit Entities
Supporting Materials
  PDFSlides: Introduction to Not-for-Profit Entities
  PDFIntroduction to Not-for-Profit Entities Glossary/Index