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: March 19, 2024

Included In Certifications

This course is included in the following Certification Programs:

15 CoursesNot-For-Profit and Small Business Entities Certification

  1. Introduction to Not-for-Profit Entities
  2. Introduction to 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
63 Reviews (222 ratings)

Reviews

5
Anonymous Author
I'm taking courses to renew my CPA permit after a long hiatus during which I've been a volunteer board member and treasurer/accountant for several nonprofits and have done a lot of accounting research on my own. I took this course to see how it was presented, and found it a nice summary of what I've learned over the years.

5
Anonymous Author
I found this course incredibly insightful and informative as my organization spun up a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity to support our charitable foundation efforts a few years ago. This course provided a comprehensive overview and useful supporting materials - nicely done!

5
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.

5
Member's Profile
This was a great introduction to the concept of a not-for-profit entity and the differences from for-profit entities. Lynn makes the concepts easy to understand, and I appreciate her examples to illustrate various ideas. Thank you.

5
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.

5
Member's Profile
This is an excellent refresher course that I would recommend. It is a good suggestion to keep the slide materials for future reference and is also great for recertification of the CPP. I highly recommend this course.

4
Anonymous Author
Very solid review of non-profit accounting concepts except that the exam question refers to older concept of 3 types of fund restrictions vs 2 types per newer standard and was therefore graded incorrectly.

5
Anonymous Author
Excellent intro course to non-profit accounting! It went into types of non-profits, registration requirements, and the ways non-profit accounting differs from for profit accounting. Highly recommend!

4
Member's Profile
This course is a great overview of the basics of not for profit accounting. The instructor explained concepts very well and the slide greatly supported the important facts of the course. Thank you!

5
Member's Profile
Good pace. There is a lot of non profit classifications. A bit confused over the difference of 501c25 and 501c26 but the telling message was clear regarding the number of classifications.

4
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!

5
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.

5
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.

5
Member's Profile
This course provides the student with a basic understanding of the differeces between not-for-profit organizations and the for-profit that most of us are more familiar with.

5
Anonymous Author
This overview covers all the bases. Some information is very basic, however there is also information that is most likely not common knowledge but very important to know.

5
Member's Profile
A great refresher on nonprofit accounting which I remember from school and now need to actually know as I'm helping set up an accounting system for a friend's nonprofit

4
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.

5
Anonymous Author
Can't recommend this enough to anyone that already works in not for profit or is looking to move to a not for profit organization. Very helpful information!

5
Anonymous Author
Good high level overview, though i felt less time could have been spent on all the different types of nonprofits and just put on one slide as an overview.

4
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.

5
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.

5
Member's Profile
Qs were trickier- ex. Net assets Q could have two answers interpreted as correct (both none of the above and the former 3 categories listed)

5
Anonymous Author
Instructor video was excellent! She got right to the point and clearly laid out the main points. Was a pleasure to watch the video.

5
Anonymous Author
Good Summary/information, and good resources tips. Good Grant Accounting Information. Summary on different kinds of NFPS/501s helpful

5
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.

5
Anonymous Author
It is a short intro course into Non Profits. Helps with basic understanding and explained clearly in the course, thank you.

5
Member's Profile
Good foundational course on nonprofit accounting, this would be useful for anyone that is helping with an organization.

5
Anonymous Author
I like the written material (both slides and glossary). Also found the presentation to be informative. No dislikes.

5
Anonymous Author
The course is well structured and provides useful information to better understand the basics of NFP accounting.

5
Member's Profile
Great overview of non-profits. This course laid a good foundation for future lessons on non-profit accounting.

5
Anonymous Author
This was a great course that helped me to review non-profit entities and compliance with rules and regulations.

5
Member's Profile
easy to understand, good examples are used, emphasized the importance and difference of profit and non profit

5
Anonymous Author
This is a great introduction and/or review of the non-profit accounting. As always, enjoyed the instructor.

4
Anonymous Author
Great overview, easy to remember. Will need a followup class with more specific accounting principles.

5
Anonymous Author
Solid introduction to non-profit accounting. Good explanation of the principle accounting cycles.

5
Anonymous Author
wonderful course with outstanding content which is informative and easy to understand for anyone

5
Anonymous Author
This was an informative general course on not-for profit entities. The basics were well-covered.

5
Member's Profile
Excellent intro to NFP organization types, IRS filings, financial statements & accounting rules

5
Anonymous Author
Good refresher on the differences with non-profit accounting compared to for profit companies.

5
Anonymous Author
Ms Fountain knowledgeably presents the material in a way that connects to the recipient.

5
Anonymous Author
Informative and easy to understand. The instructor is always to the point with her videos

3
Anonymous Author
A good reminder of the basic concepts and differences with Not for profit accounting.

4
Anonymous Author
Solid introduction and discussion of basic differences between for and not for profit

5
Anonymous Author
The glossary/index is very helpful. I saved it to use as a reference in the future.

5
Anonymous Author
Good overview. Surprised at how many different types of NFPs are recognized by IRS.

5
Member's Profile
Lynn is a great presenter. I find her easy to understand and I never get bored.

5
Anonymous Author
This was a bit outside of my wheel house, but I enjoyed the trainer and content.

5
Anonymous Author
Well organized. Basic concepts were presented in a clear and coherent manner.

5
Anonymous Author
Great introduction and clearly defines the various non profits and purposes.

5
Anonymous Author
This course was a nice tool to firm up some of the basics of NFP accounting.

5
Member's Profile
This webinar is very educational. Thank you for allowing me to view it.

5
Member's Profile
Good introduction to nonprofits and talks about different aspects of them

4
Member's Profile
Introduction to Not-for-Profit Entities is probably my highlight of 2023.

5
Member's Profile
This course covers what the topic states and the slides are effective.

4
Member's Profile
The course has been explained properly with understandable examples.

4
Member's Profile
Excellent course for understanding the not for profit entities.

5
Member's Profile
The course is very well written and relevant to my line of work.

5
Anonymous Author
This was a great intro to NPO. I would recommend for beginners.

5
Member's Profile
This is a good introduction to non-profit accounting concepts.

5
Member's Profile
This course provides a general overivew of Not-for- profits.

4
Anonymous Author
This was a quick but helpful overview of non-profits.

5
Anonymous Author
Great course to gain understanding on NFP entities.

5
Member's Profile
Good basic overview of non-profit organizations.

Prerequisites
Course Complexity: Foundational

No advanced preparation or prerequisites are required for this course.

Education Provider Information
Company: Illumeo, Inc., 75 East Santa Clara St., Suite 1215, San Jose, CA 95113
Contact: 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 .
Instructor for this course
Course Syllabus
INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW
  Introduction to Not-for-Profit Entities7:21
  Distinction12:59
  Setting Up Non-Profit6:21
  Types of Nonprofits14:37
  Financial Statements5:48
  Fund Accounting2:56
  Important Concepts4:09
  Accounting Cycles & Summary7:47
CONTINUOUS PLAY
  Introduction to Not-for-Profit Entities1:01:58
Supporting Materials
  Slides: Introduction to Not-for-Profit EntitiesPDF
  Introduction to Not-for-Profit Entities Glossary/IndexPDF
REVIEW AND TEST
  REVIEW QUESTIONS quiz
 FINAL EXAMexam