GNUCash for a nonprofit organization?

Have you successfully used the free and open-source software GNUCash to run the finances of a nonprofit organization, like a church?

Not so great a blog entry, but I’m hoping to attract the attention of someone who has done such a thing.

11 Replies to “GNUCash for a nonprofit organization?”

  1. I am currently working on this. Not sure how far I will get but would love to just use gnuCash as our church accounting software. I’ll post my findings, which will be from an accounting novices P.O.V.

  2. I am also trying to use it for my non-profit organizations. What is causing me trouble is that donors’ (called customers by gnucash) reports can only be generated from Accounts Receivable and ONLY from one account per report. So if

    The reason for that is you can only process donations (payment as gnucash calls it) for accounts of type Accounts Receivable. You can not post a payment to any other account.

    Otherwise, I think it is doable.

  3. I used gnucash at our church for 2009. Although I do not think i set it up properly. I dont have it in front of me but i created two accounts. General Funds and Missions. When someone wrote a check for tithes it went into the General Funds account. Same thing for Missions. Also created a Building Fund account.

    It worked very well for us because I could run reports per day, week, month, etc. But I could not run a report per person.

    When I thought I was creating the member as a customer it was actually just a Description Field and I cannot not run the report on Description Fields. So I ended up running a Yearly Report and sorting it Alphabetically by Description. I had a grande total for the year and had seperate lines for each member.

    I copied all that data to an OpenOffice spreadsheet and put the sum of each members rows in a new cell. Then added the column of the totals to make sure it matched. Voila.

    We a small church so it only took a few minutes to do the Spreadsheet thing but like i said, I did not set this up properly. Which is how I found this page. I am looking for a proper way to set it up so that I can run reports on each member.

    hope this helps, and hope somone can help me, us.

    Sal

  4. I’ve been sort of successful. I set up another receivable account called donations. Each member is set up as a customer. Whenever a donation is made, I post an invoice for the amount of their donation to the donations account. Then I do a process payment and apply that payment to the invoice. So I’ve got it to work as a two step process.

    This hasn’t worked the best however, because when I run a customer report it shows their donation and an entry for each invoice I made. If I take their donation without issuing an invoice with it, it gives me a negative balance in the donations account. Any ideas?

  5. I am just now looking to start using gnucash for a church. I wasn’t planning to use the business functions. I am thinking that the invoicing etc. like Chris’s setup would be too cumbersome. I was thinking that each member would be setup as an income account that transfers to the checking account used for the general fund. I think that would work but I am not sure how many income accounts gnucash will allow me to setup.

  6. I have been using GnuCash since Feb 2009 for our small, home-based church. I am also an accounting novice. This is what’s working for me. I have an asset account that is for our checking account. I then have several expense accounts for ministry support, supplies, etc. I then have an income account for each of our members that tithe. I can then run a report for each member to see what they gave over the year and create a giving report for them.

    Currently, I’m trying to figure out how to handle “earmarked” donations. The direction I am leaning is that I will make a deposit to the asset checking account and its corresponding (debit/credit?) transaction to the member’s income giving account. I will then have an additional income account for that member called Donations. Then make another transaction from the Donations account to the ministry support expense account. I hope thats clear 🙂 The only wrinkle so far is that if I run a giving report for that member’s income accounts the debit/credit balance out to zero for their donation and it gets reported incorrectly. It’s like I only need one side (debit/credit) of the transactions in the donations accounts.

  7. It’ll let the last comment pass without endorsement because there are so few print resources for GnuCash. I did, however, print out as GnuCCash Tutorial and Concepts Guide (as I mentioned in a recent blog post) and have read it. Today, I’ll be running back through it to try out the examples before I try it with my actual financial data.

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