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Class Descriptions

Budgeting and Fiscal Management


Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

Pathway Associations

Community Change
Interpersonal Practice
Mgmt & LeadershipElective (Host)
Policy & PoliticalElective
Program EvaluationElective
Older Adults
Children & Families

Course Description

This course will present the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to develop and manage the budget and finances of a social impact organization and its programs. Students will learn to use the techniques necessary to: 1) Plan, develop, display, revise, monitor, and evaluate a program budget using different kinds of budget formats; 2) Evaluate past financial performance; 3) Evaluate and propose financial changes for the future; 4) Monitor and evaluate the cost-efficiency and cost-effectiveness of social impact programs and organizations. The course will include exercises to develop and manage a budget for a program in an organization, along with a review of relevant policies and procedures in these organizations. Students will learn to understand cost analysis, and calculate income and expense estimates. The pros and cons of using various types of budgets will be compared. Students will receive an introduction to the process of overall organizational financial planning and auditing, including such topics as the role of Boards of Directors and consultants in financial management, planning, and evaluation. Calculation of indirect (overhead) costs, allocation methods, and issues of continuation funding will be discussed. Students will learn to develop an annual budget.. Development of a budget will include estimating and allocating all costs, including that of of personnel, which is the major expense in human service programs. Students will learn how basic financial transactions are reported through standard accounting procedures, how revenues and expenses are monitored and how all the finances of the agency are consolidated into typical financial statements . Additional topics are introduced to highlight contemporary issues affecting financial stability and sustainability.


Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. Develop an organizational and program budget.
2. Express in a clear, written justification for proposed budget items.
3. Develop and interpret financial reports that monitor revenues, expenses, and the overall financial status of an organization.
4. Critically examine budgeting and fiscal management and their connection to service provision and relevant social work ethics and values.
5. Demonstrate knowledge of standard accounting concepts, principles, and systems, and their application in organizations.
6. Identity the strategic choices associated with various revenue generation strategies, including their connections to sustainability.
7. Analyze how key identity dimensions such as ability, age, class, culture, ethnicity, family structure, gender (including gender identity and gender expression), marital status, national origin, race, religion or spirituality, sex, and sexual orientation, impact fiscal decision making.


This course will use multiple methods including but not limited to: lectures, demonstrations, exercises, case studies, readings, guest speakers, discussions, written assignments, individual and group exercises.

Intensive Focus on Privilege, Oppression, Diversity and Social Justice (PODS)

This course integrates PODS content and skills with a special emphasis on the identification of theories, practice and/or policies that promote social justice, illuminate injustices and are consistent with scientific and professional knowledge. Through the use of a variety of instructional methods, this course will support students developing a vision of social justice, learn to recognize and reduce mechanisms that support oppression and injustice, work toward social justice processes, apply intersectionality and intercultural frameworks and strengthen critical consciousness, self knowledge and self awareness to facilitate PODS learning.

The course will include instruction about how institutional biases and oppression manifest in the area of fiscal management, both internally (within the organization) and externally (external factors that impact the organization). Students will identify how inequities are manifested, maintained and reinforced in systems and identify systemic policies and practices and resist marginalizing and disempowering dynamics. Students will learn from those with different voices, values, and experiences. This course will focus on processes that promote social justice, including those that resist and reduce disempowering and marginalizing dynamics.

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