Having a problem interpreting your 10 page financial statement to the board? Try turning key indicators into a green, yellow, or red light. Put several key pieces of data on a summary page and you have an easily understood report on where the organization stands.
The Center for Nonprofit Management provides Picture This, a very short case study on how a bookkeeper distilled a 14 page monthly report into an understandable one page summary.
That article links to this great visual description of how to use dashboards to report key data: A Nonprofit Dashboard and Signal Light for Boards by the Blue Avocado blog.
Here is just one example from the article: To analyze days of unrestricted cash on hand, the organization sets a target of 45 days – 6 months ago that stat was at 65 days, so that square is in green – today the stat is at 18 days, way below target, so that square is red. In a four-second glance, much less time that it takes you to read the previous sentence, a board member can see that the cash on hand has deteriorated a lot in the last six months.
Check out the article to see how easy dashboards are to read!