Shared Services: Understanding Revenue Streams

The money is in the bank, the pledge is secured, the silent auction exceeded your expectations – is it time to relax?  Not quite.  You still need to make sure the revenue is flowing into the right categories in order to paint a clear financial picture of your organization.

Think of reporting revenue as a Paint-By-Numbers kit.  Nonprofit revenues can be divided into different “paint buckets” and the chart of the accounts is like your Paint-By-Numbers template.  If you use the right bucket to identify your revenue, you will paint a beautiful numerical picture of your organization.

However, if you do not code your revenues correctly, you will mix the paint colors and your financial picture will turn gray and cloudy.

Proper setup of your account structure is key.  There are tools for guidance in setting up a comprehensive chart of accounts for your organization.  Here are two tools to help guide you:

Paint Buckets:


  • Federated Campaign
  • Individual Giving
  • Grants
  • Membership Dues with no benefits
  • In-kind

Program Services

  • Program fees
  • Contract fees
  • Sales
  • Membership dues – benefits portion


  • Exchange vs Non-exchange of
  • Sponsorships
  • Reporting net of direct expenses
  • In-kind


Unrelated Party Income

  • Advertising
  • Sales
  • Business

If you have any questions about your account structure; or how to code revenues streams, please reach out to your accounting professional at Support KC.  Let us help you create your masterpiece.

K. Christy Cubbage – Rigby
Director of Client Accounting
Support Kansas City, Inc.

About the Author

Support KC

For the benefit of the nonprofit sector everywhere, we wanted to provide resources for ways we can continue to operate and grow within this era. And once social distancing begins to fade, what lessons can we take from this to improve our operations permanently. Come back often for more updates.

Accounting & Fiscal Management

  • Structure general ledger, chart of accounts, setup assistance
  • Monthly accounting support: accounts payable, accounts receivable, deposits and receipts, bank reconciliation
  • Payroll preparation
  • Preparation of management reports
  • Financial report preparation for board meetings
  • Grant tracking and reporting
  • Preparation of IRS Form 990
  • Preparation of annual 1099’s
  • Preparation of schedules for independent audit, assistance with audit completion
  • Cleanup of past accounting records
  • Budget preparation assistance, reporting and analysis
  • QuickBooks training

Governance & Strategy Development

  • Governance training
  • Executive mentoring and coaching
  • Board retreat facilitation
  • Strategic planning documents
  • Outcomes and impact measurement and reporting
  • Survey assistance

Database Management

  • Database design and development
  • Gift and demographic data entry
  • Donor acknowledgement letters
  • Import and export of data; mail merges; exports to mail house
  • Data and donor analysis
  • Integration with accounting systems, fund development and social media activities
  • Database training
  • Ongoing support and technical assistance

Fund Development

  • Create annual fund development plan
  • Fund development plan audits
  • Board Training
  • Capital campaigns
  • Grant management: research, writing and reporting
  • Major gifts and planned giving
  • Special event planning and support
  • Annual fund drives
  • Annual appeal mailings