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North Park University - Chicago North Park University - Chicago

Understanding Full Costs of Programs


  • $90.00  -  Half Day-Full Price
  • $72.00  -  Half Day-Forefront operating nonprofit member
  • $72.00  -  Half Day-<$1 million budget at nonprofit organization
  • $72.00  -  Half Day-5 years or less experience in sector
  • $72.00  -  Half Day-Undergrad and Graduate Students
  • $72.00  -  Half Day-NPU or ECC Staff


Wednesday, October 30, 2019


8:30 - 9:00am - Networking and Coffee
9am - Noon - Workshop

Half-Day Workshop: $90

About this session: An understanding of the full cost of programs can be critical in helping leaders make more informed and strategic decisions about how to allocate scarce resources, as well as also allow an organization to better advocate for the funding of indirect costs in grant proposals and government contract budgets.

As the debate over the “overhead myth” has gained traction in the nonprofit sector, both private and government funders have become more aware of the importance of funding the full cost of services. In particular, the recently revised regulations of the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) now stipulate that nonprofits receiving federal funds must be reimbursed for reasonable indirect costs (sometimes called “overhead” or “administrative” costs) in addition to direct costs.

If you find terms like “indirect” and “overhead” to be murky and unclear, haven’t recently undertaken an analysis of full cost of programs at your organization, or are unsure how to craft a “fully-loaded” budget to submit to a funder, this half-day workshop will help get you there.

The workshop will include information on:
Identifying shared and indirect costs
Understanding different cost allocation methodologies and ensuring allocations are appropriately substantiated
Building indirect costs into program budgets to understand the real costs of program delivery
Communicating the story of your organization’s “overhead” to funders and other external stakeholders

Who Should Participate:  Senior leadership and program directors

About the Presenter:   Gretchen Upholt, MPA, Lead Consultant, Midwest, FMA

An experienced staff and program manager, Gretchen has expertise in training, capacity building, research, and program and volunteer management. At FMA, Gretchen splits her time between playing an active role as trainer, coach, and curriculum developer for FMA’s cohort training initiatives and as consultant to nonprofit clients across the country, helping nonprofit leaders improve their financial management skills and processes.

Before joining the FMA team, Gretchen served as the head of the volunteer department at the Thabyay Education Network in Thailand. In that role, Gretchen developed a strategic plan to improve monitoring and evaluation and program management in her department. She also served on the leadership team for the organization, where she reviewed and approved budgets for the organization’s 22 programs and worked on a plan to restructure the organization’s finance and operations staffing and systems.

Before her work in Thailand, Gretchen served as a community development Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine, where she designed project frameworks, wrote grants, and led a committee tasked with making funding decisions for USAID funded grants. With a widely diverse background, Gretchen also has experience working on the corporate citizenship team at the TCC Group, designing and implementing a pilot research study on nonprofit talent costs for the Talent Philanthropy Project, as a project manager with the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, and as Chorus Manager for The Choral Arts Society of Washington.

Gretchen holds a Masters of Public Administration in public and nonprofit management from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service, where she was a head teaching colleague for the core finance and management classes. After graduation, Gretchen continued her relationship with Wagner as an adjunct professor and teaching colleague. She received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in arts and cultural management from American University in Washington, DC. She maintains her love of music as a singer with Allegrezza Singers, a Chicago-based SATB choir.








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