Online Course: Financial Structures and Strategy (Summer 2020)

  • Registration Closed

Course Description

Intended for those with little to moderate familiarity with financial concepts, this four-week course helps students better understand institutional finance and accountability. Staff, board members, and volunteers will find this course applicable to their work within nonprofit organizations, agencies, and other structures.

“Financial Structures and Strategy” introduces the “big ideas” of organizational financial management: functional accounting, transparency, the annual reporting process, and the relationship between finance and mission. Not only will students learn the basic structures and functions of financial oversight, they will also understand how to activate finance as a strategic tool to benefit organizational planning and evaluation.

Over the four weeks, students participate in dynamic discussions, review relevant and timely readings, and ultimately learn how to prepare and analyze financial systems.   

The course is divided into four weekly segments, each accompanied by an online lesson, forum, chat, and assignment:

  • Week 1: Course overview and introduction to financial systems
  • Week 2: Overview of the annual audit process and preparation of financial statements
  • Week 3: Introduction to the IRS Form 990, UBIT, and other tax considerations
  • Week 4: Strategies and recommendations for long-term institutional financial health

Note: The Introduction to Financial Management course presented by AASLH is not required as a prerequisite for this course, though may prove useful in preparation.


COURSE DATES: May 26 - June 22, 2020

COST: $150 AASLH Members / $250 Nonmembers

OPEN REGISTRATION: March 2, 2020 - May 20, 2020; 20 participant limit

Course Logistics

FORMAT: Online, instructor-led, weekly-paced course 

LENGTH: 4 weeks 

PARTICIPATION STYLE: Weekly real-time online office hours; weekly assignments; final course assignment; Students should expect to spend 2-5 hours per week on the course.

MATERIALS: One required text, Financial Fundamentals for Historic House Museums, Rebekah Beaulieu, 2017 (Texts are NOT INCLUDED with your registration. You must order the book separately from the book seller of your choice.) Students should bring real-life financial information to the course to be used in course assignments to create a budget. Students should also have access to and basic knowledge of Microsoft Excel or a similar spreadsheet program as it will be used extensively to complete assignments. Note: all institutional financial information will be kept confidential and shared only with the instructor. 

Participant Outcomes

Participation in this course will help you:   

  • Understand basic nonprofit functional accounting systems and the role of financial transparency
  • Structure and execute the annual financial reporting process
  • Analyze financial data according to mission relevance
  • Establish financial procedures to ensure financial sustainability.

Who Should Take This Course

Whether you have financial responsibilities at your organization, wish to build a skill set for a leadership position in the future, or simply want to better comprehend and contribute to financial decision-making, this course is for you.  

​Rebekah Beaulieu

Treasurer, American Association for State and Local History (AASLH)

AASLH Online Course Instructor


Rebekah Beaulieu, Ph.D. is the Louise Taft Semple President & CEO of the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati, Ohio. She previously served as Director of the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut and as Associate Director at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. She serves as Treasurer of AASLH and on the faculty of AASLH’s History Leadership Institute. Becky is also an Accreditation Commissioner for the American Alliance of Museums.

Becky is the author of Financial Fundamentals for Historic House Museums (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017 and of Endowment Essentials for Museums (2022). She holds an M.A in Art History and Museum Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and in Arts Administration from Columbia University; she earned her Ph.D. in American and New England Studies at Boston University.


Online Course Access Information
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.

Cancellation/Refunds for onsite workshops must be submitted in writing via email or mail. Cancellations made prior to the early-bird registration deadline date will receive a full refund. Cancellations made between the early-bird deadline date and eight days prior to the workshop will be subject to a $55 processing/materials charge. No refunds will be given within seven days of the workshop date. AASLH is not responsible for cancellations that were mailed or emailed but never received.

Cancellations/Refunds for online continuing education (webinars and online courses) must be submitted in writing via email or mail. Cancellations made prior to the start date for the online course or the day of the webinar will be given a full refund. No refund will be given after the start date for the online course or on/after the day of the webinar. Registrants may transfer their registration to another person. Registrations cannot be transferred between courses or course sessions. AASLH is not responsible for cancellations that were mailed or emailed but never received.

If you have any questions, please contact AASLH Programs staff at 615-320-3203 or