Wondering how to start a financial training plan for your business, cooperative, or non-profit?

This is part #1 of a 3 part training plan that will prompt you to get started with democratizing your financials!


The first step in any training plan is to assess what level everyone in your organization is at. This will help you best use your resources for evaluation and training later in the process.  Start with a general meeting and question prompts like the below in small groups or individually to get people thinking about financials. It’s good to have an outside facilitator as things can come up and be tough to navigate without a 3rd party. 

Specific Questions to ask your group:

+ Do we have a mission/vision and how do our financial budgets and plans fit into those?

+ What is everyone’s accounting knowledge?

+ What was your business experience prior to coming to the organization?

+ Have you ever done your own taxes? What do you understand about them?

+ What is your relationship & history with money? What’s your earliest memory of it?

+ What are your personal financial goals? What are your business financial goals?

Techniques and Resources

These techniques and games are designed to evaluate collective knowledge and assess where everyone is at. Feel free to use at least 3 techniques to get a broad picture of where folks are at with their financial knowledge.


Finance Question Report Matching Game – quick quiz to see if folks know where to find numbers and indicators on the four reports (P&L, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow and Budget)

Picture of your Finances – draw a picture of your personal finances on one side of the paper, and a picture of your business finances on the other (worker coop, or otherwise) & share.

Power and Priv in your Org – map out on a white board or large visual of who has access / power / information about money in your organization. Seeing this in a solid form can help re-distribute power & privilege and shake up systemic and typical imbalances of power that show up in organizations.

Financial Puzzle – print out your balance sheet, p&l or other essential report onto a large sheet. Cut up into sizable pieces and ask small groups to re-assemble and discuss.

$20 exercise – put a bill on the wall or table and ask “why is the $20 bill here?” to get people to start talking about money and see what comes up when they engage with the bill.

Risk Assessment – are you low risk or high risk? Ask people to fill out this risk sheet and then share with each other.

Write your personal money story from the first time you remember money or wealth and ending with today. What’s changed? Are there any themes?

Bookkeeper quiz assessment – usually organizations have one or more people designated at the bookkeeper. Have them take this skill assessment to see where they are at.  There are skills assessments for a variety of different industries. A good way to make sure your bookkeeping is being done correctly is to hire a consultant to occasionally audit your books or help close the year, even if you are doing the work internally. If you need improvement, send your bookkeeper to a class on accounting or the software you use.

Individual v. Collective Budgeting : You get a grant of $20k to fund your business. Assuming you don’t have any other money, what do you spend your $20k on? Take 5 min to do this individually and then try and come to consensus.

These are a just a few of the many exercises Rye Financial can help you facilitate or come up with. What else can you imagine?

Want a customized training plan or more information? Contact Rye