Initial setup questions for a small non-profit membership startup (UK)

Mike or Penny Novack stepbystepfarm at
Thu May 14 10:06:49 EDT 2015

>> Hi folks. I'm sort of starting out with this sort of company, which is a
>> non-profit membership organisation.
  Just want to point something out. While handling the "membership" part 
of non-profits (and the problem of amounts that are legally receivable 
and others that are voluntary payments and the reality that members may 
WANT to receive invoices/statements and the organization to track who is 
current or behind in dues) it might seem that gnucash is deficient. We 
have to improvise, use "workarounds", etc.

No, not in comparison with any of the alternatives that I am aware of. 
The commercial products supposedly supporting non-profits (say 
QuickBooks Pro for Non-profits) pretty much share the deficiencies. The 
market for software designed specifically to  support non-profits is too 
small to get the design work done by the commercial accounting software 

Michael D Novack

PS: I'd advise the original poster (setting up for a new non-profit) to 
first analyze what reports are going to be necessary, then what basis 
and account structure would support that, plus what playing 
around/adjusting to produce necessary reports that this structure won't 
produce. Then pick the least onerous alternative. Don't immediately 
discard the possibility of more than one set of books. If the 
organization's basis is cash but you need the business features for 
extensive "membership accounting" and membership invoicing that COULD be 
the least onerous alternative --- I know all the headaches of trying to 
do that within one set of books (using gnucash, QuickBooks Pro, whatever).

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