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CHAPTER 27 Financial Management in Not-for-Profit Businesses For-profit (investor-owned) vs. not-for-profit businesses or agencies 501(c)(3) Fund Capital WACC for Not-for Profit Businesses Municipal Securities Importance of Not-for Profit Corporations

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Financial Management in

Not-for-Profit Businesses

  • For-profit (investor-owned) vs. not-for-profit businesses or agencies
  • 501(c)(3)
  • Fund Capital
  • WACC for Not-for Profit Businesses
  • Municipal Securities

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importance of not for profit corporations
Importance of Not-for Profit Corporations
  • Not-for-profit corporations account for over 15% of the U.S. GNP.
  • Not-for profits employ over 9 million persons.
  • Volunteer as a United Way Loaned Executive or as a member of a Board of Directors

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What are the key features of

investor-owned firms?

  • Owners (shareholders) are well defined, and they exercise control by voting for the firm’s board of directors.
  • Firm’s residual earnings belong to the owners, so management is responsible to the owners for the firm’s profitability.
  • Firm is subject to taxation at the federal, state, and local levels.

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What is a not-for-profit


  • One that is organized and operated solely for eleemosynary (charitable), religious, scientific, public safety, or educational purposes
  • Generally qualify for tax-exempt status. 501(c)(3)

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What are the major control

differences between investor-owned

and not-for-profit business?

  • Not-for-profit corporations have no shareholders, so all residual earnings are retained within the firm.
  • Control of not-for-profit firms rests with a board of trustees (or board of directors) composed of community leaders who have no economic interest in the firm.

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How do goals differ between investor-owned and not-for-

profit businesses?

  • Because not-for-profit firms have no shareholders, they are not concerned with the goal of maximizing SH wealth.
  • Goals of not-for-profit firms are delineated in entity’s or agency’s mission statement. Generally relate to providing some socially valuable service in a financially sound manner.


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A Not-for-Profit Corporation must:
    • Operate exclusively for the public, rather than private interest
    • None of the profits should be used for private inurement (personal gain)
    • No political activity should be conducted
    • If liquidation occurs, the assets must continue to be used for charitable purposes
  • In South Carolina, 501(c)(3) groups have to pay fees such as the $50 annual fee to be registered as a South Carolina charitable organization and therefore be able to accept tax-deductible contributions.

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Is the WACC relevant to

not-for-profit businesses?

  • YES. The WACC estimation for not-for-profit firms parallels that for investor-owned firms.
  • Clemson University has a WACC it uses for capital projects.

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Is there any difference between

the WACC formula for investor-

owned firms and not-for-profit firms?

  • Because not-for-profit firms pay no taxes, there are no tax effects associated with debt financing.
  • A not-for-profit firm can issue tax exempt debt and be exempt from property and income taxes.
  • A not-for-profit firm’s cost of equity or cost of fund capital, is much more controversial than for an investor-owned firm.

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What is fund capital?

  • Not-for profit firms raise the equivalent of equity capital, called fund capital, by:
    • retaining profits,
    • receiving government and/or foundation grants, and
    • receiving (tax deductible) private contributions.
      • Memberships
      • Fund raising events and activities

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fund accounting
Fund Accounting
  • Unrestricted
  • Restricted
  • Endowment
  • Gifts-in-kind

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How is the cost of

fund capital determined?

  • The cost of fund capital is an opportunity cost to the not-for-profit firm.
  • It is the return the firm could realize by investing the capital in securities of similar risk.

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four approaches to the cost of fund capital
Four Approaches to the Cost of Fund Capital
  • Fund capital has zero cost.
  • Fund capital must earn a sufficient return to enable the organization to replace existing assets.
  • Fund capital can be invested in marketable securities.
  • Fund capital has the same cost as the cost of retained earnings to similar investor-owned firms.

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Is the tradeoff theory of capital

structure applicable to

not-for-profit businesses?

  • Not-for-profit firms’ optimal capital structures should be based on the tradeoffs between the benefits and costs of debt financing.
  • Not-for profit firms have about the same effective costs of debt and equity as investor-owned firms of similar risk. (More...)

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The firm’s opportunity cost of fund capital should rise as more and more debt is used, and the firm should be subject to the same financial distress and agency costs from using debt as encountered by investor-owned firms.

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Is the asymmetric information

theory applicable to not-for-profit


  • The asymmetric information theory is not applicable to not-for-profit firms, since they do not issue common stock.

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What problems do not-for-profit firms

encounter when they attempt

to implement the tradeoff theory?

  • The major problem is their lack of flexibility in raising equity capital.
  • Not-for-profit firms do not have access to the typical equity markets. Harder for them to raise fund capital.
  • It is often necessary for not-for-profit firms to delay worthy projects because of insufficient funding, or to use more than the theoretically optimal amount of debt.

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Why is capital budgeting important

to not-for-profit businesses?

  • The financial impact of each capital investment should be fully understood in order to ensure the firm’s long-term financial health.
  • Substantial investment in unprofitable projects could lead to bankruptcy and closure, which would eliminate the social value provided by the firm to the community.

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What is social value?

  • Social value are those benefits realized from capital investment in addition to cash flow returns, such as charity care and other community services.
  • The primary goal of a Not-for-Profit business or entity is to provide some service to society, not to maximize shareholder wealth.

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How can the NPV method be

modified to include the social value

of proposed projects?

  • When the social value of a project is considered, the total NPV of the project equals the standard NPV of the project’s expected cash flow stream plus the NPV of the social value of the project.
  • This requires the social value to be quantified and discounted to Year 0. I promise that this particular question will not be on your final examination.

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amount of capital
Amount of Capital
  • Not-for-Profit entities have limited access to capital. Their fund capital is limited to:
    • Retentions
    • Grants
    • Contributions
  • Not-for-Profit entities’ debt capital is limited to the amount that can be supported by their fund capital base.

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Which of the three project risk

measures--stand-alone, corporate,

and market-- is relevant to

not-for-profit businesses?

  • Corporate risk,or the additional risk a project adds to the overall riskiness of the firm’s portfolio of projects, is the most relevant risk for a not-for-profit firm, since many not-for-profit firms offer a wide variety of products and services.


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Stand-alone riskwould only be relevant if the project were the only one the firm would be involved with.
  • Market riskis not relevant at all since not-for-profit firms do not have stockholders.

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What is a corporate beta?

  • A quantitative measure of corporate risk.
  • Measures the volatility of returns on the project relative to the firm as a whole.

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How is project risk actually

measured within not-for-profit


  • Not-for-profit firms often use the project’s stand-alone risk, along with a subjective notion of how the project fits into the firm’s other operations, as an estimate of corporate risk.
  • Corporate risk and stand-alone risk tend to be highly correlated, since most projects under consideration tend to be in the same line of business as the firm’s other operations

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What are municipal bonds?

  • Bonds issued by (or through) state and local governments or their entities.
  • Municipal bonds are exempt from federal taxes and state income taxes in the state of issue.
    • General Obligation Bonds
    • Revenue Bonds
      • Southern Connector
    • Serial Bonds

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How do not-for-profit health-

care businesses access

the municipal bond market?

  • Not-for-profit health-care firms cannot issue municipal bonds directly to investors. The bonds are issued through some municipal health facilities authority.
  • The authority acts only as a conduit for the issuing corporation.

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What is a credit enhancement, and

what effect does it have on debt costs?

  • Credit enhancement is bond insurance that guarantees the repayment of a municipal bond’s principal and interest.
  • When issuers purchase credit enhancement, the bond is rated on the basis of the insurer’s financial strength rather than on the issuer’s.

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Because credit enhancement raises the bond rating, interest costs are reduced. However, the issuer must bear the added cost of the bond insurance. Bond insurers typically charge an “upfront” fee of about 0.7 to 1.0 percent of the total debt service over the life of the bond.
  • Insurers
    • American Capital Access (ACA)
    • American Municipal Bond Assurance Corporation (AMBAC)
    • Financial Guaranty Insurance Company (FGIC)
    • Municipal Bond Investors Assurance Insurance Corporation (MBIA)

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What are a not-for-profit business’s

sources of fund capital?

  • Excess of revenues over expenses.
  • Charitable contributions.
  • Government and private (foundation) grants.

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What impact does the inability to issue

common stock have on a not-for-profit

business’s capital structure and

capital budgeting decisions?

  • The lack of access to equity capital effectively imposes capital rationing, so the firm may not be able to take on all worthwhile projects.
  • In order to invest in desired projects, the firm may have to take on more than the optimal amount of debt.

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What unique problems do not-for-

profit firms encounter in financial

analysis and planning and short-

term financial management?

  • In general, these tasks are the same regardless of the type of ownership.
  • However, the unique features of not-for-profit organizations, especially the lack of financial flexibility, creates some differences in implementation.

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  • Not-for Profit Corporation
  • Tax-exempt status 501(c)3
  • Sources of Fund Capital
  • Municipal Bonds
  • Credit Enhancement

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