Public Financial Management, Week 3

According to this, all decisions are supposed to be made in triplicate (Mr.TinDC / Flickr)
According to this, all decisions are supposed to be made in triplicate (Mr.TinDC / Flickr)

Last week’s meeting of PUAD 702 included more students, since we did not have the looming threat of more snow. We began with an overview of budgeting models and methods, focusing on government applications. The last 45 minutes or so of the class discussing the objectives of our proposed nonprofit. Several solid ideas came out of the session and two seemed to have a grip on the group:

  • Adopt a nearby park
  • Provide tutoring services for local high school students

These are both admirable goals, but I think have missed the boat. When I asked, a couple of times, where the labor would come form. Each time, the answer was the students. While I salute their volunteerism, the goal of the project is to understand financial fundamentals in the context of a nonprofit. I suggested they could find a proposal to raise money to support some noble goal, since this was supposed to be an exercise in paperwork.

I also opened the possibility that the class could do this as a simulation. It would remove the “hard labor” aspect of the project and get them to focus on the finance question.

One student has identified a park lot near campus and taken the lead on putting this together. Through Trello, several other students have gotten behind the project and seem to support it. Over the last week, this seems to be coming together.

We should decide the answer tonight, but I am keeping the simulation idea in my back pocket.