Full Cost Recovery: The Strategy and Mechanics



Full Cost Recovery: The Strategy and Mechanics

October 23, 2017 - 9:00am to October 24, 2017 - 5:00pm

Washington , DC , United States


Shannon M. Meehan , Steve Kroll

Language: English

Early - Sep 11 Regular - Oct 02 Late - Oct 23
NON-MEMBERS $1,030 $1,135 $1,240
HUMENTUM MEMBERS $820 $925 $1,030


This two-day workshop covers the strategies and tactics for strengthening your NGO’s indirect cost recovery approach in a dynamic, evolving funding environment. Designed to enhance the ability of NGO staff to effectively manage their programs and maintain donor compliance, this highly participatory course will help you evaluate your methods for calculating indirect costs and determine if you’re maximizing your rates of cost recovery.

Who Should Attend

  • Staff who will benefit include all levels of staff working on the challenge of full cost recovery, from novice to expert.
  • In addition to individual participants, Humentum encourages employee teams to attend this workshop together.

What You Will Learn

This workshop explores how to recover full costs, especially overhead, when managing a diverse portfolio of funders, some that cap overhead and others that don't. You will learn how to:

  • Evaluate cost allocation structures and methods based on your NGO’s current funding mix
  • Apply alternative approaches to structuring overhead accounts and allocation methods
  • Manage the different ways funders regulate overhead payments
  • Develop best practices to budget for various donors
  • Navigate the basics of the US Government’s Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA)
  • Navigate the funder landscape using a decision-making model for testing whether systems change is worth it

The Inside NGO Advantage

For 40 years, Humentum has been “inside” the NGO community, supporting organizations as they address the world’s most pressing social issues. We are widely recognized as the leader in US government assistance compliance training. Our training activities are designed to help you and your organization build capacity, strengthen decision-making, develop more efficient systems, and identify effective solutions to important challenges. Our learning programs are modeled on the best practices in adult learning. In today’s complex operating environment, learning has never been more important, and we take great pride in being your partner in professional and organizational development.

CPE Credits

Participants at the workshop will earn 15.6 CPE credits and receive a certificate of attendance. The course level is Basic. The delivery method of this program is Group Live and the Field of Study is Specialized Knowledge.

Humentum is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.nasbaregistry.org.

Full Cost Recovery: Strategy and Mechanics

Time Activity
Day 1  
  Full Cost Recovery: The Mechanics
The first day explores the fundamentals of overhead, methods for full cost recovery, funder-by-funder review, and a hands-on practice for applying the methods. Participants will walk away with a working knowledge of the 10 methods for overhead cost recovery and practice applying them in various donor situations.
  • Terms
  • Principles
  • Accounting for true costs
  • Allocation methods
  • 10 methods typically in use today
  • Funders, who requires what?
  • What to use when, 3 problems to solve


Day 2  
  Full Cost Recovery: The Strategy
The second day is a high level exploration of the tradeoffs of going with funders who have overhead caps such as when to change approach, whether to say "no", what the landscape looks like going forward, and how to use InsideNGO survey data. Participants will walk away with a clear view of the funder landscape, the choices for adapting to it, and a decision-making model for testing whether systems change is worth it.
  NICRA: How Does it Work?
  Review of common full cost recovery methods in use today
  Review of funder landscape
  Would you say “no”, what would you change?
  • Five scenarios considered
  Trends in FCR
  • More flexible funders
  • Social investing and its implications on method choice


  How to hold an evidence-based conversation with funders about full cost recovery.
  • Survey data
  • Benchmarks



BREAK: 10:30
LUNCH: 12:30
BREAK: 3:00

1120 20th St NW 
Suite 520S
Washington DC 20036

The nearest Metro stop to the workshop is Farragut West on the Blue Line. Find a map of the DC metro system here.

Participants are responsible for making and paying for their own hotel/lodging arrangements. We have found that www.hotels.com usually offers comparable or even lower rates than we are able to negotiate. We recommend attendees look for hotels in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. Check out some suggestions for convenient hotels.

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