Document Type


Publication Date



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Social Work


Applications of the tools of modern business and public management to human service administrative problems has become increasingly sophisticated. In this article, the author presents Break-Even Analysis (BEA) as one such management tool useful for financial planning in nonprofit and public human services organizations, particularly those with multiple sources of funding. The original article, published in 1976, was the first-ever presentation on this topic in human services, and the core of the author's 1980 first-ever book on financial management in nonprofit human services. In this revision of the original article, Break-Even Analysis is presented as a compact, easily administered “early warning system” that can allow administrators to detect fiscal opportunities and problems months - in some cases, years - in advance of their actual onset. Moving beyond the original, which featured only graphic techniques of analysis, this revision also includes basic formulas and a number of additional illustrations.

Source Citation

An earlier version of this manuscript was published in Social Work. 21.4. (July, 1976). 300-307.



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