Hilda Polanco

Founder and Managing Partner
CPA, CCSA®,CGMA
Phone: 212-931-9240
Partners

In 1999, Hilda founded the capacity-building firm Fiscal Management Associates which became BDO FMA in 2021.

Early on, Hilda led FMA to collaborate with the Robin Hood Foundation in a then-emerging model of “capacity building beyond the grant,” in which funders engage consultants to provide direct services to their grantees. Besides being able to provide services to smaller nonprofits on a larger scale, this early partnership initiated what has become a central aspect of Hilda’s work: to strengthen the relationship between foundations and their grantees, between nonprofits and the organizations that fund them.

Recently, she has worked closely with some of the nation’s largest foundations to illuminate the full cost of delivering nonprofit programs, and has joined with them in calling other members of the philanthropic sector to better understand how nonprofit revenue models support operations and ultimately, to work toward more knowledgeable financing of those business models.  At the same time, she is passionate about helping nonprofits develop a resilient long-term financial strategy; operationalizing strategic plans and considering realistic financial implications.

A dynamic speaker with deep industry & finance knowledge, Hilda is widely known for providing nonprofit leaders with the skills and confidence they need to tell their organization’s financial story, as well as working with boards to strengthen their capacity to execute their fiduciary responsibility. She has written and spoken frequently about best practices in planning for and establishing endowments and other fiscal reserves. She is a frequent speaker with the AICPA and philanthropy-serving organizations such as GEO, PEAK Philanthropy, and Philanthropy NY.

Over the span of her career, Hilda has developed the viewpoint that “your budget is highest expression of your values,” and ultimately, that the decisions we make with resources are critical to creating more diverse and inclusive organizations.

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • Columbia Business School, Tamer Center for Social Enterprise, Executive Development, Faculty
  • Columbia University’s Department of Health Policy and Management, (Former) Adjunct Professor
  • BDO Institute for Nonprofit Excellence, Member

EDUCATION

  • B.A., Accounting, New York University
  • Certification in Control Self-Assessment, Institute of Internal Auditors
  • Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) Award, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

  • Acelero Learning, Audit Committee Chair
  • Hispanics in Philanthropy, Board of Directors
  • Latino U, Advisory Board
  • National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers, Member
  • Third Sector Capital, Advisory Board

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

  • Latina Excellence Award: Community Service, HISPANIC Magazine
  • Leap of Reason Ambassador
  • New York Brava! Top Female CEO, SmartCEO Magazine
  • Outstanding Leadership: Nonprofit Finance, WHEDCO
  • Philanthropy Award, Latinas On the Verge of Excellence (L.O.V.E.)
  • Social Entrepreneur Award, National Association of Women Business Owners-NYC