If I have a surplus, why don’t I have any money?

It’s probably a timing issue.

You might be strapped for cash if you are paying off bills from past year losses. In the same way, if you’re doing some early spending on future projects, this year’s money might be flying out the door to get ready for next year.

You could also be tight if you haven’t collected all the money people owe you. For instance, maybe you’ve rented a lot of studio time or gathered a lot of event registrations. If those people have booked but not yet paid you could be in trouble. In the same way, you could have solid fundraising pledges, or a confirmed grant, but still be awaiting the funds.