In non-profit management, a strong budgeting process is more important than ever. Making the most of your resources and planning strategically can help guide your organization and allow you to do more good.
The budgeting process for a not-for-profit can look similar to a for-profit business, but there are some key differences. Read on to discover how to make the most of your non-profit management budget.
- Involve all relevant players.
Including departmental staff members who are responsible for adhering to budgets can be a game changer. For one thing, it creates buy-in. For another, it helps promote understanding of what is being prioritized and why, which can help combat inter-departmental resentment.
- Budget for income first.
Have a realistic idea of what income you can rely upon for operations and then calculate expenses. If your expenses are more than you can reliably count upon, you know it’s time to pare back.
- Understand revenue streams.
Risk management is crucial to budgeting and as such so are multiple revenue streams. If your organization’s financial stability relies on receiving a certain grant and you don’t get it or the program’s cancelled, what will you do?
- Develop “what-if” analyses.
If a revenue source does disappear, having a “what-if” plan can be the difference between struggling and making it through. Considering various scenarios will keep your non-profit management that much more flexible.
- Align with strategic priorities.
Your budget should tie into short and long-term goals. Having a strategic vision will make prioritizing expenses easier and help your organization grow.
- Create a timeline.
Start earlier than you think you will have to and give yourself an end date with enough time to allow for reviews. You don’t want the budgeting process to drag on and on, but at the same time you want to make sure it’s given the attention it requires.
- Link the budget to your chart of accounts.
Ensure your budget line items and financial statement line items are in sync. This will eliminate a lot of confusion and make comparisons that much easier.
- Choose the right tools.
The budgeting process can be made that much more effective with the right software. No one wants a budgeting program that takes more time, money, and energy to use, especially not when you’re working in non-profit management. Some tools, like True Sky, simplify the budgeting process and help your organization focus on what really matters.
True Sky was made with ease of use in mind. Our budgeting software eliminates user frustration and lets the people you need to involve in the business budget planning process get involved with no problems.
Learn more about how True Sky can help with your non-profit management budgeting process at www.truesky.com or by calling 1-855-878-3759.