Abila recently released their Nonprofit Finance and Fundraising Collaboration Study - Opportunities for a More Collaborative Nonprofit ›. With more than half of fundraisers (55 percent), and close to half of finance staff (45%) indicating the relationship between these two groups is not collaborative, there is room to improve and strengthen the dynamic. Abila's study outlined recommendations on areas where improvements can be made, and through our new blog series, " Finance and Fundraising Working Together", we will expand on each of the recommendations.
Recommendation Two | Collaborate on the budget
"Instead of just trying to make the numbers match, come together to collaborate on yearly budgets. But, don’t just stop there. Be sure to schedule ongoing budget check-in meetings throughout the year, as things may shift. This will allow you to readjust as a group and ensure everyone is aligned."
As with every recommendation in this series, the critical factor is collaboration. Working together, as a team, is vital in achieving success as an organization. Similar to our previous post on joint goal setting, it is important that those impacted by the budgets be involved in the process.
For your budget planning, it begins by understanding where you are coming from:
- Review previous years budgets to actuals.
- Understand your historical spending and fundraising revenues.
- Evaluate areas where you were off in your budget in the past.
- Incorporate inflation and anticipated increases into the budget.
- Identify trends and changes in your spending, or funding streams.
Remember your goal setting from our previous post? Your budget should be designed to help you achieve success with those goals. If you have added new fundraising activities to your goals for the year, you need to be sure your budget will support those new activities.
Budgeting is not an easy, or quick process. Be sure to leave enough time so that you can establish solid budgets that take into account all of the expenses and incomes that impact your organization.
And, most importantly, don't just put a budget together and then forget about it. You need to revisit regularly to review, and make corrections, to stay on course and continue to work towards the goals that you set previously. Your budget is a critical step to help guide you during the year and all departments impacted need to have a voice in the process.
The Maine Association of Nonprofits › has information and links to great resources on Budgets for Nonprofits including:
Nonprofit Budget Tips - "Tip #6: Involve staff at all levels in the budgeting process."'
Planning Resources for Financial Management
Nonprofit Budget Process
Sample Organizational Operating Budget
Soft Trac is a woman-owned business and accomplished team of nonprofit software consultants. We believe in making nonprofits "do good" better. For more information on any of the topics discussed in this blog or to learn more about the software products and services we offer, please visit our CONTACT page.