Start big with your budget

March 26, 2015

It’s that time of year again for so many organizations – time to get out the excel spreadsheets and propose a budget for the year to come.

Because fundraising is so central to an organization’s ability to fulfill its mission, it’s essential to not just begin with the details – how many pieces of mail will we send… how much will it cost… how much will it raise….

Start bigger. Start with your story.

Within the programs you currently run, what’s the greatest opportunity for revenue growth?

What new programs could you launch to either retain or attract more supporters?

Is there anything you’re doing that’s no longer effective?

What challenges or pitfalls might lie ahead?

Write it down. Then only after you take this chance to evaluate, dream big, and add in a tinge of reality, should you put pencil to paper and begin to tell your story with the numbers.

That’s a budget worth getting behind – and a budget that will be easier to discuss and negotiate with management, because you’ll have a fuller understanding about why the numbers are the way they are.