Running a nonprofit is definitely an adventure. There is new terminology to learn, various meetings, and a lot of networking. There is nothing better than accomplishing your goals and see your program thrive. A major roadblock is not staying on budget and running out of money before the calendar year is up. This causes a panic and can make board members upset and extremely frustrated. To avoid uncomfortable situations and to keep your nonprofit alive and well you are going to need a plan.
Here are five ways to stay within your nonprofit budget.
This may seem silly or a little weird, but when you are throwing a big event or even an activity, borrowing things can save you so much money. If you are throwing a gala or a fundraiser, it would be really unfortunate to spend more money than you have earned from your event. To keep costs low you can reach out to all of those connections your nonprofit has and start asking to borrow different items for the event. This is a great way for companies to feel like they are helping the community without them having to spend any money. It can be a win-win situation if you are diplomatic and acknowledge the companies in a meaningful way.
Board members can also help out with their connections and other items that they might have. If you feel like you still don’t have enough items to throw your event you can even start to ask different local vendors in the community. There is nothing better than free advertising for local businesses.
Look for Other Funding
If your budget is super small, it may be time to expand your nonprofit and grow your budget. This can be hard but the payoff is so worth it, especially if you are able to reach out and help more people. There are different ways to raise funds for a nonprofit. Grant writing and donations are a good way to get started and can make up a big portion of your budget. You will need to apply to different grants and determine which grants you are most likely to win. Keep organized and make sure you have all of your financial papers and information in order. There can be serious consequences if you misuse grant funds.
Use Other Options
Saving money can be hard because you still want your company to look like a serious quality company that is going to change the world. You can save money by using free resources such as GIMP instead of Photoshop and look for an InDesign alternative instead of having to buy the Adobe Suite.
It seems a little silly but you need to think about the location of your nonprofit. Do you have an office? How much do you pay in rent every month? If you are really struggling to make your budget work or feel like you are always running out of money, consider giving up your space for several months or locate to a less expensive office space. This can seem like you are taking a step back, but in the long run you may find yourself being grateful that you didn’t have to pay rent for several months.
If you don’t have a really good budget or a good way of keeping track of your spending, you may have more money than you think. You may also have less money than you think, which isn’t as great, but it gives you a chance to make changes and turn your nonprofit towards a new direction. You can use different organizational budgeting tools that are free and there are also bigger information organization tools such as Salesforce. These things can help you keep your connections organized, the grants you have applied for and all your marketing campaigns and materials.
How do you keep on budget with your nonprofit? Comment below to start the conversation.