“(Nonprofit) Budgeting is about as much fun as juggling open jars of spicy chipotle mayonnaise. It’s messy and painful.” – Vu Le, NonprofitAF
If you are setting out on the autumn nonprofit annual budget path, you are not alone. Fortunately there are many, many resources available on budgeting for nonprofits, so if you are new to this or your organization is new to this, you can find all sorts of tools and guidelines at the National Council of Nonprofits. These are general financial tools that include operating expenses and how to include IT in your overall budget.
“A key component of financial sustainability is the commitment of board and staff to financial management that includes timely review of financial reports and advance planning. One way that board and staff plan for income and expenses in the future is by creating a budget. Approval of the annual budget is one of the fundamental building blocks of sound financial management.”
With apologies in advance and deep gratitude to Vu at NonprofitAF – some of his keenly observed tips on the budget process can equally be applied to IT with some ad hoc substitution:
Rally your staff. Have your finance person provide data on up-to-date spending actuals for each (IT item), as well as administrative and staffing expenses. It is important to know how much you’ve been spending in each category this year, so that you can ignore all of it while you develop next year’s budget. Talk to your key staff to figure out the (IT) expenses for the next fiscal year. Ideally you will have a strategic plan on which to base next year’s (IT) staffing and (IT platforms) …if you don’t, it is important to get an idea from your staff what it is they need to make their (IT) successful next year. They are in the trenches, so they know best about (IT) stuff.”
Please check out the slides and recording from September 2017 Your Nonprofit IT Budget webinar.