‘Twas the night before budget approval, and all through the board meeting
So much was left to be done, and the glances were fleeting
Income and expenses had been analyzed with care,
In hopes that the board found strategy there

The Development Department was already ahead
With visions of donor dollars dancing in their heads
The CFO was ready, the ED more so
To kick off the year with volunteers and programs in tow

When out of the board room there arose such a clatter,
The Director of Finance jumped up to see what was the matter
With his Nonprofit Budget Roadmap in hand he made a mad dash,
Ready to help allocate additional cash

They simply just wanted to know
Cash or accrual? But what’s the difference though?

Okay, so it may be too soon for the holidays, but it’s certainly not too early to start planning your budget! A nonprofit’s budget is the fundamental building block to success in the new year. So, how do you ensure implementation of an efficient and attainable budget?

It all starts with the budget development process. Here are three budget process best practices to get you on the road to success:

  1. Establish a timeline Set deadlines and determine a proper budget review schedule. Include ample time for additional review and revisions to budget drafts before final approval.
  2. Set goals Determine organizational goals, program goals, and desired financial outcomes. Outline core activities the organization will take on over the next year, as well as assumptions on how they will be financed.
  3. Determine costs Determine costs required to reach goals, estimate expenses associated with all activities, and estimate resources needed to meet expected goals. Then, project income and forecast cash flows.

Learn more about nonprofit budget fundamentals and best practices. From start to finish and every stop in between, The Nonprofit Budget Roadmap provides you and your budget stakeholders with key insights into developing an efficient and effective budget.