What's The Cost

Tuesday October 20, 2020 comments Tags: Budgets, CNRG Accounting Advisory, Chyla Graham, Development, Nonprofit, Training, Masterclass, Work


Any accounting business or tax advice in this podcast is not intended as a thorough in depth analysis of specific issues, nor substitute for a formal opinion, nor is it sufficient to avoid tax related penalties. If you need any help with that, please reach out.

Are you ready for another masterclass? So November 10th at 1:00 PM Mountain, we are doing the Budget Best Practices and Development Workshop. Join me so that we can go through an outline for your next budget, talk about steps for developing a budget that speaks to your priorities and timelines. 

For some of you, you feel like, "Oh, my gosh, we're already midway through." Join us anyway. I want to make sure that you stay on track. And, of course, during our masterclasses, I'm here to answer questions that you have. So, if there's anything that you're like, "How do we budget for that?" Join us. If there's a piece that you're like, "How do we get some buy-in for that?" Join us. I want to support you. I want to be here for you. And I want you to go into 2021 with more clarity, with more strategic planning, with more confidence in the budget that you have.  So, again, November 10th at 1:00 PM Mountain, and join me for the one-hour masterclass. Back to the episode.

Welcome back. So last week I told you to do a brain dump. Get your intentions out there because we're riffing on budgets. 

So your budget is simply the numbers put to your plan. Organizations all the time talk about doing a strategic plan and getting the board together and they're going to work through all the things that they want to do for the next couple of years. And honestly, in my opinion, that is a complete waste if you never take time to consider the costs. Organizations have great dreams. I, for CNRG, have these amazing, like, "Oh my gosh, I would love to do this thing. I want to put this out there." But I have to consider the cost. What will it take to do that? How much effort will it take? And if I don't take the time to analyze that, down the line I'm going to run into hiccups, such as running out of money because I work for myself and I am figuring out all the things, all the time.

If I don't say either, "This is the most I'm willing to spend." Or "This is the what's allotted. This percentage is allotted to things," it's easy to go over budget. And all organizations have that one, a project, that one program that they are committed to doing because they feel that that is the thing that really accomplishes our mission. We may not get money for it. It may not generate income for us, but we know that this is the one thing that our organization exists to do. If you have that thing, you have to figure out well, what is it that you need to do to sustain said thing? So do you need to figure out a way to have more funding? Do you need to figure out how to get more grants? What is it that's going to take this strategic plan that has this pet program and turn it into something that is sustainable longterm.

In doing so you might find that your priorities need to shift and that is okay. The strategic plan is just there to give you a guideline of what it is that you want to accomplish over several years, not over one year. That's too tight of a timeframe because again, when you think about what are the resources that you're going to need, you might find, "You know what? We're not ready. We don't have access. There's so many roadblocks."

So really thinking about how do we realign those priorities is going to be essential. And so that's why your first step was, Hey, do that brain dump. In theory, you're doing your strategic planning or you're taking what board members keep saying, or the executive director keeps saying, and you're turning that into like, "Okay, what is the plan that we need to come up with? If we keep talking about this one thing, what are we going to do about it?"

So that is your homework for this week, is to reevaluate your current priorities. What are the other things that you say we have to do, we're going to do, better do. And evaluate what would it take to do that? What costs are associated to do that? Who do we need access to in order to do that? And as you reevaluate those priorities, you may come up with a better plan, a new outline for your budget for this one year period.

So as I go through the rest of this season and talking about budgets, I'm going to talk about the budget from a one-year timeframe, simply because I think doing your budget more frequently, you can, you can definitely do that, I think that's not the best use of your time though. I think doing your budget once, for a year at a time, is the best way to use your time as well as to really not have to do constant revisions. If you're constantly changing things, it can get a little messy and that doesn't benefit your mission truly, in my opinion.

So until next time your homework, your to-do list, is to just reevaluate what your current priorities are to see. "Okay, if we think this is our longterm vision, what are the things that we need to do to get into alignment with that?"


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