• Karen Avidar

How to build a budget for your nonprofit organization

Updated: Oct 2

As the treasurer of your club or group, creating a budget for your nonprofit organization is one of the first tasks you’ll start working on when you begin your role. While it may seem intimidating to create a budget for your nonprofit organization at first, the process can be simple and straightforward, especially if you use free tools such as our nonprofit budget calculator to help you out. Here is our guide on how to set up your nonprofit organization's budget.


How to build a budget for your nonprofit organization

Plan your nonprofit budget by first calculating expenses


Your nonprofit organization’s budget will be based on your nonprofit organization’s plans for the upcoming semester or year. Since your chapter’s activities are carried out by several members of your chapter’s board, we recommend starting off by asking each of your organization’s board members to send you a list of their needs. This could span events, supplies, or any other expense that relates to their role. You’ll want to make sure you ask questions like “how much was spent on these types of events in the past?” and “will you need any general supplies?”


Once you compile a final list of all of your board members’ needs, you’ll move on to thinking about any other major purchases your chapter might make, as well as any semesterly or yearly fixed costs, and add those to your expense list.


Finally, we suggest adding a small percentage (3-5%) to your overall budget for random expenses that may have been forgotten or overlooked.


Determine your nonprofit organization's income


Now that you have a list of all of your chapter’s expenses, it’s time to add it all up and figure out how much income your organization needs to generate in order to cover the costs. Your nonprofit chapter’s income will come from your members’ dues payments or donations.


To determine your members' dues, you’ll divide your organization’s expenses by the number of members in your organization. For example, if you calculated that your chapter expenses will come out to $50,000 for the year and you have 50 members in your chapter, annual dues will come out to $1,000 per member or $500 per member each semester.


Stay on top of your nonprofit's expenses


Once you set your nonprofit organization's budget, you'll want to continuously check in on your chapter's spending and make sure that you're on track to cover all of your costs.


With Crowded, controlling your nonprofit organization's expenses is made simple and accessible. You'll be able to see a breakdown of all of your incoming and outgoing payments made with your Crowded account in one place.


Furthermore, with our virtual Visa® debit card feature, you get to allocate funds and issue out cards to members who want to make purchases on your organization's behalf. This way, you can avoid members over-spending and redeem any extra funds left on the card back into your main club account. Members can also send out a fund request if they find themselves having to make a spontaneous purchase, and as treasurer, you can decide whether to accept, modify, or deny the request.


Finally, you'll have total viewership over each payment made on your club's digital cards. This makes controlling spending and staying on budget way safer than having members pay for expenses out of pocket. And most of all, this method is the best way to ensure your chapter maintains a healthy budget for all of your organization's planned activities.



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