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From an Expert: It’s Better to See it Coming…Steps to a Better Budget

It’s better to see it coming. How else will you know to avoid disaster? Maybe you can even take advantage of some unexpected benefits? But remember, it’s all about budgeting!

Budgeting, or business planning, is more than an activity designed to make your life miserable; it is more than a process that causes you to hate seeing numbers.

As access for funding and in-kind resources becomes even more difficult, putting together and managing an annual budget, or business plan, will greatly help you:

  • Set attainable goals for you and your organization
  • Stay on target with those goals
  • Keep random spending in check (purchasing the essentials to meet the needs of your programs and community)
  • Keep nasty surprises to a minimum
  • Take care of yourself and your team

One of (if not the main) reasons budgeting is looked upon so frightfully is that people tend to over complicate the process.

KISS – keep it sinfully simple – is an acronym that works well here as with most things. Unless you are putting together plans for a new NASA space program, your own budget should not look like it does.

Specialized software is not required. In a pinch, paper and pencils will do the job.

You will want to write down/key in/record what you are planning to do in the next twelve months and how much those activities will cost. Part of your budgeting process will also include revenue targets along with any fund development efforts needed to reach those targets.

Following these simple, basic steps will get you started on developing a budget that will go a long way in supporting you and your organization.


From An Expert Guest Blog Post by Melody Stone, CPA and President of The Stone Financial Group, Inc. Melody provides support to small business owners and nonprofits in all area of financial management such as budgeting, creating business plans, completing grant or other funding applications, as well as setting up and training on accounting/bookkeeping software.

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