The 2022 Nonprofit Financial Management Checklist

nonprofit budgeting

Nonprofits can keep tabs on their annual program revenue vs. expenses with this easy-to-use nonprofit program-based budget template. Enter fundraising, grant, and other income figures to compare your nonprofit’s current budget to your year-to-date actual revenue. With this comprehensive annual nonprofit operating budget template, you’ll get  quarter-by-quarter budgeting for nonprofits and yearly insights into income and expenses. To calculate year-end budget totals, contrast income (e.g., sales, contributions, fundraising, etc.) with expenses (e.g., office equipment, transportation, utilities, etc.). Like many businesses, nonprofit organizations often lack the resources and funding to do everything they want.

  • When determining how to allocate funds, it is important to consider the organization’s overall goals and objectives.
  • Once you factored in all your expenses, the event ended up costing $7,000 instead.
  • Consider who’s available to give you the most useful insight—is there an experienced head of finance supporting you, or a treasurer?
  • However, if your financial goal is to invest in infrastructure or specific programs, it may be acceptable to have a deficit budget for the upcoming year in order to do that.
  • Creating and sticking to a nonprofit budget will put your organization in a healthier financial position.

Budgeting allows boards to put limits on certain expenses as necessary and work to increase income sources early when it looks like there may be a shortfall. Monitoring the budget also provides an opportunity for board directors to move money around to allocate it efficiently as their cash flow changes. Good budgeting demonstrates accountability and transparency, which are important issues that donors and grant-makers look for before offering funds. Good budgets assure donors that the nonprofit is actively overseeing the budget process. It’s also very important to the success of your programs that your revenue and expenses estimates are realistic. While there is generally space for hope and dreams in the nonprofit world, when it comes to budgeting – there isn’t.

Create a budget that allocates the organization’s resources in a way that supports its financial goals and objectives

But tracking expenses is also essential to maintaining a good reputation with nonprofit watchdog organizations and attracting donors. With Aplos, you can create your nonprofit’s budget right in the software, track your budget, and view your exact fund balances at any time. This may include documents, reports, and other materials from the prior fiscal year (or years) as well as the current fiscal year.

It’s also useful to look at the financial trends for your programs over the past few years, and assess if each program is covering its direct costs, or contributing to overhead. Identify opportunities, threats, and emerging trends likely to influence your activities (both internal and external to your organization). Finally, get clear on and name the goals, organizational values, and priorities that you want to have reflected in this year’s budget.

Understanding Nonprofit Cash Flow Statements: A Beginners Guide

Once you enter expenses, you can quickly view your marketing plan’s projected subtotal to date. This template also includes a separate budget plan tab for related nonprofit marketing budget plans. Grant-makers have the potential to contribute large sums to nonprofits and board directors should ensure that they meet the grantor’s requirements to qualify. Donors expect to know how their donations are helping the organization so boards need to consider how they can communicate this information to donors. If you’re creating a budget for the first time, create as reasonable a list as possible of expenses.

  • This will require prioritizing program delivery goals and setting organizational financial goals.
  • Shifting some workload to that area could free up capacity to support some of your goals.
  • ​​​Our recommended best practice is to base a cash flow projection on your program budgets.
  • While there will inevitably be some assumptions in your budget, try to work with real numbers as much as possible.
  • List program expenses (staff salary, insurance, supplies, fundraising fees, etc.) to see your total nonprofit program expenses vs. your actual revenue.

Kristine Ensor is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience working with local and international nonprofits. As a nonprofit professional she has specialized in fundraising, marketing, event planning, volunteer management, and board development. Projected cash flow statements list all expected gross and net cash flows for monthly and yearly revenue and expenses. The average small business using Google Ads spends between $5,000 and $12,000 per month on Google paid search campaigns.

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Want to know the best way to improve cash flow for your organization? Sustainer programs not only offer your organization a more predictable revenue stream that makes cash flow forecasting a breeze, but they can also bolster your nonprofit with many other benefits. Businesses often have set financial goals that they are trying to achieve. Nonprofits may have organizational financial goals as well, such as establishing a rainy day fund. However, nonprofit organizations generally focus more on accountability than profitability, and one of the primary purposes of the budget—or plan—is financial transparency.


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