Is there a non-profit organization that would not welcome the idea of saving money? Benjamin Franklin astutely advised, “A penny saved is a penny earned. Just like all great businessmen, Franklin understood the value of a dollar. For virtually all nonprofits, a small budget is part of everyday reality. By curtailing excessive expenditures, a pinch strategy can be used to free up funds for program growth and mission initiatives.
Nonprofits often find themselves steadily addressing problems with no time left to effectively run their organizations. However, it is important for executives to consider costs and to proactively seek to streamline their organization.
Nonprofit managers and leaders need to acquire key financial management skills. Hoping that others in the nonprofit organization will handle the financial issues is clearly demanding for trouble. The following money tips empower nonprofit organizations executives to leverage their limited resources for maximum impact.
Save the Cost of Utilities
For utility cost savings, you can ask your local utility firm to conduct an audit to figure out more about how to save some bucks necessary. Some ideas include using window tinting, putting water-saving units on toilets or placing hand dryers to reduce the use of paper towels. While you’re trying to save money, check out the total cost of any upgrades and the period required to recoup the expense in savings.
Ask for a discount
Request a discount on all things! You won’t get it until you ask for it. If you care about your organization and can share your passion and enthusiasm with others, asking for a discount shouldn’t be that difficult.
Set a budget
Create a budget, and let the staff know about your finances. Let the staff “own” the budget and assign them authority and responsibility for sub-budgets. For the budget to be useful, it must be realistic and fully account for any increases above the preceding year’s budget. Sometimes in nonprofit organizations, when the executive directors prepare the first budget proposal, they are likely to raise the previous year’s expected donation revenue with no honest plan to sustain it. The budget is the nonprofit’s plan for the coming year, setting out in monetary terms the specific aims and objectives that the staff and board are expected to accomplish. Every month, the board and staff must review the budget and make any necessary adjustments.
Buying when it’s right
You need to buy at the right time of the year. Non-profit organizations often purchase items on the day they need them, not before. Nevertheless, you can pre-plan and ask a vendor when an item will be available for sale.
You use volunteers in some fields in place of staff. However, don’t be fooled into believing that a volunteer is completely free. All good programs involve training volunteers, which can cost money.
Review Your Fundraising Plan
Review your fundraising schedule and alter events that are not fresh anymore. As an example, if your charity is about to celebrate its 20th annual fundraiser as a matter of course, then consider thinking outside the box and come up with a more interesting event that is tailored to your nonprofit. Your organization board’s time is worthwhile, and there are limited fundraising opportunities that can encourage any board to do so.
Paying for late fees
Do not immediately pay late fees, bank charges or interest. Ask for a fee waiver if you are usually a good bill payer. Even with banks that merge and grow, the banks still need a strong presence in the community; no bank wishes to have a negative or bad reputation for being unkind to nonprofits.
Check your bills
Review and check your bills. Humans and computers can make errors. Never settle a bill based on blind faith. If you don’t receive what you are paying for, then dispute the invoice.
Look for free office furniture and equipment
Look for free office furniture or other equipment by consulting large companies and banks about whether they have one that they would consider for donation. All state agencies have a surplus ownership scheme. Community colleges and universities also have similar programs, and you can talk to them locally and possibly receive a donation.
Buy miscellaneous items from local stores
Be careful with the supposed savings on office materials, cleaning supplies or light bulbs over the mail or by phone. The savings are in most cases due to the poor quality of the supplies, as well as the exorbitant handling and shipping fees. If you need office supplies, why not check out your office depot store or local staples? Store managers are also empowered to donate items to nonprofits.