Hello! This is Ken Jones, CVO of Above Goal
The topic for this mini briefing is Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Planning.
Now before I get started I want to say that in my writings on these topics I try to make distinctions between organizations that will likely be fine in the long-term and organizations that don't know if they will make it in the long-term. It's time for us to slice and dice the nonprofit sector some more because we talk about it like it's this big monolith and it's not.
So for 2020 budget planning I am talking about those organizations that have budgets to plan. I’ve watched on the periphery as my clients have completed budget planning. It looks exhausting. Here are some things I’ve noticed as a fundraiser.
First, expenses are fine. Expenses are for the most part predictable - staff, travel, rent, conferences…but revenue planning is the tough part especially for organizations that have to manage cashflow.
I want to offer a perspective for organizations without a primary revenue source, those that essentially start at $0 each year - You have a difficult job and most businesses don’t operate in this way!
[off script jokes and banter]
One of the reasons Above Goal is so invested in exploring new models for organizations like yours is because it is difficult to tell an organization to plan out how to change the world with no predictability.
Now, pledge-based giving is the biggest opportunity for organizations in this position. When selling pledge-based giving sell the benefits to the organization too and how it will help the organization better approach the work in addition to the benefits for donors.
One more thing, I know many zero-based revenue organizations have to guess at how much “revenue lines” may increase for the next fiscal year. Some resort to straight percentage increases. Others try to create a bottom up analysis of donors, events to justify the numbers. Both approaches have there pros and cons. What’s most important to me for organizations that start from zero is that they attempt gradual changes so that in future years they have developed funding sources where they are not starting from zero.
Let's not try to operationalize a bad process, let's just try to move away from the model altogether and create organizations that have some type of predictability.
As an exercise, if you are an organization that starts from “zero” each year and you are responsible for raising funds to support all of the work of the organization. Ask yourself this question: What are some opportunities for more revenue predictability?
This is Ken Jones, CVO of Above Goal
Have a great day
Above Goal has identified 9 common pain points that are experienced in day-to-day executive and revenue leadership. We'd like to know if these 9 pain points are a challenge for you so we can develop tools to help you raise more money for your organization. Would you consider taking a brief 3-minute virtual fundraising/development assessment so we can learn about the day-to-day experience managing fundraising at your organization and sub-sector? As a thank you, we have prepared a private fundraising resources blog that you can access at the end of the brief assessment.
About Above Goal:
Above Goal provides technology, media, fundraising strategy, and advisory services to power the “cause” sector. Our flagship product, Above Goal, is the only commercial fundraising software designed specifically for capital campaigns.