Tuesday November 3, 2020 comments Tags: Budgets, CNRG Accounting Advisory, Chyla Graham, Development, Nonprofit, Training, Masterclass, Work

Any accounting business or tax advice in this podcast is not intended as a thorough in depth analysis of specific issues, nor substitute for a formal opinion, nor is it sufficient to avoid tax related penalties. If you need any help with that, please reach out.

Are you ready for another masterclass? So November 10th at 1:00 PM Mountain, we are doing the Budget Best Practices and Development Workshop. Join me so that we can go through an outline for your next budget, talk about steps for developing a budget that speaks to your priorities and timelines. 

For some of you, you feel like, "Oh, my gosh, we're already midway through." Join us anyway. I want to make sure that you stay on track. And, of course, during our masterclasses, I'm here to answer questions that you have. So, if there's anything that you're like, "How do we budget for that?" Join us. If there's a piece that you're like, "How do we get some buy-in for that?" Join us. I want to support you. I want to be here for you. And I want you to go into 2021 with more clarity, with more strategic planning, with more confidence in the budget that you have.  So, again, November 10th at 1:00 PM Mountain, and join me for the one-hour masterclass.

Hey, it's Chyla Graham, CNRG Accounting Advisory. If you've talked to me before, if you only listen to the podcast, one of the things I want you to always remember, I want you to get from me is that I am mission-focused and the budget is no different. The budget is truly a reflection of your mission and you should budget accordingly. In the past, I've worked with organizations who thought about the budget in terms of what can we get approved. That is not the way to think about the budget. Yes, you have to be realistic, but you also have to have the vision, the foresight to think about, what does this truly take to do the work that we want to do? So you have to think about your organization in terms of what does capacity building look like. If we truly want to serve a thousand kids in the Denver Metro area, what does it take to serve those kids in the way that we say that we serve that?

So if you've heard about my fictional non-profits, Save Our Circus, no one take this idea, please. The organization is there to bring circus arts to Black and Latino kids, mainly kids of color. I go back and forth about how I want to do that. But it's to show kids that there is a future in the circus. They can find more, lots of opportunities in the circus. They can truly run away to the circus, and it's not a bad thing. And if I want to really think about how to get that work, I have to think about... Is flying trapeze one of the things? Of course, yes. If you've been to my website, if you talked to me, yes. So flying trapeze is one of the ways we're going to do that. When I think about that work, I had to think about the insurance applied.

I have to think about what does it take to pay instructors? I can't worry about, will a funder approve it? Are funders looking to support the circus? Why? Because that takes away from my mission. If I'm only thinking about what people are willing to approve, I'm not focusing on the people I say, I want to serve. If you're only focusing on, will the board won't approve a budget that increases 20% over year? Why not? If the things that you're asking for, the things that they said, yes, we believe a strategic plan that supports this is necessary. Then why wouldn't they approve that budget? You have to really consider what are they saying? If they say no, they can't approve that, does that mean that those are not the funders that you need? Does that mean those are not the board members that you need?

I don't think you just throw the people away. I'm not saying that that's never the funder for you, but in this moment for your organization, maybe that's not the people that you need to seek out. Maybe in this moment, those aren't the board members that you need to concentrate on and really consider why are they pushing back? So especially when you're thinking about your board and what they will and will not approve, consider what the case you've made for. This is why I say that as you put together your wish list, you have to think about what are your accomplishments? What are these things that you're asking for going to do? Because if you don't have a clear idea of what they're going to do, you can't make the case for support. If you don't make the case of support, you don't meet your mission. So you can't just say, I want an administrative assistant because that's the example I used last week.

You can't just say I want an administrative assistant because I think it will give me more time, more time to do what? What burden? What is this thing that you can't do right now because you are lacking in that additional bandwidth, that additional support? So that's what you need to really think about is, what is the work that you're going to do? The other thing that you need to think about is who do you need to be connected with? I'm in lots of non-profit groups and for various reasons. And one of the things that I encourage organizations to think about is the way to seek out collaborations. So if you are looking at organizations who are serving the same population you do, could you join forces and use the same space? This could reduce your rental expenses. Or could you join forces and go to a funder and say, Hey, we want to do this joint program to address these concerns, would you help support that?

By looking at the collaborations, you can think of what are the accomplishments, who else is looking to accomplish something with this same group? How do we work together? How do we join forces? And so it's an easier thing for people to say yes to. And the reason I definitely seek out collaborations because it's something one of our clients has done. They joined forces with other non-profits within their community to do advertising. And what they found was that by joining forces, one of the benefits ended up being that they all saw an increase in funding. How much the increase was varied by organization of course, but they were able to say, we were now able to put our name out there, more people knew about us, more people knew about the work we did and they in turn gave more.

So that's definitely going to be a combination of awareness, as well as who you're being associated with. So if people like and trust one organization and they see, okay, I trust that organization, I gave money to that organization. And they also work with this second organization. They're more inclined to say, okay, I trust these people, I'll also trust those other people. So think about that, as you go into this next week on how do you prepare your budget? Who are the people that you need to collaborate so that you can truly get your mission accomplished? Because you're not putting your budget together in terms of what will people approve. You're putting it together in terms of what can we accomplish. And so by seeking out collaboration, you make it easier to say, we can accomplish this work, we can build awareness, we can do all these amazing things because you're collaborating or sharing resources. So that's it. I have one more episode for you before we go into our interview series. And listen out, because I'm going to give you just my honest thoughts on some things. All right. Bye.


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