How to Prepare a Nonprofit Financial Budget

Cersai Stark

Cersai Stark

A well-planned financial budget offers numerous advantages. Essentially, it allows an organization to define its short and long-term goals. When accurate data is used in budget creation, the document can provide a roadmap for activities from month to month. 


Financial budget
Financial budget


  • A budget packet is a document that offers precise information on an organization’s budget.
  • A bottleneck occurs in an organization when challenges within a project’s development delay staff members from completing the project


What are budgeting processes?

Budgeting processes are the tactical measures that an organization adopts when creating a financial strategy. Accounting departments rely on these processes to monitor and oversee financial operations, particularly spending. 

Also, budgeting processes can be used to document the amount an organization makes and spends over a given period. By and large, a strong budgeting process allows a nonprofit to identify and address income difficulties.

Budgets can vary over time. Hence, it is best to consider seasonal planning and reviewing your budgets. This provides a great way to make modifications and mitigate potential operational concerns. Also, operating, cash, and capital expenditure budgets are included in budget frameworks. This also includes budgeted income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.

What are the steps to preparing a financial budget?

In this section, we will consider the various processes of preparing a financial budget. 

1. Determine bottlenecks in the prior financial budget

A bottleneck occurs in an organization when challenges within a project’s development delay staff members from completing the project. This frequently occurs when employees lack sufficient resources to accomplish the project. However, an accurate budget allows you to detect bottlenecks in the workplace and how to overcome them. Also, a review of the prior financial budget lets you learn how to avoid future bottlenecks.

To begin with, identify projects that have passed their completion deadlines. Afterward, examine the various resources that the staff requires. This enables you to allocate a larger amount of your organization’s budget to a specific project or resource.

2. Understand the goals to calculate financial budget costs

Before you create your budget, you should have a strong knowledge of the goals your nonprofit is striving toward within the period it covers. A good understanding of those goals will enable you to create a budget that supports and accommodates them.

Next, you should determine the cost of the various steps to be carried out during the process. A step cost is an expense that varies with the degree of activity in an organization. Hence, a nonprofit must be aware of step costs. This allows you to anticipate possible expenses and commit a specified amount of funds to potential step costs in a budget. Specifically:

  • Fixed Cost Range: Within a certain range of activity or output, the cost remains fixed and does not change. This is the initial step.
  • Variable Cost After the Step: Once the activity or output surpasses a specific point, the cost increases or decreases. This is the next step, and the cost behavior changes.


For the most part, it is best to determine the actual value of each cost and the activity levels that a nonprofit may encounter.

3. Divide strategic roles into categories for each organizational unit

Regardless of how you define each organizational unit’s functions, each should have a clear role. Also, these roles should be clear to everyone involved in the budgeting and planning process. More importantly, everyone involved in the process should understand the function of each organizational unit, the specifics of each role, and how responsibilities could be adjusted based on budgeting and planning inputs and conversations.

4. Create and distribute a budget packet

A budget packet is a document that offers precise information on an organization’s budget. Essentially, it contains information about current changes, comparisons to the previous year’s budget, common bottlenecks and bottleneck remedies, step cost information, and expected funds for the year. 

By and large, it is preferable to use a budget packet template that allows you to fill in your workplace’s budgeting information. Also, you can alternatively generate the packet manually, which gives you more control over the packet’s formatting and content.

You have the option of making the packet available to the entire organization or just financial professionals. However, releasing it to the entire organization may help employees feel involved in the nonprofit’s financial planning and stay informed about its budget management. In addition, encourage employees to ask questions or request additional information regarding the financial budget. 


To sum it all up, a nonprofit should develop a financial budget to effectively manage cash flows. This budget provides the organization with more control and a more effective technique for managing inflows and outflows. Furthermore, the operational budget enables an organization to estimate both funding and operational expenses.

If you enjoyed reading this article, please share your comments and suggestions with us at the bottom of this post.

One Response

Comments are closed.

Trending Post

Trending Posts

Recent Post