Week 6 – Discussion 1

 

Forecasting

Forecasting is a very difficult part of budgeting. Discuss what sources of data (e.g., cost of living, inflation, housing market changes, unemployment rates, federal loan interest rates, gross domestic product changes, etc.) would you use to help forecast budget changes for year 2+? Provide rationale for your choice(s). Your initial post should be at least 300 words.

 

Resources

Readings

1. Textbook     Dropkin, M., Halpin, J., & LaTouche, B. (2007).  The budget-building book for nonprofits  (2nd ed.). Jossey-Bass.           Chapter 20: Presenting Your Annual Budget Proposal to the Board          Chapter 21: Board Review, Revision, and Approval of the Final Budget 2. Website:    Tuck, A., (2011, February 9). Succeeding Through Tough Times. The Bridgespan Group. Retrieved from  http://www.bridgespan.org/Publications-and-Tools/Strategy-Development/Managing-in-Tough-Times/Succeeding-Through-Tough-Times.aspx#.UTZphNZOTmd

 

Week 6 – Discussion 2

 

Monitoring Budget Goals

Sometimes things happen that we cannot predict or have control over that negatively impacts our budget. Consequently, monitoring budget goals on a quarterly basis is most common. If a quarterly budget goal is off (less than 20%) of its’ intended target, modifications and corrective action is generally needed. Discuss what modifications and corrective action you would make if your budget was 20% less than projected for quarter 2 of a fiscal year. Make sure to provide rationale. Your initial post should be at least 300 words.

 

Resources

Readings

1. Textbook     Dropkin, M., Halpin, J., & LaTouche, B. (2007).  The budget-building book for nonprofits  (2nd ed.). Jossey-Bass.           Chapter 20: Presenting Your Annual Budget Proposal to the Board          Chapter 21: Board Review, Revision, and Approval of the Final Budget 2. Website:    Tuck, A., (2011, February 9). Succeeding Through Tough Times. The Bridgespan Group. Retrieved from  http://www.bridgespan.org/Publications-and-Tools/Strategy-Development/Managing-in-Tough-Times/Succeeding-Through-Tough-Times.aspx#.UTZphNZOTmd

 

Week 6 Instructor Guidance

 

Forecasting and Monitoring

In your discussions this week, you will be addressing the challenges associated with forecasting. Dropkin, Halpin, and LaTouche (2007) provide information regarding forecasting in Chapter 22. It should be noted that forecasting can be difficult for nonprofit managers because of numerous volatile and unpredictable issues, including cost of living, inflation, housing market changes, and unemployment rates. Sometimes things happen that managers have no control over but still negatively impact their budgets. As a result, monitoring budget goals on a quarterly basis is most common. This allows for issues to be addressed if a goal is off of an intended target so that- ideally- the annual budget remains unaffected.

I’ve included one article that that provides very good information when attempting to justify projects and budgets ( http://www.urban.org/uploadedpdf/building_capacity.pdf (Links to an external site.) ). With the current state of the US economy, these discussions are extremely relevant. Nonprofit leaders are facing significant challenges in conducting successful financial initiatives. With more people to help and less money to be raised, many nonprofit organizations are facing very difficult programming decisions as well. If you’re still not convinced of this, take a look at Barton and Hall’s article, Many Big Charities Struggle to Raise Money in the Bad Economy ( https://www.philanthropy.com/article/Bad-Economy-Hobbles-Biggest/157677 (Links to an external site.) ). Their article discusses the challenges many of the largest nonprofits have had in recent years, and also describes various methods (including social media) that have helped them remain fiscally sound. As you read these, consider how current nonprofit managers are tasked with the unenviable task of forecasting budgets!

Because most of your assignments have included the use of grants to help fund your nonprofits, I wanted to share two short videos from youtube.com that offer tips for making the grant writing process effective. Both videos are short, and I believe both provide very good information.

Guidelines for Successful Grant Writing (Links to an external site.)

Grantwriting Tips (Links to an external site.)

I wanted to share two resources that I’ve found help in practice that assist in raising funds for the organizations. The first is an article from Guidestar.com ( https://trust.guidestar.org/blog/how-to-raise-money-without-asking-for-money (Links to an external site.) ) with useful tips that are great examples of ‘thinking outside of the box’.  The Foundation Center (Links to an external site.)  provides a comprehensive search engine to assist in finding funders sympathetic to your cause. I encourage you to add this site to your favorites! The search engine is only one of the many benefits of this site, so please check it out!