The first thoughts the word “budget” conjures in peoples’ minds are often “no fun”, “restrictions”, or “oh no, I don’t do Excel”. In all fairness, this is probably because many people have experience from companies or associations were budgeting is approached as a mandatory but useless activity, and done by copying the budget from last time and “updating” the numbers a little.
Often on teams – be they event organizers, bands, sports teams or nonprofits – a few people are assigned responsibility of finances and the rest are more or less happy to not deal with the big picture. At Holvi we believe that this isn’t good practice and that budgeting can make your whole team smarter.
A budget is usually the first document you have to provide when applying for grants or talking to sponsors. It is the concrete evidence that you know what you are doing.
Making a budget entails conversations about things like “What are we willing to spend money on and what should we try to save money on or get for free?”. Questions like this reveal and align priorities, coordinating your team’s efforts later.
It saves money
You might even come up with ways to save money or earn more. Maybe by selling merchandise to your fans and supporters or renting equipment from Bob’s uncle rather company X. It’s much nicer to have these brainstorming sessions before your project starts then when funds start getting low.
During the process it is good to set guidelines for behavior – Will we help cover travel expenses for out-of-town speakers or coaches? What size purchases do team members need separate approval for?
Why do it together?
Budgeting together is especially important if you’re working together as a team for the first time, doing something new or have recruited new team members, since budgets offer a good overview of not just money flows but about activities in general.
One reason we’re such fans of budgeting is that after you’ve outlined expense and income categories and approximate sizes for each, you can use your Holvi account to track money flows in real-time. When you’ve shared the Holvi account to your team, everyone can see where you’re going financially – making your activities that much easier.
Creating a budget in Holvi is easy. You always have a real time overview of the situation: