Strategic budgeting: Purpose-driven leadership
By: Asha Vyas, Training Content Specialist, Your Part-Time Controller, LLC
Empower your library with a strategic budget reflecting the tone and current landscape to directly address economic pressures with realism and creativity, potentially turning challenges into opportunities.
Setting financial tone:
- Pragmatic efficiency
- Maximizing value and minimizing waste
- Optimize, streamline, and create efficiencies
- Calm confidence
- Stability and security
- Balance and maintain
- Empowering optimism
- Future growth
- Investment spending
Determining financial landscape:
- Analyze prior budgets and compare them to actual results
- Where did the budget differ and why?
- Prepare a forecast for the current year
- What problems are we trying to solve or what new reality are we trying to create?
- Examine expenses
- Are resources allocated to support your library’s strategic plan and tone?
- Plan other sources of revenue
- Are grants, endowments, and levy adjustments incorporated into the budget?
Multiple tones can exist in a single budget, but the overall tone is the focus of the individual components. Use tools like a budget calendar planning backward from the taxing authority’s and board’s budget approval date. Allow extra time for evaluating budget scenarios.
When preparing the budget:
- Involve other departments to scenario plan
- Factor in inflation and other economic and library trends
- Schedule a Finance Committee meeting to discuss tone and landscape
Use templates to implement organization-wide cost-of-living increases and to make summarizing easier. To combat salary cost pressures, partner with resources dedicated to nonprofits and libraries – this can help provide volunteers, interns, specialized services, and board members. Leverage your community leaders, local grants, as well as other libraries to achieve or amplify a collective mission.
Conduct post-budget review:
- Produce board and management reports to monitor
- Assess data to stay agile and shift resources where needed
- Respond to external factors with planned strategies
Use graphics to convert your monthly financials into visuals that are easy to understand and quickly inform management and the board.
Budget approval is only the beginning of the financial monitoring process. Producing timely, meaningful financial reports is the next critical step in ensuring the organization’s fiscal health, responsible stewardship of its resources, and discerning decision-making.
The foundation to navigate your library’s budget during these times of economic shift is a complicated topic and YPTC is available to assist with resources, data visualization, and experienced staff. For more information about this topic, click here to watch the webinar or here to contact YPTC for assistance.
© 2023 Your Part-Time Controller, LLC
Asha Vyas is a Training Content Specialist with Your Part-Time Controller, LLC [YPTC]. YPTC provides customized accounting and financial management services for over 1200 nonprofits nationwide. Since 1993, YPTC has built transformative, personalized solutions based on clients’ financial needs, including cash flows, funding streams, financial concerns, and internal control challenges. YPTC is committed to educating organizations through webinars and resources that provide relevant takeaways and best practices. To learn more about YPTC and browse our content, visit www.yptc.com.