Dollars, Cents, & Budgets, Oh My!

Oh my


Income is so important to us, and yet we often take for granted those who give, their frequency, and how much they give.

Where does your income come from? Have you ever really looked at your budget and analyzed your streams of revenue? You should!  We need to be aware of not just who is giving, but what are our categories of revenue. For example, at my Center, I compared the last two years and discovered that for a total of seven categories we do very well in three areas, stagnant in two, and poorly in two.

As a Director, we wear a lot of hats, but when it comes to income and our donors, this hat needs to be on at all times.

Do you know the donors you have lost in the past 6 months – year?  Do you know the donors who have started supporting you, and what stream of revenue they came from?

A.     Categories of Revenue

  1. Monthly Support
    1. I consider this to be a critical stream of revenue.
    2. One of the keys to successful budgeting is our monthly supporters. They are the faithful ones that sustain us through the slow times.
    3. We should always be building relationships to transition occasional givers to monthly supporters.
  2. Major Gifts
    1. What dollar amount do you consider a major gift?   Is a one-time gift or several over the course of a year considered a major gift?
    2. Set your bar above your highest gift amount and strive to raise this bar throughout the year.
  3. Events
    1. There are many discussions surrounding income from events.
      1. Your budget should not depend largely on an event.  That is all well and good, except if you live in a community where your event is what drives your giving.
        1. We have tried for years to transition event givers to regular and monthly supporters.  Some of that happens, but for us, without our annual banquet and updates we would not have the monthly supporters we do.
  4. Individuals, Churches, Business, Grants are just a few more streams to explore.

The bottom line is knowing your audience and getting to know your donors intimately.  Your future depends on them!

This is the first part of a series by Cindi Adair. She will be joining us over the next few months to address building the foundation for a better budget.

Cynthia Adair
Sparrow Solutions Group, Consultant

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