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A budget is your organization’s strategy expressed in dollars.​ A strategic and collaborative budget process is essential to ensure that resources are being used most effectively to meet your mission and that your organization remains sustainable and accountable to its stakeholders.​​ The tools and guidance on this page can help get you started.

Set Up the Budget Process


This presentation describes a team-based approach to budget development for nonprofit financial management, including goals, personnel and process​.​​

Download the presentation and watch the 30-minute webinar for step-by-step guidance.

Video Guidance

Compile Your Budget


​​​​The Finance Department’s primary tool for developing an organization-wide budget is the Nonprofit Budge​t T​emplate, a template for budgeting expenses and revenues by program/activity area.

Instructional Video

Use the Out-of-School Time Cost Calculator

​​This online calculator works like a student loan or mortgage calculator. It lets you determine the costs of a variety of options for high-quality afterschool programs and the summer portions of year-round programs. The calculator’s cost estimates, which come from the most detailed study to date on the costs of high-quality programs, were updated in 2015 to reflect both the change in the general cost of living nationally and changes in the relative cost of living across cities.

Plan for Different Revenue Scenarios

​​​​​If you have uncertainty about how much income you can expect for the year, the Revenue Scen​ario Planning Tool will allow you to calculate and plan for best, moderate and worst case scenarios.


Example Milestones for Budgeting

Provide ongoing budget-to-actual reports to management, board and program managers

Prepare mid-year budget revision

Begin next fiscal year budget process with fiscal and program personnel
Send budget package to Board of Directors

​Incorporate next FY board-approved budget into accounting system​

Next Step: Cash Flow

​​​Our recommended best practice is to base a cash flow projection on your program budgets. If you’ve completed the above, you’re ready to work on Cash Flow​.