Budget control is one of the most important responsibilities for any type of organization. In the political sphere, budgets are especially critical given that so many projects are paid for through donations and grants.
To ensure that money is being spent responsibly, organizations have to have a system in place to monitor costs and expenditures. With so much at stake, mishandling budgets can be disastrous for an organization. That’s why it’s important to understand how budgets work in a political project before diving in head first.
Understanding the Political Project Budget Process
Budgets for political projects are not one-size-fits-all. Rather, organizations need to create a budget that aligns with their specific project needs. In other words, it’s not enough to create a general budget that covers every expense.
Rather, you’ll want to break down and categorize all planned expenses by type. The best way to create a budget is to make a list of all planned expenses. Note that this list should include all project-related costs, including salaries, travel, office supplies, event space, etc.
Communicating with Stakeholders
A budget can help an organization understand the financial resources required for a project. It can also be an effective tool for communicating with stakeholders.
Whether you’re working with donors, foundations, or sponsors, a budget can help you make a strong case for funding. Budgets also help stakeholders understand how their money will be used. For example, if you’re working with individual donors, you can show them exactly where their money is going.
Once the budget has been approved and the project has begun, you’ll need to keep stakeholders updated on progress and any deviations from the original budget. This way, everyone is on the same page and can keep track of how the project is progressing.
Identifying Costs and Resources
Once you’ve created a budget, you’ll need to regularly review it to make sure that you’re staying within the financial limits. A budget will outline the expected cost of every single item on the project’s to-do list. You can do this by using a budgeting app like Quicken if you want to try different apps.