Who sets the budget? July 20, 2019

Your organization’s budget influences your entire staff. But does your staff get the opportunity to influence your budget?

The experts at Fiscal Management Associates (FMA), who lead the MacArthur Arts and Culture Loan Fund workshops, recommend that finance and/or executive directors take an inclusive, team-based approach to budgeting. Consider:

  • Artistic and/or program leads know what’s needed to effectively run programs and what they will cost.
  • Staff who handle HR functions know the cost of turnover, new hires, changes to benefits, salary increases, and more.
  • Your Development Director or fundraising staff know what’s feasible to raise based on funder relationships, plans, and pipelines.
  • Your Board Treasurer and/or Finance Committee know what it will take for your board to approve the budget you create.
By ensuring that people who possess these and other critical pieces of information are active participants in a team-based budget process, the end result will be much more likely to reflect your organization’s financial reality.

Take a look at FMA’s five-step guide to budget development for additional guidance.