I’ve been in pretty close contact with my nonprofit people these days and I’m hearing this a lot: “Well, it’s time for me to rewrite my budget again.”

Fundraising fluctuations, canceled events and donor uncertainty are sure messing with your revenue line and in the wrong way. I’m here to give you a few tips about where you can squeeze some more pennies out of your budget to help other departments or provide a better buffer for your organization.


Reduce office supplies, subscriptions, services, SWAG, office space, think twice about buying that doesn’t create revenue.


Now might be the right time to allow more flexibility with time off, paid or not. If there’s a benefit that’s stretching your budget, can you bring it down a couple notches? Can you exchange a reduction in a benefit for equipment use, schedule flexibility or access to resources?

Take the time to assess efficiency. Because you’ve recently reviewed your strategic plan, you have solid plan for carrying out your mission and vision. Guess who is actually doing the carrying? YOUR STAFF. Make sure they are working strategically and with focus by taking away responsibilities like bookkeeping, communications and administrative tasks. Even when you hire out, you will still save money in the end, elevate  your nonprofit’s brand and show your supporters that you are focused on the vision for them.


Can you be more organized for an account, lawyer or other consultant so that they spend less time prepping the project?


Even though donations might be down, volunteering is projected to be up. If you don’t have a volunteer program set up, now is the time. Don’t know where to start? I can help.


Can you share resources with another organization? Perhaps you can share a subscription, a part-timer or trade expertise? This doesn’t have to be forever, choose a time frame that works for both of you. It doesn’t hurt to have a quick agreement or MOU if it’s a big share.


Move money from live events to print outreach. Take a little from your travel fund and invest in some technology that streamlines ops. Steal a portion from meals and entertainment to keep payroll on track. You’ll be spending money in different ways in the 2nd half of 2020 and keeping buckets at the same level doesn’t make sense in many areas.

No one loves belt tightening, but small changes sprinkled with a little strategy could help you weather the rest of 2020.