5 Tips and tricks that will help your NGO save time and money
It basically means you have to become smarter and sharper as an organisation, either by becoming more efficient, more strategic and more focused and/ or by looking at your challenges differently.
Here are some tips and tricks that can help you as an organisation save time and money!
Number 1. Set goals
This means stop and think! And ask yourself the following questions: What is your organisation really trying to achieve? Are these goals clear for everyone in your team? And last but not least… Are you really pursuing these goals in everything you do?
Thing is we tend to get trapped in the ‘mouse in a wheel syndrome’; meaning that we tend to energetically chase the latest happening without actually moving from the same place. By choosing the best activities that serve your aim you are avoiding spending time (and energy) into something that will not bring you the result you expect.
Number 2. Get your finances sorted
Times of crisis also mean financial constraints to many organisations with less funds or limitations for projects. So what do you do about it?
First thing is to understand your own organisational finances, and that is especially true if you do not come from a financial background. You need to start from analysing and categorizing your finances to get an idea of where your money is going and where it is coming from. It will take you a few hours or days but it will also teach you a lot on what are your budget management options.
This will allow you to realise which projects lack funding, how you can finance core costs, understand which funds are unrestricted and finally, to start defining the financial strategy you need to create for the future.
Number 3. Cut down on superfluous
Number two tip (see above) shows you where your money is going to, so now it is up to you to evaluate what is really necessary or not for your organisation.
Ask yourself: Do we really need to meet our partners from organisation X in person 4 times a year and therefore pay 4 times the expenses for international travel?
One thing to consider that can help you decide is thinking about possible alternatives. Are there alternatives to this? Maybe we have an online meeting for half of these meetings… And that simple reflection cuts your expenses on that item into half! And you’re also reducing time dedicated to travel.
Follow the same reasoning for other items of your budget for a greater impact.
Number 4. Partner up for efficiency
Yes, we are all doing our very best to achieve what we can, but… what if we could do even more by using what we have?
Let’s imagine we have a limited budget for an environmental campaign we absolutely want to put forward. We know in advance the campaign will have a limited reach because of our limited resources. But why should this be so? There are maybe other non-profits who have a similar or complementary campaign that could give us a hand and multiply the effects of our campaign. Let’s contact them. Or maybe a foundation with similar goals is also willing to work with us.
We are not saying this does not happen already, just that it doesn’t happen as often as it is possible to.
Funders are also extremely appreciative of partnerships as they reveal cohesion and a true will to change things, so it can also bring you something else back in the long-term.
Number 5. Piggybank
By this we mean save for a rainy day, or for when a donor no longer wants to donate to your cause yet you still need to continue running your activities! But just don’t put aside the money left at the end of a project, instead take the conscious decision of saving all over your activities and of establishing a saving goal.
How to do it? Start by deciding on a reasonable (and attainable) amount you would like to save, break your goal down into a monthly amount that you’ll need to save, look at where you can eliminate spending and make sure your savings goal is still achievable based on your income minus your expenses. Don’t worry too much if it seems that in one month you are saving very little, your piggy bank will appear much better after a few months of savings.
These simple enough tips can guarantee you considerable time and money savings. Willing to give it a try?
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