Business

How to Save Money when Starting a Non-Profit

Good money management will help a nonprofit to grow

When starting a nonprofit using savings or donations, it is very important to know how to save money. Here are ways to save when starting a nonprofit.

Manage the budget

Budget for all activities for the year, and then keenly observe the expenses on a weekly, monthly and annual basis. Question each expenditure before it happens. That way efficiency can be driven into the organization’s culture.

Use all available tax breaks

Research will ensure that the nonprofit doesn’t pay for anything it shouldn’t pay for. Opt out of the state unemployment tax system (the law allows this) and, if the state refunds on sales tax, save all the receipts and apply for refunds regularly.

Leverage online resources

Take advantage of free and affordable online resources. Examples are MailChimp for initially free email marketing, Canva for creating visual content for marketing materials, and Google for Nonprofits for free access to a suit of premium tools like storage, email, surveys, video conferencing and webinars. Google Ad Grants can give up to $10,000 per month in Adwords advertising credits.

Use online donation software

Use an online donation system that enables the nonprofit to accept and manage online donations. For example, Donorbox is free to start and subsequently charges 1.5% of donations received. No more expensive printed materials.

Save on office space and supplies

If possible, work from home at first. Otherwise, look for a small office and allow employees to work remotely, and arrange a virtual office for holding important meetings. Then buy only the most essential office supplies.

Use interns and contract workers

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Use interns whenever possible to give students much needed experience. Where specialized work is needed, use contract workers or freelancers.

Find Volunteers

A nonprofit can find volunteers who are keen to acquire skills and knowledge or want to contribute to a worthy cause. If they get meaningful tasks and are happy, they can be retained for a long time. Consider students, graduates, professionals and retired professionals.

Seek asset donations or buy used

Large companies will donate used furniture and equipment. Reach out to them and ask. Alternatively, buy good used office furniture and equipment.

Ask board members to help save money

Board members can use their networks to find people willing to donate cash, goods and services required by the organization. Through regular board meetings they can also provide cost cutting advice.

Retain employees

Cut down on recruitment costs and training costs by retaining employees. Keep them happy and appreciated.

Reduce meeting expenses

Save on travel and subsistence expenses for meetings by using video conferencing as much as possible. Use free tools like Skype and Google Hangouts or invest in a paid internet-based meeting platform like Webex.

Invest in fundraising

Fundraising is where the money is. Therefore, while saving on other areas, invest well in fundraising. The returns on investment can be as much as 400%. Naturally, fundraising activities must be evaluated to determine ones with the highest ROI.

Retain donors

A lot of time and effort is invested into creating relationships with donors. It is better to retain them and let them keep giving monthly or annually while looking for more donors. None should ever be lost.

Assess suppliers regularly

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It is no use sticking to any one supplier, and better to shop around for best prices. That way it is possible to compare prices and services of several vendors for each product and service.

Find other ways to save

Installing energy saving devices, switching to digital document storage, using coffee mugs and cups (instead of disposable cups) and using electronic mail are all ways to save.

Create a culture of accountability

Be transparent about the organization’s finances, and communicate the need to save money. Once employees are onboard, they will come up with suggestions and go out of their way to save.

For more information about starting a nonprofit visit https://startupsavant.com/how-to-form-a-nonprofit.

About the author

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Shaun Perine

Shaun previously worked as a journalist for several local newspapers until he realized the potential of internet for news reporting. He joined the team as a contributor which provided him a platform to dedicate his experience and knowledge for a wider range of audience. He excels in curating Cryptocurrency news for the website.

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