Above all else, it is crucial that you are responsible with issues related to finances. Even the most visionary of leaders in the Jewish community recognise the importance of sound financial practices and systems. It’s important to establish systems and seek oversight for finances so that you can maximize the funds that you have for exciting attractive programs. Potential Donors want to know that their money will be put to good use. Many trusts will want to see a breakdown of your financial incomings and outgoings. The financial perspective varies greatly from campus to campus and country to country. Some have to fundraise for all activities, others are allocated a budget from the community, Continental Union etc.
Whatever your budget, make sure that you carefully upkeep your organisation’s finances. Depending on your organization you may need to obtain accounting software or retain an accountant to manage your money. You should in any case establish procedures to act as safeguards for managing income and expenses; including petty cash, cheque writing, reimbursements, donation processing etc.
It is vital that budgets and finances be examined as soon as a new executive comes into office. Although funds are often scarce, running out of money as a result of bad planning can always be avoided. Try to obtain an outside advisor to review financial reports and management practices as an extra resource for financial responsibility. Managing your unions finances involve two different, yet closely related, aspects: Raising Money and Budgeting.
It is surprising how many sources of funding there are. There are the obvious ones such as:
See more on budgeting here.
The next step should be to look at the functions that you want to have and how much they will cost. Find out what functions from previous years – or similar groups – were well attended. What would you like to go to? You may want to celebrate various festivals in certain ways and to the cost of these ‘traditional’ functions can easily be determined.
Keep in mind that there will be additional expenses during the year, members travel costs for meetings, petrol, phone calls and postage. Not everyone can afford to carry these expenses and people need to be reimbursed.