Trade Secret # 2 | Face Your Budget!


  • Aid in decision making
  • Target your reach effectively
  • Track and increase your return on your investments
  • Remove your fear of the question--- “What’s your budget?”

 Where do you start?

Determine your budget; in the for-profit world it’s standard to allocate about 10-20% of projected gross revenues.  For the non-profit world, we recommend the percentage approach.

Percentage approach:

This approach is favored by our beliefs, because this process keeps it organic, communication spending grows, as does the organization.  The marketing and communication expenditures directly reflect a nonprofit’s evolution and the size of its budget.  Of course there are exceptions, such as the launch of a new program, or tackling an urgent advocacy campaign.

The average allocation is from 9-12% of your annual organizational budget.

Quick example of simple percentage approach:

Purchasing all advertising and promotion media,
including online, newspaper, radio, TV, and direct mail postage

+ 4%
Producing (design) and printing all communications,
such as newsletters, brochures, websites, press kits, etc

+ 1.5%
Producing special events

+ 3.5%
Salaries, consultants and freelancers

= 11%

Finally, make sure you track costs by category and maintain a spreadsheet of actual vs. projected expenses.  This will prove valuable in future planning and help you make the most of your budget.

BOO!   You see, nothing to be afraid of, so I betcha can’t wait for the next time someone like me asks, “so what’s your budget for this project?”

Need more help building your budget?

Drop me a note or let’s chat, call me (714) 841 9600.

Happy tracking!

Christina Haakenson, Branding Strategist

Christina Haakenson

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