Budgets aren’t one and done. Most likely at this point, the budget was made, voted on and passed. It’s wonderful if a non-profit executive council (EC) accurately forecasted income and expenditures. If the crystal ball wasn’t working properly, the EC can collectively decide in a vote to adjust the budget. A better prediction may then be made for the next fiscal year.
Some years may be the same or similar, and occasionally partnerships or special events pop up. As good stewards of finances, the EC should responsibly review the budget and consider how to fit in the pop-up. Many times a balanced budget is targeted which reflects equal but opposite income and expenditures. As non-profits, the surplus from previous years may be spent down instead.
Each officer works in conjunction with the rest of the EC to review and implement the budget. Attendance at the regular EC meetings is important to make these pop-up decisions and amend the budget as needed. The budget can be a living document or a steadfast constant. It starts as a vision and always reflects the organization’s mission.
The approved budget is the guide to how and where the organization spends money in accordance with the articles of incorporation. If the pop-up is inline with the mission, vision and articles of incorporation, the EC may vote to approve. If any item falls out of alignment with the articles of incorporation in the USA, a non-profit must dismiss the pop-up event or partnership. Something may seem like a great idea, and may be reworked to have interested members pool resources instead.
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Finance Committee is a standing committee dedicated to fiscal interests within SWE. If SWE finance questions arise, please email the SWE Finance Committee at email@example.com or visit us during our office hours. Office hours are generally held every month and at Annual Conference. The EC does not have to go it alone with our SWE annual fiscal process.
About the author
Anna Sparks, P.E., CFM is a SWE Life Member and currently serves as SWE Finance Committee Chair-elect. Anna’s experience as treasurer for engineering non-profit organizations helps guide others serving similar roles within SWE.