How to Get the Most Out of Your Building Repair Budget at Your Non-Profit
The best non-profit organizations become pillars of their communities, offering vital resources, services, programs, events, and goods. The main difference between a non-profit entity and a business entity is, of course, that the non-profit organization does not seek to generate profit for its owners -- this doesn’t mean that non-profits can operate without any money coming in, however. Rather, a non-profit must find ways to bring in money from charitable donations and government grants and then use those funds to provide its services to the community. In order to continue operating, though, a portion of this money must also go to workers’ salaries, office supplies, marketing efforts, rent, building maintenance, and more. Ultimately, a non-profit’s balance sheet should come to zero each year, wherein the total revenue and total expenses equal one another in amount. Achieving this net-zero outcome requires careful planning and regular adjustments, and it all starts with crafting a thoughtful budget.
So, where do building repairs fit into a non-profit’s budget? After all, some repair-related issues arise without warning and cost an organization a significant chunk of its funds, tearing into other elements of its budget. In order to avoid this unfortunate outcome, non-profit entities must set aside a certain amount for building repairs and other emergencies each year. The key here is choosing an amount that doesn’t extract too many resources from other important expenses while still covering the necessary costs of potential repairs. Let’s discuss some way to get the most out of your non-profit organization’s building repair budget.
How to Get the Best Value for Your Non-Profit
Prioritization Is Paramount
No matter the entity in question, proper budgeting is all about prioritization. Once you have a sense of how much money you’ll be bringing in during a given period of time, it’s time to itemize the various expenses you’ll need to cover. While you can rearrange the order of this list at a later date, start with the most pertinent expenses and work your way down. For instance, most non-profits will place things like salaries and taxes at the top of the expense portion of their budget. Building repairs and maintenance should be relatively high on your list of priorities, considering that your operations will hit a major roadblock if your place of work falls apart.
After you’ve established a basic list of expenses, it’s worth breaking down certain items further. Your building repair/maintenance section can feature sub-sections regarding cleaning, plumbing, inspections, exterior and interior painting, carpentry, and so on. Prioritize these more granular items as well -- one year it might be more crucial to touch-up your paint job, while another year it might be necessary to inspect and repair or replace your floors, equipment, and so on. The more detailed and contextual you can get, the better. Prioritizing your building repair needs for this quarter or year will allow you to more carefully allocate funds to the types of work you need to get done in the near-future.
Stay on Top of Building Maintenance
It’s no secret that building repairs can get expensive. That said, nearly all kinds of repairs wind up costing less than it takes to simply take good care of your property and other assets. In other words, by staying on top of building maintenance (i.e. routine cleaning, minor touch-ups, etc.), you can reduce the number and severity of repairs your non-profit ends up requiring in a given period. If you want to get the most out of your building repair budget, then, make sure you relegate enough resources to maintenance efforts. Whether you keep it in-house or outsource a maintenance company, hire and pay the right people to regularly clean your building and check for potential problems -- catching an issue early on can also save you hundreds, if not thousands, in repair costs.
Invest in High-Quality Services and Materials
Not all repairs and renovations are created equal. If you try to save a buck in the short-run by hiring less qualified contractors who use lower-quality products and equipment, you’re bound to run into the same problems again in no time. For instance, coating your deck with a cheap deck stain won’t offer the full, long-lasting protection offered by a high-quality coating. Likewise, hiring an exterior painting contractor who cuts corners will likely result in a weak shoddy coat of paint. Getting the most out of your building repair/maintenance budget doesn’t always mean stretching your dollar so thin that it breaks -- more often it means spending a little more on higher-quality services to achieve better and longer-lasting results. Finding this balance can be challenging, but applying some long-term thinking can help you make the right call in each situation.
Divide the Labor
While it’s best to hire reliable experts to tackle certain repair projects, the people within your non-profit may be able to perform (or at least help with) certain renovation duties. Even if you simply rely on your people to thoroughly clear and clean rooms prior to an interior painting project, you can save hundreds of dollars -- painting contractors may perform these preparatory tasks for you, just at a higher price. The more you can divy up the work between non-profit workers and professional repair/maintenance contractors, the more you’ll get out of your budget.
Remember, Little Renovations Can Go a Long Way
As mentioned earlier, if you take good care of your property, you might not need any significant repairs for some time. If at the end of the year you set aside more money for repairs than you ended up needing, you have some options -- 1) you could roll-over these leftover funds for next quarter’s/year’s expenses, or 2) you could balance out your budget by investing in certain renovations that were lower on your priority list. Indeed, even little improvements such as refinishing your front entry door can go a long way toward boosting your non-profit’s appeal and reputation.
Learn from Experience
Your non-profit’s budget should look different from one period to the next, even if it contains the same general items. After a particular quarter or year, you’ll likely notice some mistakes and miscalculations -- this is normal. In order to craft a more optimized budget next time, dig into the details of your previous budgets and learn from your mistakes. You might find that you didn’t allocate enough funds for building repairs or maintenance, or that you overestimated the amount you’d need for these purposes. Maybe you didn’t properly estimate the cost to paint ceilings and walls. Whatever the case, the more data you collect over time, the more accurate your subsequent budgets will be.
Try to Boost Your Budget
Lastly, one of the best ways to get more out of your building repair budget for your non-profit is to expand your budget overall. Of course, doing so requires greater outreach, increased donations and grants, and so on. Not every non-profit will be able to boost their budget year after year, but it’s worth trying if you wish to keep your property in great shape, enhance your operations, and provide even more goods and services to your community.
Running a non-profit organization is a challenging but worthwhile effort. At Nash Painting, we’re proud to serve and improve our communities in Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, TN, and surrounding areas. Let us help you get the most out of your repairs and renovations. To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!