By Sandy Dubay
Posted on January 19, 2021
Filed under: Annual Report, Budgets, Business Development

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How creating your budget proposal is different in 2021

It’s that time of year again… Time to work on budget proposals for the upcoming July 1 fiscal year!

However, in 2021, making the budgetary “ask” needs be done a little differently.

COVID isn’t finished yet, and neither are the impacts of it. It’s imperative to think both long-term and short-term about budget needs as you create your budget proposal:

  • What do you need in order to deliver planned programs or those you’re being asked to manage?
  • Do you want (and have the capacity) to hire staff, or even temporary consultant help?
  • What are your plans in continuing to react and respond to business support needs related to COVID?
  • What do you need to create for your community because you know there is a strong need for it (such as diversity programs)?

As you present your budget requests, you’ll need to justify your needs. While this is true for every year, it’s especially necessary this year. With an increased workload, increased need, and increased results, it’s imperative that you clearly outline everything you had to do as an economic development organization in the past fiscal year.

The people in decision-making positions won’t know what you’ve been doing unless you tell them. This means they also won’t know what’s really required for you to most effectively serve your community in the fiscal year ahead.

That’s why you need to clearly show it to them in your annual report. Present to them your updated annual metrics, and show how different your work has been because of the pandemic – and remind them that we are not out of it yet.

And remember that at the end of the day, you’re telling the story of how your organization has supported your community to be resilient during the most challenging time for businesses in our lifetimes.

‘Til next time,
Sandy

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