5 Tips for Event Budgeting

By Brandi McGrath Kong, Director of Member Services

April 27, 2021

So much goes into planning your club’s events. You must make sure that your club has the financial resources necessary for your event to be successful. Even more than that, you need to ensure that your event is a good investment for your club. 

Tight fundraising budgets mean that organizations and boards need to properly allocate and carefully spend each dollar. After all, every dollar spent on your event is an investment. That money is spent in hopes of reaching “favorable business outcomes,” according to event planning site The Bizzabo Blog. This includes things like increased membership, more community sponsorships and higher event profits. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you build your budget:

  1. The budget should account for four key columns (minimally): budget item, projected expense, actual expense and notes. Within the notes section, you’ll want to include all relevant information to help justify budget decisions and document event history.
  2. Your club leadership and planning team should conduct a comprehensive review of any required budget goals. Remember, the purpose of the budget isn’t just about allocating how money is spent, it’s also about prioritizing any spending toward the most valuable event elements. 
  3. You will want to look at your event’s history if there is one. Taking advantage of things like past data and historical documents can really help you save time and make sound decisions during the budgeting phase. 
  4. It is equally important to work with any event stakeholders that have financial oversight. This can include groups like club leaders, volunteer members or vendors. Everyone involved needs to be on the same page. Otherwise, you may find your club in a situation where details are overlooked or miscommunicated to the point where it becomes a significant financial hardship. 
  5. When it comes to looking at your expenses, you’ll want to keep in mind what costs are one-time and which ones are recurring. Recurring costs would be things like ongoing rental fees, subscription charges or software licensing fees. It can also be a significant purchase, such as expensive camera equipment, that will be used across many events. In those instances, your club will need to decide how it will space out the purchase and divide the expenses properly over multiple event budgets if so chosen. 

For further guidance on this subject, make sure to check out our Event Planning Guide and Event Budgeting video. Looking for some cost savings at your next event? Sign up for the Sertoma Member Savings program!

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