Program Based Budgeting

As chamber leaders it’s important for us to fully understand our budgets and the budgeting process.

What is program based budgeting?

Simply put, it loads all the costs (i.e., food and beverage, marketing, rent and most importantly staffing) into the equation.

That way you get a true sense of whether a program/event is making money or losing money.

Don’t get caught in the trap of running programs and events that lose money and call it a member benefit.  Don’t laugh, we all do it!

There’s only one exception to this rule that I can think of and it’s your government relations (GR) budget.  That is a direct expense and it is a direct benefit to your members.

One could argue that may be the only reason a number of your member’s join. Chamber’s need to represent their members before elected officials to protect them from onerous regulations.

It’s the monthly luncheons, webinars, annual meeting programs that need to be fully loaded with costs for a proper cost analysis to determine their value, not only to your members but also for the financial stability of your organization.

If it’s not making money, it’s time to sunset the program!

For a program based budget builder from the Wallace Foundation go HERE.

Does Your Chamber Have a Story To Tell?

Competition is everywhere!

The Internet, the chamber in the next town, even some of your members could be providing similar programs to your members.

What’s a chamber to do?

The key is you need to be able to tell your story to your members, your nonmembers and your community.

What is your chamber doing that is unique and a story you can tell to your members, nonmembers and your community?

Tell that story!  And tell it again, again and again.

I was at a conference recently and the following example was given to illustrate the story of this blog post:  An association for landscaping companies cleans up Arlington National Cemetery every year.

Who would not want to be part of that deal?

What a story, and it was suggested that many members of the association join just to be a part of that experience.

What story do you want to tell about your chamber?