Building Your Budget

It is important to spend time on building and considering your budget before submitting it. You should consider the Budgeting Policy, previous budgets, and your actual income and expenditure from recent years. 

Keep in mind that activities change and develop yearly so don’t simply copy a previous budget!

Reviewing Previous Budgets & Spending

Your CSP's budget for the current year (completed by last year's committee) is available to view here.  You should take into account your previous budget and compare it to your actual spending this year

There are two ways to view your previous transactions:

Financial Documentation splits transactions into Income and Expenditure and the various type of transactions e.g. claims, purchase orders, credit cards. This will not show your grant income for the year, but is an easy way to locate specific transactions in full. 

Transaction Pages split transactions by funding codes e.g. grant, SGI.  Here you can see your previous grant allocations and how much of this grant you spent. This is a good way to check that your CSP fully utilises its grant. The trend graphs will show you the fluctuation of money in each of the funding codes, or overall in your account. 

Once you have familiarised yourself with both your previous budget and historic spending, you should compare them.  This allows you to determine which expenditure items need to increase or decrease in your new budget.

Sources of Income & Expenditure

Once you have established your historic spending and budgets, you need to decide upon which items of expenditure and income are going to be included in this year's budget (almost all from previous years will be, unless the activity has stopped, but you may also wish to add new ones).

Examples of annual expenditure include:

  • Affiliation fees
  • Anticipated core running costs, like ground hire or instructor fees
  • Anticipated events/activities cost, such as a yearly event

Grant can be requested to support core expenditure, such as affiliation fees, ground hire, or instructor hire (more on this later).

Examples of annual income include:

  • Membership fees (with a realistic membership number prediction)
  • Anticipated event/activities income
  • Anticipated sponsorship
  • Departmental funding

Not reporting expected income or expenditure truthfully can result in disciplinary procedures against your CSP, with a possible result of £0 grant allocation for the next academic year.

Building Your Budget

Now that you have established your income and expenditure lines, you need to actually build your budget.

Your budget should accurately reflect your expected income and expenditure for the upcoming year.  Management Groups will review the actual income and expenditure lines from your accounts over the last few years to corroborate your budget and grant requests.  As a charitable organisation, we should not be seen as making profits or holding a surplus of reserves.

You should follow the following principles:

An annual budget should aim to break even (not make a profit or loss), with a maximum of 10% contingency allowed.

You should include all expenditure and income, regardless of whether it is core.

You should charge an appropriate membership fee to fund your core activity and your membership target should be realistic.

You MUST NOT over-inflate your expenditure. This can result in reduced funding.

Now that you know how to build your budget, the next section will detail what items of expenditure are eligible for Union grant funding and the criteria to receive grant.

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