Budgets, funding & Spending

Jim Berman Chef Instructor working with 10th, 11th & 12th graders; Wilmington, DE

How do you manage your budget for your program? Specifically, do you ever rely on outside contributors/program sponsors to assist? Do you ever go into a deficit? If so, what do you do?
I am asking a lot of questions because we really need answers. My program hasn't had a budget increase... ever. And with the costs of food (along with everything else) taking off, I am wondering how others handle it.
I have long thought of approaching corporations for sponsorship; I am just wondering if the cash situation is any better for most of corporate America. We currently do a MAJOR amount of fund raising for our community service and our students' trip for overseas service. How much squeezing is left?

Any insight?

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Hey Jim,I have tons of ways

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Hey Jim,

I have tons of ways to cut costs. It does take people power though. Here are a few.

1) If you need food google map all the big chain groceries around your area and send the managers requests for donations. Follow up with phone calls until you get in touch with them and they can donate amounts to your school. This MUST occur before the holiday season. The earlier, say Sept or Oct, the higher amount because they determine the $ and the goods. Their donation can be store credit or gift cards for their stores.

2) Work closely with the development people. I used to bring in grant opps that match well with my programs. There are sights that always share their grant info; timing and etc.

3) Corporate sponsorships may have very specific requirements but they do usually give bigger amounts.

4) Work close with PTAs and ask them for $ and leads to funding. For example, I worked with Wells Fargo workers group to secure donations from them directly rather than their foundation for a program of mine. Less hoops and consistent returns while I was there. (The lead came from one of my staff members.)

Hope this helps!

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