Creating a budget might not be the most fun and exciting aspect of preparing for VBS - especially if you are not a numbers person - but is just as important as determining the purpose of your VBS and setting goals. A budget gives structure and helps define the priorities of your event.
You can always tell the priorities of a ministry by looking at the budget. Just like our personal finances, we tend to budget for the things that are most important to us or the needs that scream the loudest.
Truth be told, also like our personal finances, most of us tend to operate without a budget. Sure we have a chunk of money dedicated to VBS, but we do not take the opportunity to allocate those dollars to insure we are properly funding our goals and priorities.
A VBS budget needs to be divided into three categories. From there each section can be divided into as many subdivisions as you wish. The more detailed your budget - and the more years you have been working with the budget - the more subdivisions you will most likely have.
Since creating a VBS budget may be new to you, start with the following three categories:
- Before VBS - worker training and publicity.
- During VBS - curriculum, craft supplies, snacks, and decorations.
- After VBS - VBS Family Celebration, continued connections, and worker appreciation.
A typical VBS budget includes the expenses in the second category, but often leaves the first and third categories unfunded. To do so is similar to using all your vacation dollars to purchase a dream cruise without leaving any funds for transportation to and from the port city. Getting to the dock and returning home can often cost more than the cruise itself.
Now that you have created budget categories it is time to do your homework. How much will it cost to have publicity posters printed? How much will craft supplies cost? How much will hotdogs and chips cost for VBS Family Celebration? Even if you are depending on donations to cover many of these costs you need to place dollar amounts in the appropriate categories.
Once you have divided your dollars into each category go back to your determined purpose and goals. Does the budget reflect your priorities or have your created a budget that determines or limits your priorities?
Next week's Monday Morning Checklist - Create a Planning Calendar.