When income is slow-coming, most businesses, including non-profits, look to the biggest expenses to cut costs. Salaries, benefits, rent and utilities are among the first expenses to be reevaluated and adjusted. However, non-profits sometimes can’t avoid or overcome direct costs when it’s time to fix the budget. Yet, if able, cutting down other smaller expenses can actually add to significant savings.
To really understand the significance, I evaluated two annual reports of Chicago based organization. For one organization, focused on education and human services, the cost of supplies was 8 percent of their expenses in 2009. That might not sound like much, but that translates to over $320,000. Another charity’s activity supplies, office supplies, housekeeping supplies and equipment purchases totaled about 4 percent of their expenses in 2009. That 4 percent actually means over one million dollars! Sadly, though, their in-kind donations came to no where near enough to cover the need and these items are necessary program and operating expenses!
This makes the work of Zealous Good even more urgent, as Zealous Good can help local charities cut down on these expenses. Many of the goods donated to Zealous Good definitely fall under the “supplies” category. Zealous Good has even connected local non-profits with free electronic equipment and appliances, such as a digital camera, printers as well as a washer and dryer. There is no reason any charity should spend over one million on supplies, not when individuals and businesses have plenty of extra goods sitting around, just waiting to be donated!
Also, if you are a non-profit in the Chicago area looking to cut your expenses through donated goods and services fill out this form and join the Zealous Good family!
Christine Harrell is a guest blogger for Zealous Good.