How to build your budget

Sound budgeting is a tricky skill, and we can’t all be good at money stuff.  That’s why we’ve created this handy explainer to help arts fundraisers prepare a budget for an ACF (or any) fundraising campaign.

1 | Money matters

The act of preparing a budget will make you consider your financial situation and ensure that you appropriately allocate funds so you have an indication of the true cost of your project.

We understand that things can change, but your projected income and expenditure should still give an insight into the scope of your project.

2 | Do the prep work

It can be challenging to complete a budget in advance but to help us help you run the best campaign you can, we need to know about your potential and secured funding sources, and your expenses.

Spend time mapping out the costs of bringing your project to life and make sure you’re documenting all costs and potential income sources.

Some of the things you should be including in your costs map are travel and accommodation, insurance, venue or rehearsal room hire, marketing costs and administration, evaluation and reporting.

Need more guidance here ? Arts Queensland has an excellent resource Key considerations for budget preparation.


3 | Have a back-up plan

Things change – we get it. What we want to see is a well-considered budget, with demonstrable planning and consideration. If you don’t raise as much income as you expected, or the expenditure costs change – what will happen? How will you account for a shortfall? Consider these factors and have a plan ready to go.


4 | Paint the bigger picture

How do the funds you’re hoping to raise through the ACF fit within your broader budget? We want to see a budget that encompasses your whole project, from start to finish, not just what you’re raising money for through the ACF.

Have some questions? Get in touch with the ACF team.


5 | What goes where

Here’s what the ACF budget template looks like:

ACF budget registration form

ACF budget registration form


And here’s a breakdown and explanation of what we want to see in each section:

  • Income generated from project: Are you selling tickets? Merchandise? Artwork? What is your estimated income from this?
  • Applicant contribution: Are you as an individual, group or organisation contributing anything towards the project?
  • Grants received: Have you received any grants? Or are you applying for any grants? Include both received and pending grant amounts.
  • Sponsorship and support: Have you secured a sponsor or partner for your project? Include the amount you’re receiving from them. The same goes for in-kind support, which includes: people, products, knowledge etc. Include the dollar value, and make sure it also gets listed in your expenditure.
  • Donations through ACF: How much are you hoping to raise through the ACF? This amount should match what you have listed as your fundraising target.
  • Donations – other: Are you receiving donations outside of the ACF?


6 | Final tips

Before you start your ACF budget there are two things to remember:

  1. Your income and expenditure need to match
  2. If you’re unsure if the funds will come through, that’s okay, just indicate this by ticking the confirmed or unconfirmed box.

And that’s it. Not so complicated after all! If you do have any queries get in touch with the team and we’ll help you out. Happy budgeting!