What do we mean by becoming a line item in an existing budget?
___You understand what a line item is.
___You're aware of the different ways of becoming a line item in a local public or organizational budget.
When would you want to become a line item in an existing budget?
___You're trying to become a line item because your financial back is against the wall, and there are simply no other funding sources available to you.
___You're trying to become a line item to stabilize your funding, and to avoid spending so much time searching for and applying to small funding sources.
___You're attempting to become a line item as part of your basic local funding.
___You're attempting to become a line item to change policy on your issue, to increase your credibility, or to take advantage of a one-time opportunity.
Why would you want to become a line item in an existing budget?
___You know the advantages of becoming a line item:
- Your organization will stay alive and continue to operate.
- You'll get a large chunk of stable funding that you don't have to compete for every year.
- You'll gain the attention and protection of whoever put you in the budget.
- Having stable funding may allow you to be more creative in what you do.
- It can free you from administrative drudgery.
- It can expand the range of services of your organization by giving you access to those of another organization as well.
- It can leave you with a mutually beneficial collaborative relationship with another organization.
- It can establish you as a partner of a larger organization, and may thus work to improve your standing in the community.
___You're aware of the potential disadvantages of becoming a line item:
- You may anger colleagues by bypassing a funding process they still have to contend with.
- You may be taking money away from other, equally-needed services.
- Rather than freeing you to be creative, it may make your organization complacent :
- It may not be ethically consistent with your organization's view of the world.
- You may be dependent on another organization's funders.
- You may be dependent on another organization's continued interest in sponsoring your work.
- You may have to give over control of your organization and your work to another organization in return for the budget line item.
- The other organization could use its position to push you in directions different from those you'd prefer to go in, or even to take over your work.
- You may find that you have serious philosophical differences with the other organization, or that your methods of operation are incompatible.
How do you become a line item in an existing local government budget?
___You are totally familiar with the budget process and timelines.
___You have personal contacts with most or all of the people who might have some influence on whether you become a line item or not.
___You make sure that all the appropriate people understand all the possible arguments for making you a line item, and have all the information they need to make those arguments to others.
___You maintain contact with those involved in the budget, and continue to push your point.
___You continue to follow up once you have become a line item, so that you can maintain your status.
How do you become a line item in an organizational budget?
___You consider carefully the mission, philosophy, methods, target population, etc. of the organization you're considering.
___You make personal contacts at more than one level of the organizations.
___You think about what each organization can offer the other.
___You establish mutual trust before you enter into any agreement.
___You work out any agreement carefully beforehand.
___You put it in writing.
___You continue to maintain and build your relationship, even if you reach a point where you no longer need the line item.