Planning our budget for Sisters In Common’s our work and services involved careful consideration of various factors and the involvement of key stakeholders. Here’s an overview of our budget planning process: Assess our work and service’s Needs: The ﬁrst step was to assess the speciﬁc needs and requirements of our work and services. This includes identifying the target segment of our populations, understanding the scope of services to be provided, and determining the resources and infrastructure needed to deliver those services eﬀectively. Identify Revenue Sources: Next, it was important to identify the potential revenue sources for our work and services. This may include activities, partnerships, or funding that would not make us a bunch of “Black share-croppers” ( “Slavery By Another Name”). Each revenue source was evaluated based on its suitability, sustainability, and alignment with our work and services mission and goals. Cost Estimation: Once the needs and revenue sources were identiﬁed, a thorough cost estimation was conducted. This involved determining the costs associated with personnel/staﬃng, infrastructure, supplies, training, outreach, program evaluation, and any other relevant expenses. It was crucial to consider both direct costs (speciﬁc to our work and services ) and indirect costs (overhead, administrative expenses). Stakeholder Involvement: Our budget building was a collaborative process involving key stakeholders. This included the Board of Directors approval, our work and services team, Legal experts, ﬁnancial experts, program managers, and organizational leadership. Each stakeholder brought their unique perspectives and expertise to ensure a comprehensive and realistic budget. Consideration of Sustainability: Long-term sustainability was a major factor in budget planning. It was essential to evaluate The work and services potential to generate revenue or secure ongoing funding beyond the initial phase. This involve exploring partnerships, establishing fee-for-service models, or seeking reimbursement from insurance providers ( we now have contracts with the 5 MCOs Contracted to providing health insurance coverage to the millions of Washington state residents on Apple Health) . Review and Iteration: Our budget-building process involved multiple rounds of review and iteration. Stakeholders review our budget proposal, provide feedback, made adjustments, and ensure alignment with our work and services goals and ﬁnancial constraints. The duration of our budget-building process varied. Given the complexity of our work and services, the availability of evidence/data and resources, and the decision-making processes within the organization, it took several weeks. Daily communication and collaboration among our team members helped streamline the process and ensure a well-informed and realistic budget. Note: Typically, it may take you several weeks to a few months to develop a comprehensive budget that considers all relevant factors and stakeholders’ input.
Sisters in Common recognizes the importance of incorporating equity into our budgeting process to ensure fair and just resource allocation. Here’s how Sisters in Common incorporated equity into our budget: Equity Lens: Sisters in Common adopted an equity lens throughout our budgeting process. This means intentionally considering the impact of budget decisions on our marginalized and underserved populations, such as low-income individuals, racial and ethnic minorities, and others in our disadvantaged communities. Needs Assessment: Sisters in Common conduct a comprehensive needs assessment to identify the speciﬁc needs and challenges faced by our diﬀerent communities. This assessment included input from community members, stakeholders, and those directly impacted by the services to be provided. Our budget then prioritize allocating resources to address these identiﬁed needs. Resource Allocation: During our budgeting process, Sisters in Common ensure that resources are allocated proportionally based on the identiﬁed needs and the principle of equity. This may involve directing more resources to our community members that have the most emergent and emergency need. We considered factors such as income disparities, geographic location, cultural considerations, and access barriers when making resource allocation decisions. Mitigating Disparities: Sisters in Common aimed to mitigate existing disparities and inequities through budget decisions. This included allocating additional funding to services that speciﬁcally target our most disadvantaged populations, providing subsidies or sliding-scale payment options for those with limited ﬁnancial means, and investing in outreach and accessibility measures to ensure equal access to services. Continuous Evaluation: Sisters in Common would regularly evaluate the impact of budget decisions on equity outcomes. This includes monitoring and analyzing evidence and data related to service utilization, outcomes, and satisfaction among our diﬀerent populations. By assessing the eﬀectiveness of budget allocations in reducing disparities, Sisters in Common made adjustments and improvements to promote greater equity, in real time. By incorporating an equity lens into our budgeting process, Sisters in Common promote fairness, inclusivity, and equal access to resources and services for all our individuals and communities we serve and are members of.
Needs Assessment: Sisters in Common conduct a comprehensive needs assessment to identify the speciﬁc needs and challenges faced by our diﬀerent communities. This assessment included input from community members, stakeholders, and those directly impacted by the services to be provided. Our budget then prioritize allocating resources to address these identiﬁed needs. Resource Allocation: During our budgeting process, Sisters in Common ensure that resources are allocated proportionally based on the identiﬁed needs and the principle of equity. This may involve directing more resources to our community members that have the most emergent and emergency need. We considered factors such as income disparities, geographic location, cultural considerations, and access barriers when making resource allocation decisions. Mitigating Disparities: Sisters in Common aimed to mitigate existing disparities and inequities through budget decisions. This included allocating additional funding to services that speciﬁcally target our most disadvantaged populations, providing subsidies or sliding-scale payment options for those with limited ﬁnancial means, and investing in outreach and accessibility measures to ensure equal access to services. Continuous Evaluation: Sisters in Common would regularly evaluate the impact of budget decisions on equity outcomes. This includes monitoring and analyzing evidence and data related to service utilization, outcomes, and satisfaction among our diﬀerent populations. By assessing the eﬀectiveness of budget.
YES. Sustainability was an integral part of Sisters in Common’s budget building process. Here’s how sustainability was incorporated: Long-Term Financial Planning: Sisters in Common engaged in long-term ﬁnancial planning to ensure the organization’s ﬁnancial sustainability. This involved forecasting future expenses, revenue streams, and funding sources to establish a pathway to a solid ﬁnancial foundation for ongoing operations. Diversiﬁcation of Funding Sources: To enhance sustainability, Sisters in Common diversiﬁed its funding sources. Rather than relying solely on one funding stream, such as grants, we sought to secure multiple revenue streams (i.e. Cost reimbursement contracts). This also included seeking government sub- contractor contracts, fee-for-service arrangements, partnerships with other organizations. Cost- Eﬀectiveness and Eﬃciency: Sisters in Common carefully considered cost-eﬀectiveness and eﬃciency in budget planning. This involved identifying areas where operational expenses could be minimized without compromising the quality of services. We sought ways to optimize resources, streamline processes, and eliminate unnecessary expenditures to maximize the impact of our budget. Building Reserves: Sisters in Common prioritized building ﬁnancial reserves to create a cushion for unexpected expenses or potential ﬂuctuations in funding. By setting aside funds for reserves, we aimed to maintain ﬁnancial stability and mitigate the risk of ﬁnancial challenges that could threaten sustainability. Services Evaluation and Outcome Measurement: Sisters in Common implemented robust services evaluation and outcome measurement strategies to assess the eﬀectiveness of our initiatives. By gathering evidence and data on program outcomes, impact, and cost-eﬀectiveness, we could make informed decisions about resource allocation and prioritize sustainable programs that demonstrate positive results. Collaboration and Partnerships: Sisters in Common actively sought collaborations and partnerships with other organizations and stakeholders. By leveraging collective resources, knowledge, and expertise, the we could enhance sustainability by sharing costs, accessing additional funding opportunities, and expanding the reach of our services. By integrating sustainability principles into our budget building process, Sisters in Common aimed to ensure the long-term viability and eﬀectiveness of our services, ultimately maximizing the impact on the communities we serve and are members of.
Sisters in Common face several speciﬁc challenges related to budgeting. These challenges included: Limited Funding: One of the primary challenges is limited funding. Like many non-proﬁt organizations, Sisters in Common operate within a constrained ﬁnancial environment, relying on limited revenue streams. This create the need for careful budget planning and resource allocation to ensure all essential activities could be adequately funded. Fluctuating Funding Sources: Another challenge was the ﬂuctuation of funding sources. Grants government funding sources can vary from year to year, and securing consistent funding posed a challenge. Sisters in Common had to navigate the uncertainty and potential gaps in funding by seeking diverse revenue streams and developing strategies for ﬁnancial stability. Cost of Program Expansion: As Sisters in Common aimed to expand our services to meet the growing needs of our communities, we continually face the challenge of balancing the associated costs. Service expansion often requires additional resources, including staﬀ, materials, and infrastructure. Budgeting for these expansions required careful consideration of available funds and potential revenue generation. Rising Operational Costs: Operating costs, such as staﬀ salaries, rent, utilities, and administrative expenses, presented an ongoing challenge. These costs can increase over time, potentially exceeding the available budget. Sisters in Common needed to monitor and manage these rising costs to ensure ﬁnancial stability. Impact of External Factors: External factors, such as changes in government policies, economic conditions, or funding priorities, signiﬁcantly impacted Sisters in Common’s budget. Adapting to these external factors and proactively adjusting the budget became necessary to maintain ﬁnancial stability. Balancing Services Priorities: Sisters in Common faced the challenge of balancing services priorities within a limited budget. We needed to make strategic decisions about resource allocation, weighing the impact and eﬀectiveness of diﬀerent services to ensure the most critical needs were addressed. Overcoming these budget-related challenges required careful ﬁnancial management, strategic decision-making, and a focus on sustainability. Sisters in Common needed to seek creative solutions, diversify funding sources, and establish strong ﬁnancial planning practices to navigate these challenges eﬀectively.
Flexible work and services funding provided to Sisters in Common. Flexible funding allow Sisters in Common to achieve several outcomes that restricted funding would not have allowed. The ﬂexibility of the funding enabled the organization to: Respond to Emerging Needs: With ﬂexible funding, Sisters in Common had the ability to adapt and respond to emerging needs within our communities. We could allocate resources to address urgent and evolving challenges promptly. This agility allowed us to provide timely support and services, ensuring we were responsive to the changing needs of the population we serve and are members of. Support Innovation and Creativity: The ﬂexible funding provided Sisters in Common with the freedom to explore innovative approaches and creative solutions to address social determinants of health disparities. We could implement new services, pilot initiatives, and experiment with novel strategies to improve outcomes. This ﬂexibility fostered a culture of innovation within the organization and empowered us to think outside the box. Invest in Capacity Building: Flexible funding allowed Sisters in Common to invest in capacity building initiatives. We could allocate resources towards training and professional development for our staﬀ, enhancing their skills and expertise. This investment in capacity building strengthened our ability to deliver high-quality services and expand our impact in our communities. Collaborate and Leverage Resources: The ﬂexibility of the funding enabled Sisters in Common to collaborate with other organizations and leverage additional resources (e.g. Contract BIPOC physical health professionals). We could form partnerships, pool funds, and coordinate eﬀorts with like-minded individuals and entities to maximize our impact. This collaborative approach helped Sisters in Common to reach our deep dive community members and extend our services beyond what restricted funding alone would have allowed.