The Budget-Building Book for Nonprofits

A Step-by-Step Guide for Managers and Boards

Practical guidance on developing and implementing budgets for nonprofit organizations. Offers advice about every phase of the process and includes resources for documenting and reporting.

200 pages. ©2007.
Available Formats:

Reader Reviews for this Book


Review posted February 3, 2023


Good introduction to budgeting for nonprofits. Has examples and spreadsheets, unfortunately this version does not come with the CDrom that Josey-Bass books normally come with.


Review posted September 14, 2022


The Budget-Building Book for Nonprofits addresses: ; 1. the importance of budgets and budgeting, 2. basic types of nonprofit budgets, 3. outlines budget implementation, tracking, and reporting. The book is clear and insightful - even interesting as far as budgeting can be! It is practical guide to the art of budgeting. It is well-written and reliable, as well as easily understandable.


Review posted August 23, 2022


This book is amazing when you are starting a non-profit. I will use information from every chapter and many of the forms provided in the back of the book. The text is easy to read and put into practice.


Review posted April 5, 2022


This was a good book with some helpful information.


Review posted August 25, 2021


The workbook style paired with easy to understand explanations were much appreciated.

Janice I Woody

Review posted February 10, 2021


Very insightful


Review posted February 2, 2021


This book increased my understanding of how nonprofits function. I am new to nonprofits and budgeting in general and this text answered a lot of my questions about the differences in running a nonprofit from any other kind of business and how to budget for nonprofit success.

onalee Mansor

Review posted September 2, 2020


This looks like a very helpful reference book for the work I do for a Malheur County non-profit, the STAR Center. The STAR Center is an Oregon registered Child Advocacy Center and we are experiencing some major changes at this time. I am BOD Chair and this book will be very beneficial for planning and used by myself and our new Center Director.


Review posted July 27, 2020


As someone who oversees public program budgets, this has been a helpful tool in understanding basics in non-profit budget building


Review posted March 20, 2020


Not a great book. If you are a nonprofit manager looking for a budget resource, look elsewhere. If anything, it's written for board members, but even then it did not come off as terribly useful.


Review posted October 31, 2019


Good information and helpful worksheets to get a good grasp on how to understand and piece together a budget.


Review posted October 23, 2019


I don't have a background in accounting or budgeting - so I found this book extremely helpful. We are a very small nonprofit with a very small budget. It is written in a straight forward and easy to understand way. The book provides the full picture of a budget for a nonprofit. Software is also provided with the book on a CD. Overall - I highly recommend this book to anyone managing a budget for a nonprofit.


Review posted October 1, 2019


This is a very good reference for new managers, or to have Board members get a copy of for reference purposes. Way better than trying to make a background presentation to cover financial management concepts. The software included via an attached CD is outdated, and rudimentary. Having said that, it's free and better than trying to make a spreadsheet to replicate it from scratch for even medium skilled Excel users. I recommend you encourage key staff and Board members to get a copy.


Review posted September 28, 2019


This is a really good book for financial planning for nonprofits.


Review posted April 27, 2019


This book has been informative for our non profit board. Excellent resource.


Review posted April 8, 2019


What a fabulous resource for staff and board members! This book is a great refresher and teaching tool for budgeting basics and understanding fiduciary responsibilities. The Chart of Accounts is helpful for those managing simple programs and organizations. The book was published in 2007 and my only complaint is that the account management software on the CD-Rom only works on Windows machines.


Review posted March 29, 2019


If you are unfamiliar with budgeting this has many great worksheets and resources for you! I have shared this with our CEO and she loves it!

Review posted December 2, 2018


This is exactly what it says it is. It uses the straightforward, unpretentious style typical of Jossey-Bass guidebooks. It is fine as an introduction to budgeting and good for a review. Intermediate learners will fine some things in there but perhaps would benefit from a more rigorous guide. There are lots of templates that are useful if your nonprofit fits into one of the categories they cover. Mine doesn't, but I can see how useful it would be for more typical nonprofits.


Review posted August 30, 2018


This is a great book for small or large nonprofits with simple language and practical examples. I recommend it to all nonprofits and boards.


Review posted August 16, 2018


I am highly impressed by the amount of information in this book. While some of the info is basic, it ensures that the reader has a thorough understanding of the budgeting process for a nonprofit organization. I especially appreciated the appendix of forms that our organization could print and use. Very nice resource. Christina


Review posted August 7, 2018


I'm working on my budget now for a new nonprofit and this book is amazing. It came just in time.


Review posted April 15, 2018


This is an excellent book. We are in the process of transitioning from having a fiscal agent to becoming a stand alone nonprofit. I do not have a background in nonprofit management. I am very grateful to have this resource available. I will be sharing this book with my newly formed Board of Directors. Thank you.


Review posted July 25, 2017


I was looking for a book that gave a good overview of financial practices so I could fill in the gaps of what I knew. This book did that. It gave me ideas for how I could improve reporting and stimulate better board meeting conversations. I was excited to explore the worksheets but found them more basic than what I needed. I was hoping for something more plug-in current financial information. However, the worksheets that come with this are more for creating budgets from scratch.


Review posted June 21, 2017


Its helpful but I need the budget book later on in this process.


Review posted June 12, 2017


another excellent book that will help our non profit. It is clear and easy to read and understand. We will be using this as a tool with our non profit.


Review posted June 6, 2017


This is very Helpful as it has great resources to help break down the needs so that everyone can understand it.


Review posted May 12, 2017


This book is a great resource for me while I am learning how to build budgets for various programs. The included cd with different worksheets is very useful.

[email protected]

Review posted November 18, 2016


Wow... my budgets will never be the same. What great insight and skill building in down to earth language.


Review posted October 21, 2016


This book has very helpful tools in creating budgets. Love the CD that comes with it too to help with all the forms. Great addition to our program.


Review posted October 12, 2016


This book is essential to any non-profit organization. It contains information to help you design a budget for any project your organization might need. It also contains a cd with templates to use to create a professional detailed budget. Thank You Ford Family Foundation for making this valuable tool available to my organization.


Review posted September 7, 2016


Very informative


Review posted August 10, 2016


This book is a wealth on practical information, worksheets, and strategies for budgets. It is well-organized for reading straight through or picking and choosing sections you need at the moment. Great choice if you need a guide for budgeting.


Review posted August 3, 2016


Budgeting can be really intimidating for people working in nonprofit programs (as opposed to finance), but this guide was really helpful. My org is getting better at the "bottom up" budget approach and this was a helpful resource for program staff doing budget planning in a consistent way.


Review posted June 5, 2016


I've been through several budgeting cycles, and we basically invented how we did it as needed. This book provides many tools and checklists for proceeding in a more orderly manner. I expect to use it as a reference as I work with future nonprofit budgets. It outlines various strategies that can be used to approach the task of budgeting and provides tools to implement these strategies in the form of spreadsheets, etc. When discussing zero based budgeting (ZBB) it outlines the advantages and disadvantages of using this approach. It could be improved by doing something similar for the other three budgeting strategies, but the advantages and disadvantages of these approaches might be more obvious to readers. Most readers will want to skim this up front and refer to it as they work through their budgeting cycles.


Review posted July 31, 2015


The content is pretty dry but the book contains a large section of very useful resources, including a cd of basic budgeting templates.


Review posted July 10, 2015


This book is very helpful for not-for-profit organizations wishing to improve their budgeting process. It guides the reader through each step of the budgeting process from planning to monitoring. As an additional bonus, there are several sample forms and practical resources that can be very helpful to establishing a budget plan. I recommend The Budget Building Book for Nonprofits for either a fledgling or well-established nonprofit organization. It's a good resource.


Review posted June 28, 2015


The Budget-Building Book for Nonprofits not only helped us in the short run with a current question; it has been added to the CCAC library for future use as our organization continues to grow.


Review posted April 8, 2015


This book is exactly what I need in order to move forward with working on a budget for a grant I am writing. It is clear and easy to understand. I look forward to having this resource in my library.


Review posted January 6, 2015


This was just what I was looking for, as it provides a very comprehensive and orderly method for me to organize from where I am starting to budget and what I will need as an outcome, how to use this in applications for grants and prepare tax reports. The DVD is so helpful. How would anyone just starting know this information? I can see how being this informed will cut outside accounting costs, as I will be able to speak somewhat intelligently and not waste time/money having the accountant educate me.