Event Budget Planning: Using Microsoft Excel & Microsoft Word
No matter how large or small, every event needs to be properly planned. Whether or not you are charging participants to attend, a budget should be set for the event at the very outset. Using technology resources can be a vital tool for a successful event budget. We would like to share with you two of the simple tools that are available to you; Microsoft (MS) Excel and MS Word. We will present two simple formats that you dont need to be a rocket scientist to use.
Using MS Excel:
If you are not familiar with the functions of Excel, you can work around this by finding a template that has already been created and you just need to fill-in or adjust the form to your own purposes. And find a template we did! Microsoft has created a template just for these specific budgeting purposes. To locate it:
You now have a document that you can format for your own use.
Once your new template is opened you now have a budget for your event that includes entries for site, decorations, publicity, refreshment, programs, prizes and miscellaneous. You can use all of the entries, change the name of the entries or delete any of the entries.
To change the name of any entry:
You can perform this procedure on the name of any cell you want to rename.
You can add a line to any of the subject areas if you choose, however, with this template if you add a line to an entry on the left and/or right hand of the budget form, a new line will also be added to the right and/or left side of the form. We will limit our working with this form to using it just as it is presented and not adding or deleting any of the line formats.
To add numbers to your new budget:
Once your new number has been entered and you click your cursor on another cell you will see that the number has been entered and the total has been updated.
You can work with this worksheet first to set the budget (Estimated) for the event and continue as the event progresses by loading the figures (Actual) in the cells.
You will notice that this Budget spreadsheet has three worksheets attached to it: Expenses, Income and Profit Loss Summary. Access to these worksheets are located at the bottom of the table. By clicking on either of these tabs that spreadsheet will be viewable on your screen.
This is a very simple Excel spreadsheet, and if you have never used Excel before it can get you started and can save you a lot of time in creating and tracking the budget for your event.
Using MS Word:
Are you creating your budgets in MS Word? Are you typing in the subject entries but still using your hand calculator to calculate the totals? There is a better way you can format your Word document as a budget worksheet and have it calculate the totals for you. You will have to use the tables function in Word in order to do this. So lets walk you through that process.
MS Word offers a number of ways to make a table. We will offer you one simple process.
After you have the table in your document you can enter the column names you need (such as Description, Estimated, Actual) just by clicking on the cell and entering your text or numbers. In the first column in row 1 add the title of the column (Description) and on rows 2 and 3 you can enter the description names for your items. (in this example food, postage). For the fourth row, name this cell entry Totals.
To format your table so it now calculates:
To add rows o change numbers to your table:
(The trick to this process is to make sure you have figures loaded in each of the cells above. If you dont have a number to load at this time insert a zero for that cells amount)
You can now format and use your Word document as you choose.
We have provided you with the simplest formats for each of these programs. Each of the programs also provides more advanced features for your budget planning. If you find you want something more for your budget planning be sure to investigate the programs, by using the Help screens, to walk yourself through more advanced features.
Remember when planning your budget the objective is to provide you with a financial blueprint. The budget should be specific, and include revenue opportunities (sponsorship, ticket sales, donations. concession sales) as well as expenses (printing, permits, insurance, speakers, food. supplies, security).
Once you get your feet wet using these tools for budget planning Im sure youll enjoy the water and begin to continue to use and expand your knowledge of these features.
Mary Lou McNatt has many years of experience working with volunteer programs, advancing our profession and has a passion for introducing the advantages of technology to volunteer programs. She was instrumental in obtaining Ivan Scheiers body of work on volunteerism and putting it online. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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