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with Mary Lou McNatt

Learn tips and hints to use a variety of electronic and technical equipment to enhance work with volunteers.

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~ October 2004 ~ Topics

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 don’t 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:

  1. Go to: http://office.microsoft.com/templates/.
  2. Click on Microsoft Office Programs.
  3. Click on Excel.
  4. Click on Budget.
  5. Download it to your computer. (you choose the spot where you want it located).
  6. Accept the licensing agreement.

You now have a document that you can format for your own use.

  • Open up your Excel program.
  • Click on File>Open and locate where you have saved your new template to.
  • Select the document and open it into the Excel program.

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:

  1. Place your cursor on the cell where the entry is.
  2. Double click on that cell.
  3. This allows you to retype a new name for this entry.
  4. Just backspace to remove the current name.
  5. Retype the new name you have chosen.

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:

  1. Select the cell where you want to enter the number.
  2. Double click on the cell and enter your number.

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.

  • Expenses are where you load your estimated and actual expenses as they are accumulated.
  • Income is where you can load and track income received for and from your event.
  • Profit – Loss Summary will let you know at the end of the day how you are progressing based on the expense and income you have entered. You don’t need to do anything with this worksheet. It is already set up to run the figures automatically for you as you load them into the Expenses and Income worksheets.

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 let’s walk you through that process.

MS Word offers a number of ways to make a table. We will offer you one simple process.

  1. Click in your document where you want to create a table.
  2. On Your Standard Tool bar Click on Table>Insert>Table.
  3. Select the number of rows and columns you want. (for this example choose 3 columns and 4 rows) Then click on OK.

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.

Description Estimated Actual
Food $500.00 $500.00
Postage $250.00 $136.78
Totals $750.00 $636.78

To format your table so it now calculates:

  1. Go to the bottom row (the 4th row in the scenario we have created) at the second column space which is Estimated.
  2. Click the cell in which you want the sum to appear.
  3. On the Table menu, click Formula.
  4. If the cell you selected is at the bottom of a column of numbers, MS Word proposes the formula =SUM(ABOVE). Click OK.
  5. You can also select a cell at the right end of a row of numbers, Word proposes the formula =SUM(LEFT). Click OK if this is correct.

To add rows o change numbers to your table:

  • You can choose to add more rows to this table by Clicking on the Table menu on the Standard Tool Bar, point to Insert, and then click to insert Rows Above or Rows Below.
  • You can change numbers in the table as your event progresses. Enter your new numbers. To update the Totals formula cell highlight the Totals figure ($750.00) with your cursor and press the F9 key. The table will recalculate that column based on the numbers you have entered.

(The trick to this process is to make sure you have figures loaded in each of the cells above. If you don’t 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 I’m sure you’ll enjoy the water and begin to continue to use and expand your knowledge of these features.

Plan an EDU-VACATION - April 26-29, 2005

Training for managers of volunteers, leading to a certificate, is being held April 26-29, 2005. Sponsored by Washington State University, the Volunteer Management Certificate Program will be held in Port Hadlock, Washington, in the shadow of the Olympic Mountains. Topics include:

Recruitment Evaluation
Training Management and Supervision
Recognition Risk Management
Diversifying the Volunteer Pool The Internet as the Manager's Next Best Friend

Interactive Case Models based on student process is the focus of Learning Activities.
For more information, visit the website at: http://www.emmps.wsu.edu/volunteer.

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 Scheier’s body of work on volunteerism and putting it online. She can be reached at mlmcnatt@indra.com.

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