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Models for Building a Masjid Budget

Models for Building a Masjid Budget

Masjids must plan. Part of that planning is developing an annual budget. For those masjids that use the calendar year, it is time to get to work in producing a budget for next year. There are a variety of models for building a budget. However, no one model is necessarily right for any one masjid.

Begin with last year’s budget.

It is relatively easy to begin with last year’s budget. You simply compare previous budget figures with actual expenditures and make changes based on history and anticipated changes. The new budget results from known expenses for the coming year, such as salaries, and projected figures, such as utilities.

Begin with budget requests.

You ask some person or group responsible for every section of the budget to look ahead to the next year and prepare a budget based on anticipated needs and expenses.

Begin with income projections.

Here you project income from all sources based on trends over the last several years, what is happening in the current year, and expectations for the coming year. Are there any past income sources that will not continue in the next year? Are there any anticipated increases to take into account? This income projection sets the total within which the budget is built.

Begin with a strategic plan.

An overarching plan for the coming year emerges out of a planning process that begins with the masjid’s mission and values, and then prioritizes goals to develop a plan to implement that vision. Budgeting involves attaching cost estimates to all those ongoing and new efforts. This method requires beginning well before the budget takes effect.

Use a combination of models.

Realities normally require using several of these models, rather than one alone. There is always a dynamic interplay between financial limits and masjid needs. For example, when submitted budget requests exceed projected revenues, there must be a back-and-forth process to make adjustments. That kind of interplay is quite common.

A wise goal is to project a challenging vision, but not deal in unrealistic dreaming. You do not want a budget that is doomed to fail no matter how hard everyone works or how much people give because the goals were out of reach. On the other hand, you do not want the budget to be so modest and unchallenging that it will not push the masjid community to grow.


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