In your planning, budget and track every project expense including giveaways for participants, office supplies, and other small, vital accessories.
Create a Comprehensive Budget
When budgeting for a project and requesting funds, you should remember to budget down to the last detail. Visualize the event from start to finish and document every minute need or necessity. If you overlook this level of detail, it becomes very difficult to account for the costs and to pay for these seemingly small but essential items later on.
Track Project Expenses
The most important element is having an organizational system for financial tracking. Again, your institution’s office that manages grants can guide you through the process of securing in-kind and cash contributions and any institutional reporting requirements. Utilize them as a resource. Reporting requirements for your institution and for the grant can be time consuming; ensure you have allocated enough time and resources for this crucial task.
Do not forget to solidify any funding agreements during the planning phase with all collaborators, even if they are in your office. This helps prevent any disagreements about funding, who is responsible for what, and gives you leverage in securing other funds and in-kind resources.
Strategically Select Committee Members
Choose members for the planning committee that have access to or are affiliated with groups, clubs, offices, or departments that can provide the resources needed for your event (e.g., the director of Student Life’s office schedules the rooms, communicates with facilities management, and coordinates the use of audio-visual equipment for all on-campus events. This secures you access to rooms and equipment for all event activities. Is there a colleague who is interested in the project who can also provide an in-kind work study or graduate student assistant?