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Civil Society Budgeting Toolkit
CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
February 2006

Download these files:
Part 1 - Overview and Basic Principles
- Word version (252KB)
- Acrobat PDF version (198KB)

Part 2 - Best Practice examples
- Word version (852KB)
- Acrobat PDF version (141KB)

This toolkit provides guidelines on how to go about developing and monitoring a budget. It will help you with an overall organisational budget as well as with a budget for a specific project. The toolkit includes tools for estimating costs as well as tips for ensuring that your budgets meet the needs of your project or organisation.

Why have a toolkit on budgeting?
Budgeting is the key to financial management. The toolkit will help you plan, develop and use budgets effectively in your organisation. If you have a sound understanding of the principles of budgeting, you will be well on the way to sound financial management. If you use this toolkit in conjunction with other toolkits, as indicated, you will increase the capacity of your organisation to manage its finances effectively. You will also increase its ability to survive through foresight and planning.

Who should use this toolkit?
This toolkit is aimed specifically at people who have had little or no experience with budgeting. Perhaps you have not been involved in running an organisation, project or department before. Or perhaps you have not been involved in the financial management side of the work before. Now you are faced with the task of developing a budget, or budgets, and you are not quite sure where to start. If you are in a situation like this, then this toolkit will be useful for you.

When will this toolkit be useful?

  • After you have done the strategic planning for your organisation, and your action planning (see toolkits on planning) and you need to know how much money you will require in order to do what you have planned.
  • When you need to work out how much it will cost to run a particular project or department.
  • When you want to ask a donor to support a particular aspect of your work.

CIVICUS would like to acknowledge the following as invaluable resources in the preparation of this toolkit:

  • Manji, Firoze Proposals that make a Difference, Oxford learning Space, CD-ROM
  • Olive Publications Planning for Implementation, Olive 2001
  • Shapiro, Janet Financial Management for Self-reliance, Olive 1995
  • In addition, the following may be a useful resource for you:
  • Cammack, John Financial Management for Development, INTRAC 1999

For further information on CIVICUS, see or see the dedicated World Assembly website

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