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2 minutes reading time (370 words)

Budget Process Is Focused on Needs of Clients and Rooted in Strategy

budget Growth in The Night Ministry yearly budget has been in line with the agency’s strategic goals and focused on better meeting the needs of clients served through programs such as the Health Outreach Bus.

How is the yearly budget for an organization with multiple programs serving more than 6,000 individuals per year formulated?

"We empower our department directors and program managers to drive the budget process, as they know firsthand what the needs of The Night Ministry's clients and staff are," said Erin Ryan, Senior Vice President.

Directors and managers always track spending, but midway through the fiscal year they take a deep dive into expenditures by comparing their actual to budgeted spending and asking themselves what expenses, such as training and supplies, they will need in the coming year.

Budgets are then submitted to The Night Ministry's Finance Department. At the same time, The Night Ministry's President & CEO, Paul W. Hamann, and Vice President of Development & External Relations, Christy Prassas, put together a road map for generating revenue. The Finance Department then prepares the organization's overall spending and revenue plan for review and approval, first by the Board of Directors' Finance Committee and then by the overall Board.

"We look at the budget to see how it aligns with our strategic plan and if it hits all of the marks we're looking to accomplish over that fiscal year," said Kiantae Bowles, Board Chair and a member of the Board's Finance Committee.

The Night Ministry's budget has risen annually for the last six years. At $9.45 million, this fiscal year's budget is the largest in the 43-year history of The Night Ministry. Bowles, who has served on the Board since 2012, said increases have been purposeful.

"The budget has grown so we can address our strategic priorities and go deeper with the programs The Night Ministry offers so that we have better connections with those whom we serve and hopefully better outcomes."

The 2020 fiscal year budget is about 15% higher than the previous year. Some of the increases are related to the upcoming move of The Crib, Health Outreach Program, and central office to 1735 North Ashland, as costs for rent and utilities are higher in the new location. The Street Medicine Program has also expanded this year with the addition of three new full-time team members. All of these changes are rooted in enhancing the services The Night Ministry provides.
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