How to Control Your Charity Spending

Charity leaders tend to focus a lot on doing ‘good’ and sometimes lose sight of how money is being spent in the process. One way to know if your charity spends received donations responsibly is by checking its bank statement. What does it look like? If charity costs seem to exceed donations every month by a large margin, then it could mean that you do not have enough control over your spending.
The best way to control costs is by carefully identifying, monitoring and reducing charity expenses, if necessary. These could be anything from general expenses like purchases, salaries, phone bills, and rent, to fundraising expenses which are mostly comprised of advertising and events costs.

Tweet this: An organization with defective budgeting methods has a slim chance of surviving tough economic conditions.

By now, you know that controlling charity expenses is not as easy as controlling your own household spending. You are working with a team of people who’ve brought in their spending habits to the organization, and this is out of your control.

This is what you can control

Any charity leader that uses a purchase order (PO) system that does not allow real-time viewing of purchases has a good reason to worry. This stems from the fact that the leader has no immediate control over what is being spent, and this inability to closely monitor expenses may result in a huge charity fund deficit.

When your charity uses an automated PO system like, expenses are controlled and close monitoring is achievable in just a few minutes. Tricia Napolitano, the Accounting director, at Thomas Mountain Ranch LLC, is a current user and had this to say:

“My team needs to make PO requests when I’m away. Our paper-based system takes days for me to see the POs and then sign off., allows me to approve POs while on the road.” Her bookkeeper can now record every purchase because she can have an instant view of all purchases.

Given that your organization receives funds from different sources like individual donations, company donations, fundraisings or from the state, you must be able to account for all the money you receive by budgeting and monitoring purchases.

Let me tell you more about each:


Budgeting tipsAccording to FundsforNGOs (an online NGO initiative), a budget shows an amount of money your charity plans to raise and the amount to be spent for a set purpose over a given period of time. However, this spending plan will remain just that, a ‘plan’, until you implement it which is more difficult if your organization still uses paper-based systems.

An organization with defective budgeting methods has a slim chance of surviving tough economic conditions. Charities should have a single point of access to view all purchases in real-time to keep projects on track and within budget. The ability to approve purchases in real-time is key because it increases the efficiency in delivering for charity objectives.

With, each department can have its budgets and dedicated approvers. It allows the designated decision makers to approve POs wherever they are, even while rushing to the next fundraising event.


A PO software like puts you in control of all your purchases, and this is how:

  • You can choose four different role associations that enable you to distinguish between different access levels and users who can raise POs versus approvers.
  • A team member has the ability to raise POs and only has access to those POs raised by him/her.
  • Approval rules can be customized to allow higher level management to approve bigger purchase amounts.

This purchasing solution is critical to the efficient functioning of your charity. Once employed, your chances of overspending on purchases become less. You won’t have to stress because it puts you in complete control of expenses.

Try here for free!

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