Money to pay for the electric bill or insurances is not necessarily “sexy”, but these costs still need paying for.  So how do they get paid when you are applying for grants and funding? They can me wrapped up as “admin” associated with each project or they can be specifically requested as a Project to be funded for, when particular appeals are promoted.  Charities, Not for Profits and Community Interest Organisations all have the same issues when it comes to paying the “boring old bills”.

What are Core Costs?

  • Rent and Rates,
  • insurances,
  • utilities (gas, electric and water supplies),
  • waste streams,
  • washrooms,
  • cash taking processing fees,
  • banking fees,
  • cleaning,
  • telecoms charges,
  • HR Advice and guidance,
  • Health and Safety Advice and Guidance.

These are the costs that have to be paid before you step foot into the premises. These costs only increase, the more you work for the cause that you are passionate about.  These costs are very often forgotten when setting up and establishing the organisation. Sometimes you arrive with a lump of money to sort these, but it is then omitted from further requests as it is an ongoing requirement and the initial pot has quickly been used up!

Budgeting for Core Costs

Every funding application has to have a separate pot allocated for Core Costs (10-20% usually).  This will pay for the running costs whilst the Project is running.  This isn’t ideal but it will go some way to help towards keeping these costs covered.

Cost Recovery System

More of an accountancy led approach – managing costs is integrated into the finances with procurement policies in place.  Reviewing these processes ensures no out of contract high rates are paid.  This way, it is essential to have a pot of money available up front to apportion across all Projects being delivered.

Project Costs

This way, when funding for core costs is applied for from day one.  Some creative labeling of budget headings may be required to ensure all costs are recovered.

Unit Costing

This is when Core Costs are calculated per cost of client, per month to cover the project core costs.  Fundraising can then be built into appeals and the appeals which sound most appealing can be promoted.  The best value is often more attractive to corporate audiences.  If £100 keeps one of your cats fed (and looked after with heat, light etc.) per week for a cat shelter, then asking your supporters for multiples of £100 – you can then define how many weeks/cats they are supporting.  They can be supporting “that” cat and they can “adopt” specific cats as well as Core Costs being covered.

General Fundraising

Some of the several streams of fundraising that come in can be used for Core Costs:

  • Funding from legacies,
  • Funding from collection tins,
  • Bucket shaking,
  • Charity of the Year for businesses,
  • Black tie dinners, auctions,
  • Corporate sky dives, bungy jumps
  • Marathon running, 10K, Colour Dash
  • Fire Walks and other incredibly dangerous things!

Money from all these can all go “in the pot” for paying the bills.  This general fundraising needs careful monitoring to ensure that enough is always available.  A charity trying to run without electricity or phones won’t run for long, so ensure that once the core staff wages are paid, then the bills get paid next.

Let’s Save Cost Management does Saving Money and Time on sorting out your Core Costs and Overheads.  I enjoy helping the charitable sector the most where paying these bills is always an issue.  Our first meeting to discuss how I can help is always at my expense, don’t hesitate to call me to arrange a time for us to chat.  0772 9481010.






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