What to consider before cutting programs
Excerpted from the Chronicle of Philanthropy 12/10/09
- Consider the mission: Focus on programs that are the least essential to your organization’s purpose
- Make sure the analysis is based on good data: Know how much you will save in overhead and other costs
- Carefully assess the financial impact: Cutting a $100,000 program that is paid for primarily by a $70,000 grant would save only $30,000 annually, not $100,000
- Consider other options: Does it make more sense to eliminate a weak or expensive program or to cut every program by a certain percentage? Be strategic about what you cut, rather than just doing what’s easiest, or what you consider fairest.
- Ask staff for their ideas: Some may suggest a pay cut rather than program elimination; some may even volunteer for lay-offs. But make it clear that in the end, the decision is made by the ED and the Board.