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Opinion: 5 Essential Elements for Not-for-Profit Pre-Budget Submissions 2024-25

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Not-for-Profit

5 Essential Elements for Not-for-Profit Pre-Budget Submissions 2024-25 

With the deadline approaching for 2024-2025 budget submissions, the not-for-profit (NFP) industry is currently busy developing their ask to the government. 

The recent call for submissions from the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services serves as a clear directive for individuals, businesses, and community groups to articulate their priorities in anticipation of the 2024–25 Budget. 

The coming budget is slated to uphold the government’s commitment to supporting Australians while paving the way for a more robust, inclusive, and sustainable economy. One of the primary focal points is bolstering green energy industries, emphasising the heightened significance of compelling submissions from not-for-profit organisations. 

Fifty Acres is helping our many clients with their budget submissions, and below we present some last-minute tips and tricks, so you can develop a captivating proposal. 

1. Be explicit with your recommendations 

Clearly outline your organisation’s needs and explicitly convey these to the government. Clarity is paramount in ensuring that your proposals are easily understood and aligned with overarching goals. 

2. Understand national agenda and political priorities 

Tailor your submission to align with regional or sector-specific political priorities. Showcase your community engagement initiatives and underscore how your organisation contributes to the broader national agenda. 

3. Bring in a human element 

Bring your policy positions to life by illustrating their impact on individuals. Consider incorporating case studies or lived experience anecdotes to provide a tangible and relatable dimension to your submission. 

According to Fifty Acres CEO Jo Scard, integrating a people-centric storyline into budget submissions injects vitality into policy stances, moving beyond the arid landscape of figures and fiscal complexities. 

“This approach not only heightens the appeal and significance of proposals but also ensures resonance with a broader audience,” Jo said. 

4. Illustrate through effective infographics 

Harness the power of infographics to convey your message swiftly and succinctly. Visual representations can often communicate complex ideas more efficiently than words, capturing the attention of decision-makers. 

5. Demonstrate clear return on investment  

Strengthen your submission by presenting a clear return on investment. Incorporate economic modelling, cost-benefit analyses, or other metrics to highlight the tangible benefits of supporting your organisation’s initiatives. 

Ultimately, these crucial components serve as a strategic compass for not-for-profit organisations. 

By following these basic guidelines, your organisation can not only navigate the intricacies of budget submissions, but also craft compelling narratives that resonate with decision-makers, ensuring your proposals stand out in the competitive landscape, and contribute to the national agenda in a meaningful way. 

Organisations can share their submissions for the 2024–25 Budget by Thursday, 25 January 2024 here: https://treasury.gov.au/consultation/2024-25-pre-budget-submissions 

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With over 20 years’ experience in communications, political advisory roles and journalism, Jo Scard is one of Australia’s foremost strategic advisors to corporates, government and not-for-profits.

Jo is a respected former journalist in the UK and Australia working with ITV, Associated Press, Seven Network, SBS, ABC and Fairfax. She has spent over a decade advising corporates and not-for-profits at CEO and board level across strategic communications, government relations and public relations, and co-authored the best-selling book The working mother’s survival guide.

Fifty Acres was established in 2010. We work with government agencies, national organisations, not-for-profits and corporates providing strategic communications, media training, government, marketing and public relations services. The agency has become a market leader in strategic communications and represents some of Australia’s premier brands and not-for-profits – spending 10% of our time on pro bono projects.

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