2023 Parks and Recreation Budgets: 4 Things to Consider
The leaves are changing and the weather is cooling down, signaling to you that it’s about that time of year where you need to create your upcoming season’s budget. Have you been looking for better ways to manage your staff in 2023? Hoping to maintain your facilities in a more methodical way? It all starts with a well-thought-out budget.
There are several things to consider when creating your budget, but ultimately it comes down to considering how you can best manage your parks and recreation center. In this guide, the team here at CommunityPass will walk through how to incorporate the insights you gained from the 2022 season, and what changes you can implement to make optimal use of your 2023 budget.
Here are some of the things to consider when creating your 2023 budget:
Parks and recreation centers were busier than ever this year. However, the hiring season did not have the same energy, and many parks were understaffed or had too many workers for off seasons.
Workforce management is crucial to the success of your park, helping maintain a clean and safe environment and a positive experience for guests. Keeping track of your busy seasons can help you prepare for anticipatory hiring.
When planning for next season, try to keep track of guest attendance to find monthly, weekly, and daily trends. This can help you hire staff based on need and avoid over or understaffing.
Having a better idea of your staffing needs can help you budget more accurately for current staff and for future hiring. Using guest attendance tracking tools, like CommunityPass’s digital attendance feature, can help you record attendance levels which you can then base employee hours on. The digital attendance feature can also create reports that include hiring recommendations to help you strengthen your approach to posting job openings, interviewing, checking references, and extending job offers.
Park Usage and Maintenance
Keeping track of maintenance requests and facility usage is key for staying on top of park costs before they get out of hand. Take note of the frequency of maintenance requests to find trends in how much you may need to budget for common wear-and-tear fixes.
It can be helpful to consider the local population your park serves and create an estimate of weekly attendees. This can help you plan for wear-and tear-costs and also prepare for anticipatory hiring.
Here are a few park usage and maintenance items to consider keeping track to help you plan your next budget:
- Grounds maintenance will vary by season and usage. Monthly costs of grounds maintenance may increase during your busy seasons due to increased foot traffic and weather changes.
- Building maintenance will ideally need to be carried out in slow seasons, or during weekdays or nights when there are less guests. Track your work orders and guest attendance numbers to stay on top of repairs.
- Facility rentals will require an organized guest sign-up process for you to track usage and keep the facilities clean. Some venues may be more popular than others, so tracking rentals can help you maintain a well-rounded schedule.
- Security will be an important consideration if you have a particularly large park or host sporting events. You may need to hire security personal to be on call or actively patrol the area.
While you’re planning or editing your budget for next year, note how you’re managing your park and recreation center now. Staying aware of this year's patterns can help you anticipate next year's costs.
Considering your revenue sources for next year can also help you plan for your expenses. It’s critical to examine how you stretch every dollar so that you’re able to take the most cost-effective approach to running your parks and recreation center. Let’s look at some common revenue sources you may have access to.
If your budget allowance is set by state or national government budgets, it’s important to meticulously track your park’s expenses to stay within budget. Keeping track of member dues, facility costs, and programs for the month will help you stay up to date. It is also important to seek out opportunities to secure more government funding like grants. If you’re using grants, you’ll also need to have a system in place for monthly reconciliations.
Guest and membership passes can also be a great source of revenue. Plus, examining the money you’re making from guest passes can also help you track attendance and keep up with demand for different classes and programs. You’ll likely need a customer database to help track these transactions and to record guest data for further use.
Sponsorships are important to help directors of parks keep up with expanding facility needs, but are also valuable for building and maintaining relationships with local business owners. You’ll likely need access to marketing materials and guest communication tools to promote your sponsors.
Donations can be impactful for parks and recreation budgets, as well as cultivating relationships with the community. Fundraising for your park can also be taxing on your time and employee or volunteer management. Using a donation form on your website along with a volunteer registration page can help you streamline the process and increase your ROI.
Managing expenses, guest attendance, marketing campaigns, volunteer registration, and donations can be a lot to keep organized. Using park and recreation software can help you streamline your management activities by automatically recording customer information, contact information, and payment statements.
Keeping Your Management Technology Up-to-Date
Keeping your parks and recreation management technology up-to-date can help you streamline administrative tasks. CommunityPass’s parks and recreation management software is a technology solution that can record and track guest and financial information to help you create more informed budgets.
CommunityPass: Streamline Your Budgeting
Let’s take a closer look at how CommunityPass’s tracking features can help you monitor your park’s facilities, employees, and guests for further insight into your 2023 budget.
The CommunityPass automated reports feature can help directors easily assess their monthly financial statements. Managers can use this tool to run reports about membership dues, concession sales, and program performance. Directors can use this tool to evaluate their most profitable programs at the park.2. Activity Registration and Sports League Management
Park and recreation center directors can use the activity registration and sports league management feature to assess their seasonal, monthly, and weekly guest capacity. By tracking registration and attendance, managers can create budgets and adjust their hiring objectives around their most successful programs.
3. Facility Management
The facility management feature can be used to organize park space rentals and program assignments. Directors can view frequency of space usage to assess the most used spaces to plan for facility maintenance budgeting.
Point of Sale and Payment Processing
With the point of sale feature, directors can easily account for concession sales and complete their monthly reconciliations. This feature also provides monthly statements that can inform better month-to month adjustments based on your budget.
Making an annual park and recreation budget can be difficult, especially when you’re left to manually handle all administrative duties. Implement new technology or add CommunityPass’s management software to your techstack to streamline administrative duties, organize your reporting, and create more informed budgets.