Public sector organizations, especially local governments, often observe an October 1 to September 30 fiscal year.  As a result, most have begun their budget development processes or will be doing so shortly.  Managers with whom I have spoken are concentrating on cost reductions they will be required to make in 2012.  Unfortunately, this has been the norm for several years and there does not seem to be a let-up in sight. Sadly, continual budget constraints, which increasingly include staff reductions, have made the public sector more focused on what can be eliminated than what can be provided.  Good public servants, who got into the profession to make a difference, find themselves presiding over the dismantling of programs that they spent their careers building.

At the risk of seeming unrealistic, I would ask you to consider looking ahead to 2012 as an opportunity to renew your commitment and enthusiasm for public service.  Instead of starting with the budget, start with what you want to provide to your constituents; then brainstorm ways to do it within your means and by finding ways to bring in new revenues.

Many of the grant programs have application periods that begin in the summer.  A successful application now could infuse some additional funding into your 2012 budget.  Approaching corporations and individuals early with sponsorship proposals could net some needed cash in the coming year as well.  And partnerships with private sector organizations could help you to provide services that you might have otherwise abandoned.

Remember, we offer a variety of funding-related and management services designed to help you in your efforts to serve your clients, customers and the public.  Please get in touch today to find out how Public Management & Funding Services can help!