Creating a budget is an essential part of strategic planning for your organization. Budgeting can be challenging for harm reduction organizations because funding is often so dependent on foundation and government grants and contracts, which can radically transform the budget and what an organization is able to do in any given year. At the same time, budgets are essential because they allow programs to:
Because of the challenges inherent to budgeting for SSPs, harm reduction leaders encourage their peers to create “if/than” budgets, which offer budgeting options that include potential funding streams and their impacts on services.
An example of a sample “if/than” budget looks like this:
Generic Harm Reduction Organization
2025-2026 Organizational Budget Form*
Fiscal Year Period: 07/01/25 to 06/01/26
|Current Org. Budget||With CDC Contract A||With OD Victim Foundation Funding||With City HIV Prevention Contract|
|Grants from Community Fund||$50,000|
|HCV Services Contract||$75,000|
|Total cash revenue||$ 159,750.00||$309,750.00||$184,750.00||$309,750.00|
|Food Pantry- food||$12,000|
|Real Relief Society- emergency blankets||$2,500|
|County Sharps Disposal Program||$25,000|
|People’s Clinic- syringes||$10,000|
|Total in-kind revenue||$49,500|
|Staff salary and wages||100,000||240,000||150,000||240,000|
|Fringe benefits & payroll taxes @25%||25,000||60,000||37,500||60,000|
|Consultant and professional fees||1,500||1,500||1,500||1,500|
|Travel and meetings||2,000||6,000||3,000||6,000|
|Misc HR Supplies||2,000||2,000||5,000||2,000|
|Printing & copying||500||500||500||500|
|Postage & delivery||450||450||450||450|
|Net Income||$ –||$ –||$ –||$ –|
*a working Excel version of this budget can be found in the Google Docs resources folder for this section.
During our development Harm Reduction Hacks have collected together a large number of resources from around the web you can find these in our resource folder in Google Docs. We are also always looking for more so help us by suggesting any resources we may have missed.
We do not claim that this is an exhaustive set of strategies, shortcuts, or tips for running an SSP. What we do suggest is that Harm Reduction Hacks offers down-to-earth, practical information for being a better leader, starting and running an SSP, and providing syringe access services. We feel we can say this with confidence because the Hacks are based on interviews with, and the experiences of, literally generations of people who have been doing harm reduction work.
Please note that nothing in this guide should be construed as legal advice. Please consult an attorney local to your area to ensure your program is in compliance with all local, state and federal regulations that apply to your situation.