SSP Basic Fiscal Structure and Process Hacks

Creating a Budget

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:

  • Set goals
  • Plan for emergencies
  • Attract funders
  • Scale operations
  • Prepare taxes
  • See and control expenses

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
Potential Source $150,000 $25,000 $150,000
Fundraising Events $15,000
Donations $10,000
Interest Income $750
Swag sales $5,000
Miscellaneous $3,000
Other $1,000
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
Total Revenue $209,250.00 $359,250.00 $234,250.00 $359,250.00
Staff salary and wages 100,000 240,000 150,000 240,000
Insurance 4,500 4,500 4,500 4,500
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
Equipment 2,000 5,000 3,500 5,000
Syringes 7,500 15,000 9,000 15,000
Smoking Supplies 4,000 8,000 6,000 8,000
Hygiene Supplies 2,000 4,000 3,000 4,000
Testing Supplies 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,500
OR Food 1,500 2,500 2,500 2,500
Misc HR Supplies 2,000 2,000 5,000 2,000
Staff development 2,500 5,000 3,500 5,000
Printing & copying 500 500 500 500
IT/telephone 800 800 800 800
Postage & delivery 450 450 450 450
Fundraising fees 1,500 2,000 1,500 2,000
Other 500 500 500 500
Total Expenses $159,750 $359,250 $234,250 $359,250
Net Income $                – $                  – $                        – $                  –

*a working Excel version of this budget can be found in the Google Docs resources folder for this section.

More Resources

Don’t reinvent the wheel
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.
Suggest a Resource

External Resources

Collected from around the web
There are a number of external resources that contributed to the development of Harm Reduction Hacks. Here are a selection relating to this section:


The hacks on this site are shared with you under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence. This allows you (with attribution) to adapt content for your own use, although we do ask you to then also allow others to have equal access to anything you develop. More details of this licence can be found on the Creative Commons website.


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. 

Harm Reduction Hacks site design and implimentation by Nigel Brunsdon

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