I always use the example that I hope makes the most sense. Let's say, I'm a grant making organization and you've applied for funding from our organization. Well, we notice in the budget that there are no staff salaries. First thing that comes to mind is that the cost of living ANYWHERE prevents people from being able to work for free. Unless they are independently wealthy.
In order to build a sustainable organization, you have to have people to run it. Those that will work in it day to day. Those people have to be, should be paid. Now I will caution that it needs to be reasonable salaries and I even encourage that you put some of that back into your organization as well. It's about the mission, not about getting rich.
Your budget will tell funders your intentions. Take time to research salaries in your area, weigh them against the cost of living and create a reasonable budget that will help those providing services live. You will develop a healthy staff that can grow and continue to provide services to your communities for years to come. That's what funders are looking for...Sustainability.
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