Art of Budget Communications
Field of Study
Budgeting and Planning
Communication is essential for developing a local government’s budget. Planning, strategizing, and negotiating are some of the most important skills that a finance officer must employ to develop and manage a budget effectively, and good communication is at the core of mastering these skills. Throughout the budget process, finance officers are responsible for communicating complex financial and programmatic information to many different stakeholder groups, including executive managers, elected officials, employees, advocates, and constituents. The reasons you communicate with each of these groups can differ, and each group’s understanding of the nuances of local government finance can vary as well. This course will give you the knowledge to help you determine what and how to communicate to each group. We will explore the pros and cons of different communication tools. The course will also address public engagement and explain how the typical budget hearing is an insufficient model for effective public engagement.
Please note that this course will include lecture and small group discussions. Course attendees are strongly encouraged to have a microphone and web camera enabled in order to fully participate in the course.
Those who successfully complete this seminar should be able to:
- Understand how clear communication can encourage greater collaboration and build trust within your organization
- Understand the different purposes for communicating, including educating, informing, receiving feedback, decision-making, and consensus-building
- Learn about the different formats you can use to communicate budget information and how to determine the best format for what you want to communicate
- Learn tips for communicating complex information and financial data
- Understand the role of the finance officer as a “choice architect” and how behavioral science can help inform your communications strategy
- Understand the benefits of public engagement and identify the key components of effective public engagement
Who Will Benefit
Schedule and Sample Agenda
This course is taught by experienced budgeting practitioners and GFOA staff. Instructors will be familiar with GFOA best practices and have experience as finance director, budget director, or CEO of various size local governments.