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Manage Money Matters

So you've diligently engaged your community, now how to pay for it all? A good first step is to determine how much money you need to raise. 

You can expect a burst of one-time expenses related to start-up costs,followed by ongoing maintenance expenses in the following years.   


The expenses will fall into to two categories:

Garden expenses, which are shared by the entire garden, and those items which individual gardeners are responsible for.


Tips for Preparing Successful Grant Applications


Financial Record Keeping

If a community garden is set up as a committee or subcommittee of a community association, then a restricted funds account is usually set up as a line item in the community association's  financial statements.  The restricted fund status assures that the funds in the community garden account will be spent exclusively on the garden and not used for other purposes.  The bylaws of a community association will guide the kind of financial setup used.  If the garden team and the community association board have questions their local Recreation Coordinator from the City of Calgary Community and Neighbourhood Services can assist.

The Garden Treasurer is responsible for listing expenditures, deposits and account balances in a spreadsheet that includes the date, description of item, amount and name of donor or payment recipient. This balance sheet forms the basis for the garden's annual financial report.

Managing Garden Purchases and Reimbursement

We suggest the following guidelines:

All expenses on the spreadsheet should be backed up with the original receipts and an expense claim form that lists the date of the claim, name and signature of the claimant, reason for and amount of the expense,   and signatures of the Garden Treasurer and at least one other authorized garden leader. Make sure you understand and communicate the turnaround time for expense claims.

The Community Association Treasurer notifies the Garden Treasurer regarding donations that are received for the community garden.

Garden account funds are not spent unless authorized by the Garden Treasurer on behalf of the Garden Team 

Records of purchases, donations and sources of revenue are retained in a community association file with copies in the Garden Treasurer's file.

The Garden Treasurer should issue receipts to gardeners upon payment of their registration fee.  (Receipts for community association membership fees are issued by the community association.)

The Garden Treasurer authorizes payment only if an itemized sales slip showing the date, items received, price of each item, vendor name and address. 

Payments are made by submitting a cheque requisition to the community association.  Cheques are signed by two approved members of the community association board  and are issued monthly in order to make payments within 30 days.

For garden supplies requiring immediate payment upon purchase / delivery, a price quote is obtained and a cheque is prepared in advance of the purchase.