Managing budgets in Spark

Budgets allow you to limit company spending for different parts of your program. Your company may have several budgets set up to cover different types of corporate spending. This article will help you update your budgets when approaching or reviewing budget limits.

In this article: 

Before you begin

Learn the Budget basics to help you gain a foundational understanding of your budgets.

Anyone with the budget manager role can view and edit budgets in Spark. All current change signatories are automatically assigned the budget manager role. Program admins with the role manager role can assign the budget manager role to other users in the future.

You can submit a support request to:

  • Learn about your custom tags and associated transactions.
  • Review and restructure your budgets to align with standard practices.
  • Create or delete a budget.

Editing budgets

To learn more about each budget and to edit budget data:

  1. Go to Manage > Budgets.
  2. Choose a budget and select Edit on the same line.

You can make the following changes to your budget rules:

1. Budget amount

Budget amount is the amount authorized for a budget, also known as the corporate limit. If there is an amount, transactions associated with the budget will not be accepted or processed once the Budget amount is reached. You can increase or decrease an amount at any time. Unlimited Budget amounts do not limit transactions.

2. Per user amount

Per user amount is the budget amount an individual user has access to. If there is an amount, matching or volunteer rewards will not be processed for that user once the amount is reached. You can increase or decrease an amount at any time. An unlimited amount does not limit user transactions.

3. Change between a specified amount and unlimited

If you want to change a Budget or Per user amount from an amount to unlimited, or vice versa, contact the Support team.

We recommend that changes like this should be done within the 30-day period before the budget is active to avoid reporting complications. 

Budget auto-renewal

You can choose whether your budget auto-renews the following year. If enabled, the renewal budget is automatically created 30 days before the previous one expires. To auto-renew budgets, enable the Enable budget auto-renewal checkbox.

If you are within the 30-day period, you can still enable auto-renewal any time before the budget expires. The new budget is created at midnight (UTC). 

The renewal budget copies the previous budget values set 30 days before renewal. The following fields are copied:

  • Currency
  • Budget type
  • Timezone
  • Per user amount
  • Budget amount
  • Budget tags

The renewal budget end date is one calendar year from the renewal date. For example, if the start date is June 1, 2022, the end date is June 1, 2023. Budget usage is reset to zero on the renewed budget.

If budgets are not renewed, there will be no limit to employee rewards that are offered, unless limited on a specific special match campaign. If you want to disable auto-renewal or set up a new budget for the following year, contact the Support team

Reallocating budget between currencies

If you want to reallocate funds from one currency to another, use a currency conversion tool before editing budget totals to determine how much you can move. Make sure that you consider both parent and child budgets in the hierarchy and adjust them accordingly.

Budget History

To confirm changes to a budget, edit your budget rules and select Save Changes. The following budget updates are captured in Budget History:

  • User amount update
  • Budget amount update
  • New budget is created
  • Auto-renewal setting changed

The Budget History log includes:

  • Date of the update
  • Updated by user
    • The user is Benevity if a Benevity team member performs the update. Benevity - Automation is the username for an automated process.

  • Action taken
  • Description of the update

Email notifications

To keep you informed of any budget changes and usage, all users with the Budget manager role will receive the following notification emails:

  • Threshold exceeded: If budget usage has exceeded the 60%, 70%, 80% or 90% threshold, you’ll receive weekly emails to keep you informed. Review the budget amount and increase it if necessary.
  • Budget 100% used: If budget usage reaches 100%, you'll receive an email the following day. Review the budget amount and increase it if necessary.
  • Expiring budgets: If a budget is expiring and will not auto-renew, a notification is triggered 30 days before the budget end date. Review and confirm the budget renewal rule.
  • Renewing budgets: If a budget is set to auto-renew, a notification is triggered 30 days before the budget end date. Review and confirm the renewal budget and per user amounts.
  • Updated budgets: If a budget has been updated, you’ll receive details of the changes right away. Review the changes for any errors. Additionally, any change signatories in your company also receive budget change emails to ensure the entire team is informed.
  • Budget summary: If it is the last day of a calendar quarter, you’ll receive a summary of budget usage over the quarter. Review or make changes to budget rules if necessary.

As a budget manager, you cannot opt out of notifications as these are mission-critical, system-generated notifications that are key to the smooth running of a CSR program.

Admin Action Items

To keep you informed of your budget usage, all users with the Budget manager role are notified with Action Items on the Admin Dashboard. These notifications are generated in the following cases:

  • If budget usage has exceeded one of the following thresholds: 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%. Review the budget amount and increase it if necessary.
  • If a budget has reached 100% usage. Review the budget amount and increase it if necessary.
  • If more than one budget has reached a threshold, Budget managers are informed of the number of budgets, along with the highest % used value.

Select Take Action to go to Budgets.

Notifications will only be removed from the dashboard when the budget usage is below the 60% threshold. Check the Admin Dashboard throughout the month for notifications that a threshold has been reached.


Related resources

10-minute learning course: Managing Budgets in Spark


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