We recently read the Washington Post's article on What Trump Cut in his Budget - and with an 18% cut to funding to the Department of Health and Human Services, we know that many of our customers are going to be affected.
"To pay for an increase in defense spending, a down payment on the border wall and school voucher programs, among other things, funding was cut from the discretionary budgets of other executive departments and agencies." states the article.
Source: The Washington Post
It's hard to say how big the effects would be for organizations that we work with: those that provide services for people who may need assistance or support, such as: people with developmental disabilities; people with physical disabilities; people with mental illness; children; elders/senior citizens; veterans; people who are homeless; people who are poor; people who are incarcerated or just released; people with certain health needs; and people who are abused.
Since the Department of Health and Human services is so large (the Department would receive $69 Billion under Trump's proposal which is a reduction of $15.1 Billion) and many different programs and services fall under the department, it's still too early to know exactly how these services will be impacted.
What is known is that more than a third of the cuts will affect the National Institutes of Health, which focuses on biomedical research. Although, on the positive side, there will be increases to funding for services related to substance abuse prevention and treatment, and an emergency fund to deal with disease outbreaks.
Source: The Washington Post
The biggest impact of these cuts will be felt by the people that depend heavily on the services of Human Services organizations. With the need for these services constantly increasing, budget cuts could lead to longer wait times for programs and in worst cases, people being turned away.
But there are things that Human Services Organizations can do today to ensure they are set up to deal with any possible cuts in the future:
1. Fundraising and Donor Management
Many Human Services organizations are now looking to increase their fundraising and focus on private donations to fill the gap from government funding. Having the right system and tools in place to collect and track donations, communicate with donors, provide tax receipts and get insightful data in order to increase donations will be key under this administration.
2. Reduce the costs of delivering programs
Paperwork is not only a pain, it's also very costly and inefficient. In many cases there are additional staff needed to deal with manual entry of data from paper to computer systems. Staff at different locations have to either mail in or drop off time sheets and HR paperwork. Multiple copies of reports need to be printed off and distributed in order to be shared. By moving paper-based processes into electronic processes a lot of time and money can be saved. We've seen organizations that don't need to hire additional payroll staff since implementing our automated scheduling to timesheet to payroll to finance process. All the data is in one system and the information flows effortlessly. As staff and programs grow, your administrative costs can actually go down! Check out this short 90sec video that shows Paperless Timesheet & Payroll
3. Reduce costs associated with recruiting, onboarding and training new staff
The Human Services industry unfortunately has to deal with a very high turnover rate. Some organizations we've talked to have upwards of a 65% turnover rate! Having to be constantly recruiting new employees, onboarding them and training them on your systems and processes is costly. While there isn't an easy solution to the turnover rate, there are ways to help make the onboarding and training easier. Having an HR, Scheduling and Case Management solution that is intuitive and easy to learn can greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to get a new case worker or direct support staff up and running. Also making sure that training resources and knowledge articles are easy to access for on-demand learning can make all the difference.
4. Put tighter budgetary controls in place to avoid overspending
By the time most budget managers find out they are over budget, it's too late. The money has been spent. Giving real-time access to financial data that shows budget managers what has been budgeted, committed to and spent can ensure that overspending doesn't happen. They can make smarter decisions because they have the information they need. We've found when organizations take the accountability solely off the finance team and make everyone accountable for sticking to budgets - being "over-budget" becomes a thing of the past. Check out this short 90sec video that shows our Budget Check feature.
If you are looking for ways to streamline expenses at your Human Services organization, let us help. We've helped many organizations like yours save thousands of dollars by putting in place more efficient processes and systems. The time to find ways to reduce costs is now. We're offering up free Cost Savings Assessments to Human Services organizations that are affected by Trump's Cuts, to help you find areas to reduce administrative spending so it can be spent on delivering programs.