What is the ACTUAL Cost of Your Organization’s Election?

Do you know how much your organization spent on your last election? Sure, it’s easy enough to calculate printing and postage costs, but what about all the other elements that go into making your election happen?

Here’s how to actually calculate what your organization is spending on your election:

1. Things you can hold in your hand
This is typically how organizations determine election costs – if there is material they can hold in their hands (or see), it’s in the budget. Design, printing, assembling and mailing of packages and postage are all common election expenses.

2. People power
The items organizations sometimes miss: employee time, tabulating results and reporting.

Breaking Down Costs
Looking for a breakdown of costs from a real election? Here are the figures from the 2014 election of a west coast co-op:

election cost table

TOTAL: $30,000

The organization did not pay for tabulation or reporting, instead opting for using members and co-op staff to count more than 3,000 ballots over an eight hour period.

That’s a big investment in both budget and time, but there are ways to use your election budget more efficiently and effectively. How? Leverage an election expert.

  • Elections consultants have long-term, insider relationships with professionals like printers and designers which can score you discounts and make the process run smoothly.
  • Consultants have extensive knowledge of mail and delivery systems and can use permits and mailing rates to save a great deal on postage.
  • You could have employees spend countless hours stuffing envelopes or a consultant can advise you on the most efficient production methods to assemble ballot packets. Alternatively, a consultant may be able to advise you on a cost-effective way to outsource this activity.
  • Consultants can guide your organization in advanced tabulation methods to save your employees and volunteers valuable ballot counting time (as well as keep your ballots secure).

When you know the actual cost of your election, you can weigh that against the advantages of having an election expert working with you to show your organization how you can save valuable time and money. If you’d like more information on how to take advantage of expert elections advice, let us know how we can help!

Does your organization have a full picture of how much your elections cost? How do you think an elections expert might help your organization in 2015? Share with us in the comments below!