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Grant Writing Basics Part III

The budget for a grant is very important. Proper budget preparation and explanation are very important.

Preparing the Budget

• The format of the budget is typically dictated by the funder.

• It is advisable to become familiar with the funding agency’s budget forms, the accompanying instructions and any alternative budget formats the funder has requested.

• Some funders may require a budget narrative which is a brief explanatory narrative about the budget.

• Some grants require matching funds.

• Matching funds is a percentage of project costs that the applicant is contributing to the project.

• Indirect costs are the institutional/organizational costs that are paid by the applicant and cannot be realistically broken down and charged to a grant project.

• The budget narrative explains how the grant applicant arrived at the numbers in the budget and how the expenses are linked to the project.

• Budget categories typically include: personnel, supplies, travel, capital expenses, contractual costs, other.

• Matching Funds – the matching requirement is a percentage of project costs.

• If the match is an in kind contribution, it must be documented correctly.

• An in kind contribution is a contribution of goods or services that is already a part of the organization’s budget, such as a staff member’s time or use of a vehicle.

• Be aware that government funding agencies have the authority to audit every aspect of grant administration, including whether the matching fund has been met.

• Indirect Costs – are institutional costs that is the responsibility of the applicant that cannot be broken down and charged to a grant project.

• Indirect Costs – as defined by the federal government are (a) incurred for a common or joint purpose benefitting more than one objective, and (b) not readily assigned to the cost objectives specifically benefited, without effort disproportionate to the results achieved. The term indirect costs applies to cost of this type originating in the grantee department, as well as those incurred by other departments in supplying goods, services, and facilities.

• In addition to the budget forms, granting agencies often require a narrative account of the budget, called a budget narrative or budget justification.

• The budget narrative explains (a) how the grant applicant arrived at the numbers in the budget, and (b) it explains how the expenses are linked to the proposal.

Grant Systems


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