11 Tips to Help You Write a Budget for Your Grant Proposal

In most circumstances, you will need to include a budget in your grant proposal. Unfortunately, many applicants often struggle when it comes to developing a budget. So, to help increase your chances of winning a grant, ensure you set aside time to create a well-thought-out budget. Overall, you want to detail all the costs involved in completing your project.

What should you include in your budget?
  • The budget should detail both cash (e.g. capital or loans) and in-kind (e.g. volunteer time, borrowed equipment) contributions.
  • It’s helpful to show how the value of in-kind items has been calculated.
  • Valued labor at the going hourly rate.
  • Provide current information (quotes over one year old may no longer be valid to support your application).
11 Funding Tips for Your Budget
  1. Check that your requested funding is within the minimum and maximum limits of the grant.
  2. Read the guidelines thoroughly to make sure your costs are eligible for grant funding.
  3. Include all costs, factoring in administrative overheads (do not include tax).
  4. Check that your project dates align with the funding period in your application.
  5. Provide detailed invoices/quotes from suppliers (include the supplier’s business name FEI/EIN and contact details) as evidence of your project costs, how you will achieve your aims and that they are: 
    • for activities that are eligible costs under the grant guidelines rather than a broad range of activities that may help grow your business
    • issued/dated for the eligible time period
    • legible
    • outline all relevant services to be provided including itemized costs
    • specify personnel providing services, their number of hours, and their hourly rate.
  6. Explain how the requested funding amount was calculated as this is especially useful if the requested amount differs from the amounts included in the invoices/quotes supplied.
  7. Detail what you are purchasing if you plan to submit a catalog of services from a supplier.
  8. Explain how multiple service provider quotes for your project all piece together to achieve the project outcomes.
  9. Check that your organization has the financial capacity to carry out any costs before receiving funding.
  10. Review your budget to make sure it’s accurate and adds up.
  11. And lastly, be ready to provide evidence detailing the approved items you have spent the grant money on, as part of the acquittal process.
GrantNews Notes

In summary, a logical and well-supported budget will provide the assessor with confidence in your nonprofit’s capacity to deliver the project. Additionally, you should consider using a checklist as an essential part of your process before you submit your grant proposal.

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