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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. Furthermore, to help increase your chances of winning a grant, ensure you set time aside 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.
  • Donated materials and equipment can be valued at the cost to buy items new or hire the costs.
  • Labor should be valued at the going hourly rate.
  • Provide current information (e.g. 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 indicated in your application (e.g. if you are seeking 6 months of funding, indicate that your project will be completed within 6 months), that your project start date is realistic and that you have factored in the time needed to assess 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 hourly rate.
     6. Explain how the requested funding amount was calculated as this is especially useful if the requested              amount differs to the amounts included in the invoices/quotes supplied.

     7.Detail what you are purchasing if you plan to submit a catalogue 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 any costs before funding goes to you.

    10. Review your budget to make sure it’s accurate and adds up.

    11. Be ready to provide evidence about what approved items you have spent the grant money on, as part          of the acquittal process.


In summary, a logical and well-supported budget will provide the assessor with confidence in your capacity to deliver the project.