Grant Proposal Budgets


The Budget section is the backbone of the grant proposal. Some grant reviewers turn
right to the budget before even reading the proposal to see what the money will be used
for. Program activities must drive the budget. The program narrative should match the
budget perfectly. There should be no “surprises” in a budget.
 Cost estimates should be credible and realistic.
 Inflated budgets will damage your credibility with the grant reviewer.
 Never use the word “Miscellaneous”.
Most Foundations ask for two types of budgets to be included in a grant proposal:
1. Organization or Operating Budget
2. Project or Program Budget
The Operating Budget is the financial statement that is submitted annually for approval
by the nonprofit organization’s Board of Directors. It is a projection of Income and
Expenses for the organization’s fiscal year.
A template for the Organization Budget is included on the next page, though formats can
vary depending on the organization.
The Project or Program Budget enumerates the resources required to carry out the
program or project which is being proposed for funding.
Budgets can be presented in a variety of formats, but should contain the following
common features.
 Is for a set time period, which should be identified (ie. Fiscal Year 2005)
 Expenses should be divided into two broad categories:
o Personnel
o Non-personnel
The Project Budget may also include support to be received or revenue to be earned.
If there are some unusually large expenses in the budget or if something requires an
explanation, include a Budget Narrative that explains the details and shows the
calculations used to arrive at the numbers.
Page 3 shows a template for a Program or Project Budget. There are examples of
Program Budgets on pages 4 and 5.


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