Budgeting for Grant Applications


A detailed budget is a crucial component of the full proposal. We've provided some guiding questions and suggestions for you to think about while you draft your budget. 

What are budgets for?

·      What funds do we need to cover specific costs?
·      What costs can we afford given a specific allotment?
Strategic Evaluation
·      Can we afford this? (esp. in relation to a larger budget)
·      What's the ROI?
Variance Analysis: Comparing your budget to actual revenue and expenses helps spot errors, anomalies, and opportunities:
·      Was something charged to the project that shouldn't have been?
·      Were the amounts charged correct?
·      Where will we end up?
o   Do we have enough money to finish?
o   Can we increase spending in some areas?
Performance Review                                                                 
·      Did we do a good job at the planning and evaluation stages?
·      Are we competent managers?

What the review committee will look for

·      Do you know what you're doing?
·      Can you be trusted with the funds?
·      Does the budget make sense? (Always include a table and double check that the numbers add up.)
·      Are the costs reasonable? (no $100 hammers - your salary isn’t $100/hr. – you don’t need a jet pack)
·      Did you leave out anything obvious?
o   sales tax
o   benefits costs
o   funds for a thank-you party
·      Are you spending money on things they want money spent on? It's a separate question from "are you doing things they want done"
·      What can they cut from your budget (!)
·      What’s the sequence of spending? They might consider splitting up your request.

What you should look for

·      What's the review committee looking for?
·      Are you giving too much or too little detail?
·      How much does the agency normally give? You can waste their time asking for too little or too much.
·      Are you forgetting anything? Chances are slim you'll get more money later no matter how badly you need it.

Typical Budget Line-items

Sources of funds

·      Grant being applied for
·      Grants from other agencies (awarded and or in pursuit)
·      Potential sales revenue / other earnings
·      In kind support
·      Cost Savings (expect to be asked to give some back)

Uses of funds

·      Staff / salaried
·      Students / hourly
·      Students / GSA (Must be previously discussed with CSF Coordinator)
·      Salary overhead
·      Salary Load Rate at UW - http://f2.washington.edu/fm/fa/fringe-benefit-load-rate

Other per-employee costs (computers, uniforms, etc.)
costs from outside consultants - extramural - the funds leave UW
costs from internal cost centers - intramural - the funds stay within UW
equipment (things you'll still have after the funded period)
supplies (things that will get used up)
Recognition Events and Food (special requirements at UW)
Internal Overhead on revenue

Slop - not a line-item! but you need to account for the unexpected expenses