How to determine a budget for a grant proposal

How to determine a budget for a grant proposal

Developing a grant proposal budget can be an intimidating prospect, especially if you’re not a numbers person. But it’s incredibly important to do this aspect of a grant well; funders will need to understand how you’re using the money you’re requesting. Here’s a breakdown of how to determine a budget for a grant proposal.


What is a grant proposal budget?

The budget for a grant proposal lays out exactly how you’ll use the funding you’re requesting. For example, a $10,000 grant request may fund several aspects of a specific program. These may include staff salaries, materials and supplies, equipment, rental fees, and more.


Read the guidelines

Often, grantmakers will specify exactly what they want to fund, and how much a typical grant request may be. The grantmaker may explicitly state that they do not want to fund overhead, salaries, or other aspects of a budget, for example. Reading the guidelines will help you as you determine a budget for your grant proposal.


How to determine a budget for a grant proposal

Spend time researching your project costs so you can accurately represent them in your budget. Don’t guesstimate; if awarded, the funder will ask for proof of whether you spent the funds as you promised in your grant application. Accuracy is tantamount here.


Include your projected revenue, whether that’s built into your project or coming from outside sources, like other grant funders. There may be cases where one funder gives a grant to cover an entire project, which will certainly simplify the “income” column of your budget. If you are relying on multiple funding streams, though, you may also need to note whether these are already secured. Or, you can note that they are pending.


Make sure your budget matches your narrative

It’s incredibly important to ensure your budget matches the story told in the larger grant narrative. We have a blog post dedicated to this topic: Do your grant narrative and project budget align?


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