A project budget is an approximated fiscal plan for a project, for which funding is needed. This document should include all the anticipated expenses that are envisaged to be incurred during the specified period of time, as well as revenue generated through the use of funds granted to the project during its implementation period (Foundation Center, 2015b). The budget is a crucial component of a proposal, as it portrays a financial image of the project.
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A well-drawn budget can greatly enhance the grant maker’s appreciation of the project seeking funding (Barr & McClellan, 2011). This paper is an executive summary intended to inform the library manager on the intricacies of budget writing. The brief will explain what grant makers look for in a funding proposal as regards the acceptable budget. In order to attract funding, a proposal needs a budget meets the stipulated funding guidelines.
Feedback on draft budget
An overview of the prepared budget reveals that the typical elements of budget have been addressed. Your budget has addressed all the expenses including personnel, support and revenue expected (Manuel, Arseneau, Walsh, & Sargeant, 2002). It is worth noting that the budget has addressed the issue of personnel expenses at length. However, the budget has no provision for new costs that might occur in case of funding. For example, the budget does not have itemized costing for consultancy work and travel.
The budget has very high allocation on non-core project activities. This is not acceptable by many grant makers. The expenses should relate to the activities and should only account for a small percentage of the total grant. Normally, the other non-core activity expense should account for not more than ten percent of the total budget. Consequently, it is prudent to slash the amount over and above this threshold and reallocate to the core activities (Manuel et al., 2002).
A brief summary of explaining whether the budget meets funding criterion
Majority of grant makers first look at the proposed budget before embarking on review of the complete proposal. Consequently, it is imperative to ensure that the budget is drawn according to the set guidelines and ensure that every instruction is adhered to. In its current status, the proposed budget will not pass through the keen eyes of the funding agencies.
Grant makers have accountants who scrutinize the proposed budgets and will only give approval if the budget adheres to the guidelines stipulated in the call for proposal. The amount put in other non-core activities should be reduced to ten percent or less of the total budget. The expenses allocated to personnel such as salaries should range between twenty five and thirty percent of the total grant request (Geever & McNeill, 1997).
The budget should be accompanied by a proposed worksheet that allocates and schedules the proposed activities. Such a worksheet must also contain itemized costs as allocated in the main budget. The total amount in the worksheet must tally with the budget total. A worksheet acts as a summary of how the budget was developed and also contains itemized budget figures. This is very crucial as it helps during the defense of the proposed budget (Hall, Hershey, Kessler, & Stotts, 1992).
Conclusively, we can say that development of a funding proposal requires developing a budget that is acceptable to the grant makers. Such budgets are usually checked to ascertain whether they meet all the guidelines as stipulated in the call for proposal. A good budget must address all the expected expenditures including personnel and non-personnel costs. However, it is crucial to ensure that the costs considered as indirect and are non-core should be allocated a small percentage of the requested budget (Foundation Center, 2015a).
Barr, M., & McClellan, G. (2011). Budgets and financial management in higher education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Foundation Center. (2015a). Proposal Writing Short Course. Web.
Foundation Center. (2015b). Budgeting Basics. Web.
Geever, J. C., & McNeill, P. (1997). Foundation Center’s guide to proposal writing. New York: The Foundation.
Hall, N. G., Hershey, J. C., Kessler, L. G., & Stotts, R. C. (1992). A model for making project funding decisions at the National Cancer Institute. Operations Research, 40(6), 1040-1052.
Manuel, R., Arseneau, B., Walsh, J., & Sargeant, K. (2002, March). Show me the money. Web.