5 Ideas to Strengthen Your Grant Budget

The budget is the most critical part of a successful grant but the most neglected of all sections. We cannot all be good with numbers or love dealing with them, but the grant funders need you to explain your proposal both in numbers and words. In other words, you need to paint a financial picture of the request for your us financial aid proposal. The grant budget should show the funder how you will use their money, the costs and list other sources of income that are not part of the grant. Below are ideas on how to strengthen a grant budget. 

1. Choose a tool to use 

Choose a tool to use 
5 Ideas to Strengthen Your Grant Budget 1

To begin with, know the tool the funder needs you to use. Figure out if there is a specific format. If not, choose a formatting tool easy to understand clearly. For instance, you can opt for Excel as your tool to explain your budget. Also, you need to know if you are creating a budget for the grant amount offered. Or for the project, you are seeking grants for. Therefore, check through the guidelines to know what you need to do. If there is nothing on the instruction, contact the funder for clarity on the type of budget to use. In this way, you offer transparency to the funders as they love to see the big picture through your budget. 

2. Categorize your costs in a way it makes sense 

Categorize your costs in a way it makes sense 
5 Ideas to Strengthen Your Grant Budget 2

Remember, there is no limit on the number of lines you need to have in your budget. The goal is to clearly illustrate what it takes to operate your program to completion. Thus, you can do this by grouping items into categories, like travel, salary, materials, and supplies, among others. Then, assign the amount to these categories with descriptions of how you get to that amount. Look for formats of the idea you have in mind and borrow more ideas online of how it should be. Before you know it, your budget will be well detailed and well thought out. 

3. Use real numbers 

Base your budget numbers on the actual cost of things. You must not pull numbers out of thin air. For example, like materials and supplies research how much it will be. Check the store pricing at your local hardware and online pricing and consider shipping costs as well. Also, check quotes from vendors. For instance, where you are replacing flooring in a children’s shelter, you need a quote to remove the guesswork out of how much the total cost can be.

4. Include both expenses and revenue 

4. Include both expenses and revenue - scoailly keeda
5 Ideas to Strengthen Your Grant Budget 3

You should have a section outlining expenses and another revenue. It is obvious why funders want to see the expenses to know you will spend the money they give you. But on the revenue part, it is a way to show them you are not only relying on their grant. Plus, they value investing in projects that bring other revenues on board like other donations, volunteers, and donations. Also, knowing that you were already working on getting some of the money you need is another way to gain credibility and show other people are willing to invest in your program.

5. Make sure your numbers add up 

5. Make sure your numbers add up - scoailly keeda
5 Ideas to Strengthen Your Grant Budget 4

It may seem obvious, but you have to get the total amount right. Funders and reviewers will always check your math. Therefore, always triple-check your numbers if you are using your funders form. If you are creating it from scratch, you can use excel as it calculates the cost with the formulas for you. But, still do it manually as sometimes excel sheets may not include all the cells for the correct total. If you are not good with numbers, ask someone else to crosscheck the budget for you to ensure they are all correct to the total amount. 

To conclude, remember the funder you are targeting receives many grant submissions, and you need a fully developed grant budget that tells your story in numbers. The above tips will help you create a budget and ensure you are realistic about the amount you are requesting. Also, research the amount the previous grantees were awarded and check if you are within range.  

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