Southern Yankee Communications

Five Terms to Know in a Grant Budget

The five terms to know in a grant buget I’m going to share with you is only the tip of the iceberg.When you are starting out in the grant writing business, there is a lot to learn. It can be overwhelming, to say the least. Knowing the terms associated with writing a proposal is necessary to your success.

Today we are going to concentrate on five key terms to know when you are writing a grant budget for the first time.

Let’s Take a Look

Line Item Budget: The funder requires you to itemize every dollar you intend to spend on your project or program.

Direct Costs: These are the dollars you request for things that will be part of your line item budget. Things like salaries, supplies, travel and transportation, elements that make it possible to complete the program or project. The direct cost will represent the bulk of the budget.  Note: the cost of a grant writer is something usually not included in either the direct or indirect cost.

Indirect Costs: This is a percentage of the total grant amount set by the funder for nonprogrammatic items such as rent or utilities.

In-kind Costs: These are contributions for the project beyond what is awarded by the funding agency. Contributions may include time donated by volunteers, transportation cost, office supplies or materials

Matching Funds: Some requests for proposals require matching funds by the organization. You must match dollar for dollar what you are requesting from the funder. Money can be from the organization’s budget or other sources as long as it’s used to support the grant activities.

No Padding the Budget


Grant Money

Grant Money


To prevent unnecessary rejections, know what the funder wants and follow their directions to the letter.

Remember when it comes to your grant budget “no padding.” Ask only for what you need and use the money for activities submitted in the budget. The funding agency will expect you to justify every dollar you spend.

The five terms to know in a grant budget will be helpful when you are writing your budget. They are only a few of the terms you need to become familiar with when reviewing your Request for Proposal (RFP.)

One of the biggest hurdles to jump over when you are starting out is terminology. Study and show the prospective client that you can know what you are doing. They will be more likely to hire someone new if you are confident and clear about your business.



Photo image by Fotographic 1980 – courtesy of




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This entry was posted on March 13, 2016 by in Posts, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , .

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