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Financial Documents

The Budget 

First decide what type of funding you are seeking: project support or general operating support.
The budget plays 3 critical roles in the project:

  • Funder use the project budget to evaluate the proposal’s objectives
  • Project managers use the project budget to evaluate the proposals objectives
  • The project budget is used to report back to funders

Steps to planning a budget:

  • Know your project
  • Talk to key players
  • Prepare your project description
  • Research costs related to the project
  • Check the funder’s guidelines

Personnel Section
The Personnel Section is usually the largest single expense.
Questions to answer that make-up the personnel section of a budget:

  • Who works directly on the project?
  • What are the amounts for salary and wages?
  • How much time does each individual spend working on the project?  Include the name of employee, title, annual salary and percent of work that will spent on project.

Payroll Taxes and Fringe Benefits

  • Dental Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Long-term disability
  • FICA (Social Security and Medicare)
  • Health Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Pension/Retirement Plan
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Worker’s compensation

Benefit rates are sometimes used instead of figuring out each individual’s benefits.  To calculate, you must have:

  • Organization’s total payroll
  • Organization’s benefit costs and payroll taxes

*These can be found in the organization’s operating budget
*Total Benefits and Payroll Taxes/ Total Salaries = Benefit Rate
Non-Personnel Section

  • Consultants and professional fees
  • Supplies
  • Equipment
  • Furniture
  • Postage
  • Printing
  • Travel

*Make sure to check funders guidelines since what they will cover varies
*Be as specific as possible and avoid using terms such as “misc.” for large amounts
Indirect Costs & Overhead
Indirect costs are costs incurred that benefit your project indirectly.  Examples include:

  • Administrative staff
  • Audit fees
  • Equipment Rental
  • Fundraising Costs
  • Insurance
  • Legal Fees
  • Meeting of the Board of Directors
  • Occupancy (rent and maintenance)
  • Utilities

*Funders vary on whether they allow some, none, or all indirects to be paid.  Make sure to check guidelines of each opportunity.
There are two ways of adding indirect costs:

  • as a percentage
  • line items

Types of Income: Support and Revenue

  • Support = Cash grants, in-kind gifts.  Examples of support funders include:
  • Foundations
  • Corporations
  • Individuals
  • Special Events
  • Federated Giving (ex. United Way)
  • Government (local, state, federal)
  • Revenue = earned income

*Many foundations will want to know if you have received or asked for additional funding from other foundations.  If so, list foundation name, amount and status of ask.

Operating Budget

Latest Financial Documents