Application Question 8 - What is the Project's Budget? In Kind Contributions?

For almost every application you make you need to be able to provide an itemised budget for your project. The budget will form the basis of the costs you request from the funder. Regardless of what you ask the funder for - you will need to fully cost the project and include every possible expense.

Funders will not pay for items retrospectively, ie. they will not back date a grant for items purchased or salaries already paid. You need to wait to hear if you have been successful before any expenditure for the items requested can be made.

When applying for funding to cover capital build and equipment, you will need realistic estimates and quotes. For salaries, you are recommended to choose a salary level from a recognized scale. For overheads, it is necessary to detail how you have calculated the costs, for example from previous bills or costs in similar projects.

If you are budgeting for a project, which lasts for more than a year, you will have to take inflation and general cost of living increases into account. Staff salary increases, potential increases in electricity, telephone charges and even stationery all have to be budgeted for. Also if you are applying for a project that is due to start several months away, will prices have increased during that ten month period?

More funders now recognise the importance of supporting core costs of the projects they fund. It is vital that organisations include all the costs in their budgets and negotiate where possible with funders over the real costs of projects they are delivering.

When you are budgeting for your expenditure, think about how much funding you can raise yourselves. Jumble sales, ballots and functions all seem to be a lot of work for very little money, however they are important as they demonstrate an element of self­ sufficiency and also show that your work has community support.

It is often transparent to a funder that an organisation is overestimating costs or is too ambitious in its expectations. Only apply for funding for the work you have the capacity to do. Only apply for the actual costs of the project. Don't assume that if you need €10,000, you need to ask for €15,000 because the funder will never give you the amount you ask for. If you present a realistic budget and can account for your figures, there is no reason to believe a responsible funder will not award the full amount, subject to their grant conditions.

Are There Any ‘In Kind' Contributions?

Some funding bodies may accept volunteer hours as a community contribution known as a contribution in-kind as match funding. Match funding is where a funder agrees to fund only a percentage of costs and expects funding to be ‘matched' from other sources.

Can you quantify the number of hours that volunteers give to your work each week? If you had to pay people for this work, how much would it cost? Whatever your answer, whether it be the equivalent of €200 or €2,000 per week, it is an important measure of how much your community supports and values your group and its work.

Always let funders know what other bodies you have applied to or have received support from. Getting your first letter of support is usually the most difficult stage. Other funders will not be put off by the fact that somebody else is already supporting you. In fact they will be reassured and often will be more likely to follow suit.

How Much Are You Asking Us For?

Usually located in the last part of the budget section, the grant request section is sometimes overlooked.

It is easy to confuse project costs with what you are asking the funding for. Rarely does all the funding come from a single source. Tell the funder in this section how much funding you need from them, what the funding will pay for (salaries or equipment) and over what period of time. Then provide a list of where else you expect money to come from and what has already been secured.