Creating a Budget

Creating grant proposal budgets can be confusing because different grant-makers have different rules. The Office of Grants & Sponsored Programs can guide you through the process.

» FIT Budget Template (spreadsheet, requires FIT login)

We’ve included here a link to a general budget template. Though grant application requirements vary, this basic format will help you organize your thoughts, ensure that you don’t miss anything important, and is easy for FIT administration to understand. Our office can help you adapt your numbers for the final grant proposal. If you are uncomfortable doing this alone — or rusty on spreadsheets — please contact the Grants Office for help!

Additional Budget Tips

  • Budgets are estimates. Do your best to get accurate numbers, and keep track of how you got there. But don’t let unknowns bog you down. The Grants Office can help you strategize your approach. With a spreadsheet program, it’s easy to update numbers as you get more information.

  • Explain your math. Grant-makers typically ask for information about how you calculated your budget items. Make sure you include detail on what math formulas you used to get totals.

  • Funders can be picky. Your initial budget should include the full cost of developing and implementing your program. Grant-makers may use this to understand the scale of the project and FIT commitment. That does not necessarily mean they will pay for every item. The Grants Office can help you get the most from a grant request.

  • Account for your project time. Speak with your Chair/Dean/supervisor in advance—before you prepare your grant proposal—to determine how you will allocate time on your project. The Grants Office can help you translate your arrangement into budget numbers. (Note: Release-time requests must be approved before you submit a grant proposal.)

  • Budgets have an “indirect cost” rate. An indirect cost, also known as “operations cost,” is a required line item in your budget that is calculated as a percentage of your grant. Indirect costs support the FIT infrastructure that makes your project possible. The Grants Office can explain how these funds are included in your individual project.

  • The “Institutional Operating Budget” is not your project budget. Many grant-makers request financial detail about the operations of FIT. The Grants Office can provide these documents, to ensure that financial information included in your proposal is accurate and current.