50+ Sample Grant Budgets

What is a Grant Budget?

A grant budget is a type of budget used by grant seekers and grant writers in their grant proposal forms to specify all direct and indirect expenses such as shipping, equipment fees, mailing, supplies, shipping, service costs, transportation, materials, accounting, banking fees, insurance, rent, utilities, and other operations. Some portions of the salaries of project managers, supervisors, consultants, staff, and volunteers are included in a grant budget. It also indicates the time the project will take place and the period the grant is meant to cover, as well as the location of the project.

This document is included in a grant budget proposal to explain the details of the possible expenses for the proposed research project or grant application, reassure funders that the researchers or managers have a logical sense of the expenses to accomplish the proposed work, guarantee the best use of the funds, and facilitates effective and practical implementation of the corporate grant, federal grant, research grant or nonprofit grant programs. Thus, grant budgets matter because they show the necessary funds, they are great investments, and support programs in a sustainable way.

Types of Grants

Approximately 90% of grant applications need at minimum an organizational, program, or project budget. Here are some types of grants used in various fields and industries.

Corporate Grants: Many corporations offer grant funding to reduce their tax burden. A report published by GivingUSA stated that the amount of funding from corporations increased in 2019 by 13.4%. Corporate giving is mostly associated with GDP as corporate firms determine to adjust their pre-tax revenue numbers. Thus, corporate grants can fluctuate significantly annually. To apply for a corporate grant, make sure that letter of interest or corporate grant application is professionally made that demonstrates a clear, compelling, and thought-provoking argument for grant funds. Show your proposal for the corporate firm to facilitate its mission to support your nonprofit work. Federal Grants: These are grants made by the government to fund your unique ideas and projects in providing public services and driving the economy. According to GrantSeeking, federal grants represent 40% of government funding sources, behind state government (47%), to grant-seeking applicants. There are four types of federal grants: competitive grants, formula grants, continuation grants, and pass-through grants. Federal grants are given by Congress through the annual appropriations process to state and local governments each year to help in financing an extensive range of services such as education, health care, infrastructure, public safety, and social services. Nonprofit Grants: Also known as fundraising grants, nonprofit grants are financial donations given to organizations by corporations, foundations, or government agencies. The most common types of nonprofit grants based on funder are government grants, federal grants, state grants, and local grants. There are different types of foundation grants for nonprofits such as family grants, independent grants, business grants, financial institutions, community grants, and others. These funds can be used to implement the services of certain programs and project grants, include outreach activities like education, audience development, or marketing, for building improvements or repairs, and to help nonprofits become more efficient and sustainable over time. Research Grants: Keystone reported that the leading research fields for funding are climate change, ocean acidification and marine ecosystems, urban development and mobility, and cancer. Another study shows that the health sector is the biggest research-funded sector. There are different types of research grants such as research training and career development grants, clinical research center grants, clinical trials grants, research conference grants, administrative supplements, drug development funding, etc.

Effective Grant Management Practices for Nonprofit Organizations

Keep things in your nonprofit organization running efficiently and smoothly by implementing necessary disciplines and effective practices for grant management. There are some ways to improve the outcomes of your grant-seeking efforts when you integrate the practices below.

Use a Grant Calendar or a Grant Tracking List: A grant calendar or a grant tracking list can help you and your nonprofit organization to stay on track and remind you of the grant proposal deadlines of your funder so that you can easily and quickly submit you grant reports at the right time. When you create a grant calendar, add a wall calendar, a Google calendar, a project or task management system, spreadsheets, and other essential documents for your grant management. Reach the criteria by allowing everyone to be aware of the upcoming deadlines, to receive reminders when items are coming due especially for task owners, to include new opportunities to your calendar, and to facilitate the communication of your grant management plan, progress, and outcomes. Track Your Funders and Organize Grant History: Record essential contact details, past outcomes, and grant funding priorities and organize them properly so that you make it easy to access by people who will need the information. So, closely monitor the name of the funder, contact details, website link, link to their 990s, EIN, areas they fund, typical funding range, type of funder, social media links, notes of past conversation, and a comprehensive list of your past grant history with your funder. Being able to quickly access he information on your past, present, and future grant requests and to track related dates to funding requests can be helpful to keep a sustainable grant management practice. So, you need to track the name of the grant, status, funder, funder program, contact at the funder, grant writer, proposal/LOI deadlines, requested amount, targeted program, application method, date submitted, decision date, amount awarded, grant term, and notes about the grant. Align the Core Responsibilities of Your Grant Team: Coordinate with your grant team by reminding your members the upcoming items or tasks that are coming due so that all of you can keep on monitoring and highlighting tasks. It is crucial to help each one in your team yo quickly see what is taking place in the next two weeks or get a monthly high-level perspective to keep the grant process running very well. Develop an organized and realistic approach to track all the requirements for a compelling and successful grant proposal.

How to Create a Grant Budget

While preparing your grant proposal, you need to be able to create a clear and detailed grant budget to help the grant selection committee to understand the nature and purpose of your project and its budgetary implications. Make sure that your grant budget is clear and well-structured.

Step 1: Use a Budget Spreadsheet Template

Consider using a simple budget spreadsheet for your grant application. Search for a spreadsheet template with outlined columns and heading that outline these items: budget category, requested funds, outside contributions, and grant project total. Go to Sample.net as you choose and download the spreadsheet template you need for your grant.

Step 2: List Down All Your Expenditures

Add the basic components of your grant budget such as direct costs, personnel fees, travel fees, equipment costs, supplies, indirect costs, publication costs, maintenance contract fees, software purchases or licenses, and other expenses for your grant.

Step 3: Calculate the Total Costs

After listing down all your expenditures and other costs for your grant program or funding project, calculate the total costs of all the expenditures. Indicate the total agency cost and the total project cost. The total agency cost is the sum of the direct costs and the indirect costs, while the total project cost is the sum of the total agency cost plus the cost sharing dollar value when cost sharing is utilized.


What are the types of budgets used in grant funding?

The types of budgets used in grant funding are cost reimbursement and fixed price. A cost reimbursement is when the funding agency will reimburse for the actual costs related to a project. On the other hand, a fixed price is when the funding agency obligates a fixed sum of funds to support the project. 

What are the three types of budgets?

The three types of budgets are a balanced budget, a deficit budget, and a surplus budget. A balanced budget is a type of budget with equal estimated income and projected expenses. A deficit budget is a type of budget with below estimated government spending that contributes to risking the employment rate and drives economic expansion by creating more demand. A surplus budget is a type of budget with higher estimated government revenues that reduces the public debt of the state or boost its savings.

What is the purpose of grant proposal writing?

The purpose of grant proposal writing is to secure funding for a research project in all academic disciplines such as the arts, humanities, social sciences, and other fields. In this process, you need to specify the needs and focus, search prospective grants, develop a general proposal and budget, prepare a specific grant proposal, and submit the grant proposal before the deadline.

What should be included in a research grant budget?

A research grant budget should include all direct costs, calculated Facilities, and Administrative (F&A) costs. Direct costs are expenses related to a specific sponsored research project like the allocation of supplies and these costs include personnel salaries and benefits, anticipated salary increases, administrative and clerical salaries, employee benefits, Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) costs, personal service contracts, professional consultants, participant support costs, supplies, and materials. F&A costs are expenses that are indirect or not specifically identified with a specific project such as the costs of buildings, services of administrative offices, and utilities. 

What are some examples of grant proposals?

Some examples of grant proposals are education grant proposals, investigator grant proposals, technology grant proposals, and travel grant proposals.

How to prepare a grant budget?

When you prepare a grant budget, develop internal control systems to highlight financial transparency, figure out your funder’s requirements, estimate realistic costs with your team, explain exactly what the funder will cover, make a detailed comparison to your grant narrative, and examine your grant budget.

A published report by the Foundation Center stated that there are over 86,000 grantmaking entities, with 92% represented by independent foundations. Creating a clear and well-coordinated grant budget is fundamental for grant seekers and funders to have an in-depth picture of how the nonprofit program or research grant project will be organized and managed. Include all the required expenditures and costs for your grant budget. Follow the aforementioned tips in this article on different types of grants, effective grant management practices for nonprofits, and the steps in creating a smart and realistic grant budget. We have sample grant budget templates and other budget templates that you can easily use for your grant budget management such as annual budget templates, operating budget templates, and school budget templates.