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The vocabulary of budget development is part of the language required for writing successfully funded grant proposals. This set of entries covers words and phrases from M-P.

MATCHING FUNDS: The share of a proposed project’s total costs, which comes from any source other than the specific grant being sought; the matching funds may consist of the fair market value of donated resources (in-kind contributions) or of actual cash to be spent (cash) or of both. See the table for examples when an applicant is requesting a $200,000 grant.

Calculating Matching Funds
Match Required Grant-Maker Share Local Share Total Budget
50% Match = 1:1 $200,000 grant $200,000 local     $400,000
33% Match = 2:1 $200,000 grant $100,000 local     $300,000
25% Match = 3:1 $200,000 grant $66,700 local     $266,700
20% Match = 4:1 $200,000 grant $50,000 local     $250,000
10% Match = 9:1 $200,000 grant $22,500 local     $222,500

 

MATCHING GRANT: A grant awarded to an applicant with the intention of matching some of the funds (i.e., as a partial match) or all of the funds (i.e., as a total match) awarded to an applicant by another source. Also see: Challenge Grant.

MATERIALS: A cost category for consumable resources such as media (books, workbooks, compact disks, videodisks, or software), references, and training products. The category is often conjoined with Supplies or is subsumed as a part of Supplies. Also see: Supplies.

MULTIYEAR BUDGET: A budget covering all or part of two or more consecutive fiscal or calendar years. Many grant-makers require a budget for an entire multiyear project period at the time of the original application.

NON-COMPETITIVE GRANT: A funding program from which applicants are eligible for a grant award if they complete and submit required materials by a given deadline. Also may be called: a formula grant, an entitlement grant, an allocative grant, or a budget earmark.

NOVICE APPLICANT: An individual or an organization that has not received a discretionary grant directly from a specified unit or level of government (e.g., a federal agency) or from a specified grant program within a defined time-span (e.g., the last five fiscal years).

OTHER: A cost category commonly used in state and federal grant programs for budget items that do not fit other categories. Every item assigned to this category should be as clearly defined and well justified as every other item in a proposed budget. Avoid using this cost category for budget line items vaguely identified as “contingency” or as “miscellaneous.

OVERHEAD: See Indirect Costs.

PASS-THROUGH: A scheme for the distribution of funding where a first tier of grant recipients (e.g., state agencies) administers a grant program, awards sub-grants to a second tier of eligible applicants (e.g., school districts); and performs a yearly program audit of the second-tier grant recipients. Also may be called: flow-through funding.

PERSONNEL: A cost category for the human resources or labor, internal to the applicant as an organization, who will be involved in implementing a project; it includes positions paid in salaries and those paid in wages, and it excludes all independent contractors (e.g., evaluators and other consultants). Personnel may or may not be paid out of a proposed grant budget.

PRIVATE FOUNDATION: A legally defined type of nonprofit organization whose directors or trustees conduct charitable programs for social, cultural, educational, religious, or other permissible purposes.

PROGRAM OFFICE: An administrative unit, within a grant-making organization, that implements or coordinates the details of conducting a grant program, including the review and ranking of applications.

PROGRAM OFFICER: An administrator on the staff of a grant-making organization who runs a specific grant program, manages grant competitions, and provides technical assistance either to potential grant applicants or to existing grant recipients or to both.

PROJECT: The proposed plan for which an applicant requests grant funds.

PROJECT INCOME: The revenue an applicant’s project is expected to generate during a given time-span; it may include products sold, membership dues, service fees, earned interest, and funds raised by other means. It may also be called: program income or revenue.

PROJECT PERIOD: The total time for which support of a discretionary project has been approved; it is usually a series of one-year budget periods. Most project periods last one to five years; some may be longer, others may be shorter. Also see: Budget Period and Grant Period.

PROPOSAL: A written application of vastly varying length and content, submitted to one or more grant makers, describing a plan or initiative to meet one or more identified needs, and requesting partial or full funding for its support. Some grant-makers and grant programs require much more formal, detailed, and highly structured proposals – narratives and budgets – than do others. Also may be called an application or a funding request.

A later post will cover entries in this glossary starting with letters R-Z.

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