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The vocabulary of budget development is part of the language required for writing a winning grant proposal. Revised and expanded in mid-2016, this set of entries covers words and phrases from C to D. Its context is the United States of America.

 

CEILING AMOUNT: The maximum amount allowed as a grant request, often stated as the upper limit of an anticipated funding range. Also see: Floor Amount.

 

CFDA NUMBER: A unique five-digit code for each federal funding program; it includes a unique two-digit prefix code for the specific federal agency, a dot or point, and a unique three-digit code for each specific funding program. Example: All grants from the United States Department of Education are coded as 84.XXX.

 

CHALLENGE GRANT: A grant from a single source intended to lead to further grants from other sources by committing the grant maker to award a grant only if the applicant raises the balance of funds from other sources within a certain time period.

 

COMMITMENT: A measure of an applicant’s present and future internal investment of its own resources, both cash and in-kind, in an initiative or project that it proposes for external grant funding.

 

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION: A charitable organization that awards grants in a specific community or geographic region. In general, community foundations receive funds from many donors, maintain them in multiple endowments, and use the endowments’ income to fund grant awards. Example: Community Foundation of North Texas.

 

COMPETITIVE GRANT: A grant program in which eligible applicants submit proposals, the grant maker reviews, rates, and ranks the proposals, and the highest ranked proposals are funded down a list of applicants, usually until available funds are exhausted.

 

COMPETITIVE PRIORITY: An area of focus which a grant maker would prefer to see as part of an applicant’s proposal; it may affect the rating or the rank ordering of proposals either by the award of additional scoring points or by its use as a tie-breaker.

 

CONCEPT PAPER: A short variant of a full-length grant application, often only two or three pages long, that may be used or required for applicants seeking a corporate or foundation grant. At the least, it should include a problem statement, a program narrative, and a budget.

 

CONSTRUCTION: A cost category for the materials used in creating or modifying the facilities where some or all of a project’s activities will take place; by contrast, construction labor itself is a contractual budget line item. Some grant programs disallow construction line items.

 

CONSULTANTS: Individuals or organizations that provide paid professional advice or services to support a grant-funded project or initiative, but which are not in the employ of the grant recipient or its partners; some grant-makers use it as a distinct cost category.

 

CONTACT PERSON: A person or persons of whom a grant maker may ask questions about the content, nature, and scope of an applicant’s proposal. Examples: The proposed Project Director or the applicant’s Executive Director.

 

CONTINUATION GRANT: A grant of additional funding awarded for one or more budget periods following the initial budget period of a multiyear discretionary grant; its award may require the applicant to demonstrate adequate progress during a current funding period.

 

CONTRACTUAL: A cost category for services to be provided by independent contractors in implementing a project. Contractors may be organizations or individuals. Such budget items may include: evaluators, trainers, consultants, partner subcontracts, and many other external providers of services; they may also include contracts for the rental or lease of facilities or equipment or similar resources.

 

CORPORATE GRANT: A charitable grant awards program funded by a for-profit business or corporation; it may be independent of the corporation and it may have its own endowment. Example: Royal Dutch Shell offers several types of local grants.

 

COST CATEGORIES: The set of primary types of line items presented in a project budget. Common categories for government grants are: personnel, fringe benefits, contractual, travel, supplies, equipment, construction, other, and indirect costs. Categories for foundation grants are typically fewer; they may include as few categories as only personnel and non-personnel.

 

COST SHARING: An applicant’s contribution to the costs of a grant-funded project or initiative beyond any matching that may be required by law or regulation. Also see: Matching Funds.

 

DECLINING FUNDING: An amount of grant funding that decreases from year to year during a multiyear grant period.

 

A later post will cover entries in this Glossary starting with letters D to F.

 

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