Skip navigation

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 D to F. Its context is the United States of America.

 

DEMONSTRATION GRANT: A grant designed to help an applicant to test, prove, or establish the feasibility or effectiveness of new approaches or new types of services in solving one or more defined problems or in addressing one or more defined needs.

 

DIRECT COSTS: Costs directly associated with operating a project and borne using funds from a grant maker. In government grants, direct costs commonly include: personnel (salaries, wages, and fringe benefits), consultants or contractual services, supplies and materials, equipment, travel, construction and renovation, and other. Foundation and corporate categories for allowable direct costs are typically fewer than government categories. Also see: Indirect Costs.

 

DIRECT SERVICES GRANT: A grant designed to provide services directly to a pre-defined population of beneficiaries rather than to support other purposes such as research or general operating costs. Also see: Research Grant.

 

DISCRETIONARY GRANT: A grant awarded to a recipient selected after a competitive review based upon the judgment of the grant maker or at the option of the grant maker. A discretionary grant program commonly involves a high ratio of applications to grant awards. In the foundation context, a discretionary grant may also be a grant awarded to a recipient based on the judgment of a member of its board of directors or trustees or at the option of a member of its board of directors or trustees.

 

DUNS (DATA UNIVERSAL NUMBERING SYSTEM) NUMBER: A unique nine-digit identification number provided by Dun & Bradstreet (for free) and now required as an identifier for every applicant before it applies for a grant from the federal government.

 

EARMARK: A grant appropriated by a legislative body prior to a peer review. It specifies the applicant’s name, the activity, and the grant amount.

 

ELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES: A circumscribed set of activities for which applicants can propose to spend available grant funds; enabling state or federal legislation often explicitly defines them, and many public and private grant makers also often define them in their application guidelines or on their websites.

 

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS: Specific and defined types of organizations that may apply for funding from a specific grant program at a specific time. Types commonly include: non-profit organizations, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, institutions of higher education, state educational agencies, and local educational agencies, and federally recognized American Indian tribes, among many others. Depending upon the specific grant maker and the specific grant program, individuals also are often eligible to apply for grants.

 

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Qualifying factors that a potential applicant must satisfy before it seeks a grant; often they pertain to the type of individual or organization as an applicant or to the persons or geographic area to benefit from a grant.

 

ENABLING LEGISLATION: A law, enacted at any level of government (e.g., city, borough, county, parish, state, federal), which creates and defines one or more grant programs.

 

ENDOWMENT FUND: An account of funds set up to be invested in perpetuity to provide income for the continuous support of a non-profit organization. Some foundations will award grants for endowments.

 

EQUIPMENT: A cost category for durable resources requested in a budget; generally, each discrete item of equipment lasts more than a defined period of time (e.g., one year or three years) and costs more than a defined minimum amount (e.g., $500 or $5,000). Definitions of equipment in terms of durability and minimum cost vary widely among grant makers. Also see: Supplies.

 

EXTERNAL GRANT: A grant awarded to the applicant by any source other than the applicant itself. Example: For a school district, sources of such external grants include the local community foundation, the state education agency, and the federal education agency.

 

FAMILY FOUNDATION: An independent, private foundation that the members of a single family fund and maintain. Example: Davis Family Foundation.

 

FEDERATED GIVING PROGRAM: A collaborative fundraising effort usually administered by a supervising nonprofit organization that in turn distributes the funds generated through that effort as grants to other nonprofit organizations. Example: United Way of Greater Houston.

 

FISCAL AGENT: An organization that has legal accountability for managing a grant award, for expending its funds, and for reporting on grant expenditures.

 

FISCAL SPONSOR: A third-party organization that agrees to serve as the fiscal agent for a grant on behalf of an applicant or a consortium of applicants; some grant makers will permit use of a fiscal sponsor, others will not.

 

FISCAL YEAR (FY): A 12-month period at the end of which the financial accounts are closed for the organization in question. Common fiscal years are: October 1 through September 30 (federal), July 1 through June 30 (states), and January 1 through December 31 (foundations). Organization-wide financial audits commonly occur after the end of each fiscal year.

 

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

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: