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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 final set of entries covers words and phrases from O to R. Its context is the United States of America.

 

OPERATING SUPPORT GRANT: A grant that supports the general purpose or work of an applicant, and as such may be used as general revenue or unrestricted funding.

 

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 as 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 FUNDING: 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. It 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. It also may be called an Application or a Funding Request.

 

RECIPIENT: An individual or organization that will receive a grant or has received a grant.

 

REGULATIONS: Administrative guidelines for government grants, issued after enabling legislation, which establish and define eligible applicants; eligible beneficiaries; the nature of activities to be funded; allowable costs; selection criteria for proposal review; and other requirements. Example: Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR).

 

REPLICABILITY: The proven or predicted ability of a project’s effective activities and strategies to be transportable to another setting and to generate similar results in it; it is a factor in considering the potential impact of an initial grant award and it is a criterion often associated with grant programs that fund demonstration projects. Also see: Demonstration Grant.

 

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP): A formal invitation to apply for a grant that describes what types of applicants are eligible to apply; when proposals are due; the program selection criteria; the contents required in a complete proposal; anticipated levels and durations of funding; and other considerations. The specific length and contents of an RFP vary widely from one grant program and one solicitation to another. Also may be called a Request for Applications (RFA) or a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA).

 

RESEARCH GRANT: A grant designed to support research rather than to support other purposes such as direct services or general operating costs. Also see: Direct Services Grant.

 

A later post will cover entries in this Glossary starting with letters R to Z.

 

 

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