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Introduction

Revised in mid-2016, this post covers guidance about expense categories in common grant application (CGA) forms. Its context is the United States of America.

 

Context

At least 20 associations of grant makers or other organizations publish a common grant application (CGA) form online. This post explores budget expense categories included in CGA budget information sections. Later posts will explore other elements of common grant application forms. The end of the post explains the abbreviations that it uses.

 

Significance

Proposal budgets delineate how an applicant plans to expend grant funds. A funder’s budget expense categories determine the types of expenditures that an applicant can propose.

 

Expense Categories

Out of the 20 common grant application forms, 11 (or 55%) of them — CA, CO, CT, IL, ME, MO, NJ, OH, TX, WA, and WI — offer no budget expense forms or templates and/or no guidance to applicants about identifying various categories or types of requested project or program expenses.

 

  Common Grant Application Forms
 Expense Category NNG AZ DC MA MI MN NY PA1 PA2  
Salaries and Wages Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Fringe Benefits Yes   Yes   Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Payroll Taxes Yes   Yes   Yes Yes   Yes Yes  
Consultants Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Professional Fees Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Travel Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Equipment Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Supplies Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Training Yes Yes   Yes     Yes   Yes  
Printing and Copying Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Telephone and Fax Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes    
Postage and Delivery Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Rent Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Utilities Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes   Yes Yes  
Maintenance     Yes Yes Yes          
Insurance   Yes   Yes Yes Yes   Yes    
Depreciation   Yes   Yes   Yes   Yes    
Evaluation     Yes   Yes   Yes      
Marketing       Yes Yes          
Miscellaneous Expense       Yes     Yes      
In-Kind Expense Yes Yes Yes     Yes   Yes    
Other Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes  

 

All CGA States

 

Analysis

Out of the nine common grant application forms that do provide guidance about project/program budget expense categories: nine (or 100%) mention professional fees, travel, equipment, supplies, postage and delivery, and rent; eight (or 89%) mention salaries and wages, consultants, printing and copying, telephone and fax, and other; seven (or 78%) mention fringe benefits and utilities; six (or 67%) mention payroll taxes; five (or 56%) mention in-kind expense, training or professional development, and insurance; four (or 44%) mention depreciation; three (or 33%) mention maintenance and evaluation; and two (or 22%) mention marketing, and miscellaneous expense.

 

Among the uniquely identified budget expense categories mentioned on common grant application forms are: subcontractors (AZ); employee-related expenses (AZ); technology (DC); bank/investment fees (MA); food costs (MA); fundraising/development expenses (MA); pro-rated general and management expenses (NY); and telecommunications (PA-2).

 

Sources

Below is a list of abbreviations used in this post. The common grant application forms are found on their providers’ websites.

  • 1.   NNG: National Network of Grantmakers
  • 2.   AZ: Arizona Grantmakers Forum
  • 3.   CA: San Diego Grantmakers
  • 4.   CO: Colorado Nonprofit Association
  • 5.   CT: Connecticut Council for Philanthropy
  • 6.   DC: Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
  • 7.   IL: Forefront (Chicago area)
  • 8.   ME: Maine Philanthropy Center
  • 9.  MA: Associated Grantmakers
  • 10. MI: Council of Michigan Foundations
  • 11. MN: Minnesota Community Foundation
  • 12. MO: Gateway Center for Giving
  • 13. NJ: Council of New Jersey Grantmakers/Philanthropy New York
  • 14. NY: Grantmakers Forum of New York
  • 15. OH: Ohio Grantmakers Forum
  • 16. PA-1: Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia
  • 17. PA-2: Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania
  • 18. TX: Central Texas Education Funders
  • 19. WA: Philanthropy Northwest
  • 20. WI: Donors Forum of Wisconsin

 

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