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Gathering Background Information
Components of a Proposal
The Executive Summary
The Statement of Need
The Project Description
The Budget
  Support and Revenue and Statement
  Budget Narrative
Organizational Information
Letter Proposal
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Proposal Writing Short Course

The Budget

The budget for your proposal may be as simple as a one-page statement of projected revenue and expenses. Or your proposal may require a more complex presentation, perhaps including a page on projected support and notes explaining various items of expense or of revenue.

Expense Budget
As you prepare to assemble the budget, go back through the proposal narrative and make a list of all personnel and nonpersonnel items related to the operation of the project. Be sure that you list not only new costs that will be incurred if the project is funded but also any ongoing expenses for items that will be allocated to the project. Then get the relevant costs from the person in your agency who is responsible for keeping the books. You may need to estimate the proportions of your agency's ongoing expenses that should be charged to the project and any new costs, such as salaries for project personnel not yet hired. Put the costs you have identified next to each item on your list.

Your list of budget items and the calculations you have done to arrive at a dollar figure for each item should be summarized on worksheets. You should keep these to remind yourself how the numbers were derived. These worksheets can be useful as you continue to develop the proposal and discuss it with funders; they are also a valuable tool for monitoring the project once it is under way and for reporting after completion of the grant.

A portion of a worksheet for a year-long project might look like this:

Item Description

Supervision 10% of salary = $10,000
25% benefits = $ 2,500

Hired in month one 11 months at $35,000 = $32,083
25% benefits = $ 8,025

Tutors 12 working 10
hours per week
for three months
12 x 10 x 13 x $ 4.50 = $ 7,020

Requires 25% of
current space
25% x $20,000 = $ 5,000

Overhead 20% of project
20% x $64,628 = $12,926

With your worksheets in hand, you are ready to prepare the expense budget. For most projects, costs should be grouped into subcategories, selected to reflect the critical areas of expense. All significant costs should be broken out within the subcategories, but small ones can be combined on one line. You might divide your expense budget into personnel and nonpersonnel costs; your personnel subcategories might include salaries, benefits, and consultants. Subcategories under nonpersonnel costs might include travel, equipment, and printing, for example, with a dollar figure attached to each line. Overhead, or indirect costs, is important to include because projects do not exist in isolation. Funders may have policies regarding the percentage of overhead they will allow in a project budget, if they allow it at all.
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