How to Write a Bulletproof Grant Budget

Would you believe me if I told you that the grant budget is often the *first* reviewed portion of a grant application packet by the grant reviewer, grantmaker staff, or grantmaker board?


The budget by itself tells the reviewer the entire story of your proposal. Or at least it should!

The grant budget you create should be a consistent and compelling component of your overall grant application, not an afterthought or element that finance puts together for you at the very end right before submission.

You want your grant budget to be bulletproof! To tell a story on their own. A story that is consistent with the rest of your application. A story that does not leave the reviewer with questions about how you calculated the expenses included in the budget. A story that is aligned with what expenses are allowable or ineligible for a grantmaker.

Bulletproof grant budgets tell your story by:

  • Being consistent with all aspects of the grant narrative including work plans and logic models
  • Showing calculations when appropriate
  • Explaining components of fringe benefit rates
  • Outlining detail of travel expenses
  • Defining generic “supplies” or “program materials”

Bulletproof grant budgets:

  • Only contain expenses that are related and allowed by the grantmaker
  • Tell your story regardless of the format required by the grantmaker
  • Tell your story of how else the program or project will be funded beyond the requested grant funded
  • Contain budget justifications/narratives when allowable within the grantmaker’s format

Still looking for more detailed information about how to create a bulletproof grant budget? Wondering about:

  • What are the steps of developing a grant budget
  • What are the best ways to approach the variety of grant maker required budget forms
  • How to write and develop a grant budget when the grant maker does not provide a required format
  • How to write a grant budget that tells your program’s story

Then please join us for the live premium webinar of How To Write a Bulletproof Grant Budget on March 16th or March 22nd. Can’t make the live event? The recording and all of our bonus materials will still be delivered to your inbox along with Diane’s promise to answer any questions you have!