Friday 7 May 2021

How to budget the project?

We continue to learn how to work on projects

Budget, or cost estimates, is perhaps the most important part of the project. It is not always necessary to describe in detail the existing problem, not all readers are meticulously interested in the methods you use, but the budget is viewed by all.

 Different funds have different requirements for budgeting. Private funds typically request less detailed information than government funds. The budget example offered to you will satisfy most organizations and with small changes can be used for appeal, both in private and public instance. Our budget consists of three sections:

  •      Pay
  •      Basic direct costs
  •      Indirect expenses

When you're planning a budget, it's helpful to look at goals and objectives and methods to come up with a suitable plan. You need to take into account everything you spend money (resources) on, as well as the main factors influencing the amount of expenses.

Before you start distributing money under budget items, carefully study the tax legislation and financial reporting features adopted in your country (district, etc.) so as not to find yourself in a situation where half of the money you receive will go to unforeseen taxes and payments.

Ideally, if the bank to which you will request to transfer the grant if it is received (and it is usually transferred to your account, rather than given out in cash), has experience with grants or other donations. For most banks, the grant is nothing more than the usual target deposit, and few banks try to work individually with grant recipients and even advise them.

 Here is an approximate list of items of expenditure and resources required:

  •      People: full-time employees, experts, consultants, contracts with other organizations.
  •      Pay: salary, the cost of contract services, taxes, and inflation.
  •      Room: payment of rent (purchases) and utility bills.
  •      Travel and transport expenses: the price of plane tickets, trains, etc.
  •      Equipment: prices, prices, prices of consumables, take inflation into account.
  •      Report: Editing payment, translation payment, print payment.
  •      Mailing and communication: postage- and spending on fax, phone, email.


Here's how we propose to make a budget:

1. Pay. Salary and fees.

In this section, write down all employees with posts, both on a full-time and temporary basis. In the latter case, specify the percentage of the working week for which the employee is paid.

Do not include consultants, one-off and other services in this section (see "Advisory and Contract Services").

What does it look like in the finished budget? Here's the following form of recording. If you hire a project coordinator with a salary of $200 per month, working full-time (100%), for the entire grant period (12 months) and ask the fund to pay for its work in full, it will look like this:


2 assistant coordinator x $150 x 50% time, x 12 months ($1800 (full) /$1800 (is) 0 (demand)

Such a record means that you hire two part-time assistant coordinators for the duration of the grant, and their salary is paid from an outside source, not from the grant itself. You take a full monthly salary ($150), divide it into two (since lab technicians work part-time), multiply $75 by 12 months ($900) and two more, since the lab technicians are two, which gives the end $1,800.

Similarly, you can make a list for all the project staff. If one of the employees receives a salary from another source, write the salary in the column "Available amount." All that is required from the fund, write in the column "The amount required."

How do I determine my salary? When compiling a budget, ask about the level of pay in other organizations that do work similar to yours. Compare descriptions of the activities, qualifications, and responsibilities of the employees of these organizations with your requirements. Contact local governments, departments of ministries and departments, companies and firms. Make an approximate list of salaries and fees in your area, keep it with you just in case.

Do not forget that a number of taxes and deductions to the funds will be withheld from the salaries of staff.

Another important category included in this section is the funds you already have, either personally yours or from other sources (e.g., from another project participant providing you with a contract of employees or students). These tools should be listed in the "Available Amount" column. This often includes funds and services provided at no cost, for example, if someone works for free. For example, if a senior lab technician in his spare time voluntarily drives a jeep, then in the column "The available amount" you specify the salary of the driver and write that it is the cost of labor donated to the project by a volunteer (However, it is not necessary to include in the budget deductions and taxes from the salary, which the volunteer did not receive).

Public funds sometimes require the grantee to pay part of the project out of their own funds (e.g. 10 or 25%).

If you use volunteer work, you must document it as if it were paid for. Keep detailed records of all the work done.

Why do you need to specify the full amount and share contributed at the expense of your resources? There are several reasons for that. First of all, it is important for donors to know that you are making a material contribution in addition to carrying out work on the project. This allows them to assess whether you have any resources to follow up on funding. In addition, it gives them the opportunity to estimate the full cost of your project. This is important to know in case a similar project is organized elsewhere without the involvement of local resources. Finally, your resources (volunteers, staff, facilities, equipment, etc.) will allow the grantee to pay for your project only partially and direct more money to other projects.

Advisory and contract services

This includes payments to consultants hired under the contract. Include the number of days of work and the estimated amount of payment for one day. Please note that this article does not include transportation and subsistence allowances for consultants.

Since the royal part is the most delicate item of budget expenditure, it is worth considering what to include in this part, and what is included in part 1 of the section "Salary and Fees." If, for example, accounting services are provided to you by the overseeing organization, it is generally better to include them in Section 3 (in overhead). Short-term services related to technology, software and hardware development, and sometimes expert pay, are also relevant here. Don't forget to mention in the "Available" the amount you save if your consultants work for free.

Advisory and contractual services may also be subject to taxes, which in Russia are often higher than those levied on staff salaries.

Benefits and taxes

This includes the cost of additional payments to the employee, including health insurance, social security, etc. Mandatory, benefits may include, for example, payment of temporary disability sheets, childcare, etc.

Costs associated with tax payments and other mandatory deductions to the state budget should also be provided. To provide all possible taxes, consult a good accountant. And remember that your task is not to avoid taxes, but to know in advance how much to ask for them in the budget.

"There can only be one thing worse than taxes: when there is nothing to pay taxes" (T. Dyuar)

Basic direct costs. Room and utilities

In this part of the second section, you specify the cost of all the premises used, operating costs (water, heating, electricity), etc., including those you rented and given to you for permanent use, in approximately this form:

Rent a room for an office 100 by whom. x $4/sqm/m-t x 12 m-tsev / $4800

The cost above should be in line with the average for your area. Include in this section also the cost of insurance, repairs, etc., as well as the fee for the phone (indicate the number of telephones, numbers, the cost of installing the number/device, the monthly fee for one device/number).

The rental of venues for seminars, conferences or meetings is not included in this section, but refers to the "Other Direct Expenses" section. Long-distance and communication fees (telefax, telex,e-mail)are also included in the "Other Direct Expenses" section or are included in a separate section "Link" (see below).

Rent and buy equipment

Here, write down all the costs of purchasing or renting equipment that you intend to use in the work on the project. This includes office equipment, furniture, computers, copy machines, fax machines, car, laboratory expensive appliances, etc. Try to request equipment within reasonable limits. In all possible ways, try to budget as much equipment as possible from your own sources (The "Available" column). This will demonstrate to the donor your potential for self-financing. Read carefully the foundations' announcements about what they see as "equipment." For example, equipment is often called items worth more than $500 and/or designed for more than one year' operation. It is also possible that the fund does not recommend the purchase of equipment, but encourages its rental.

This section should also include all additional costs for equipment delivery, installation, insurance.


Usually these include stationery, i.e. paper, floppy disks, pens, paper clips, folders, etc. For example, this includes the cost of textbooks, study tables, etc.

Travel and transport expenses

Include all travel expenses. Describe each item in detail. Do not write large sums at once without appropriate explanations, so as not to cause the donor perplexed questions. Include the cost of travel of the project's executors by land or plane, daily allowance (based on each day, in accordance with the existing rules in your organization or work area), travel to the place of work in the field, transportation of goods, rental of cars (unless you have included this in the section "Equipment"), etc.

Other expenses

This includes anything that didn't make it into previous categories. For example, this may include the cost of meetings, meetings and workshops, printing materials and ads, the cost of telephone conversations, etc.

 3. Indirect expenses

We attribute it to indirect "expenses that are difficult to link to a particular activity or project, but are nevertheless necessary for the normal functioning of an organization and the success of its tasks."

Remember: any project that is performed in an organization costs it some money.

The cost of depreciation of fixed assets, depreciation of capital equipment, payment of administrative workers, general utility costs (phone, gas, electricity, elevator, antenna, etc.) can be qualified as indirect. Sometimes it is inconvenient to have such expenses in Parts 1. and 2. so you can put them all together at the end of the budget in section 3. Typically, specific organizations determine their level of overhead as a percentage of the total payroll or from all direct costs.

Note on one-off acquisitions

These are acquisitions that you make only once during the entire life of the project.

This includes buying a car or buying a computer, for example. In this case, it is important to indicate whether you have enough money to use the purchased items properly. The car, in particular, requires the presence of a chauffeur, fuel, care, repair and protection. Similarly, the computer and other equipment should be used by skilled workers. The donor will want to know if you have enough money to do so. He certainly does not want to pay for the purchase of a jeep, which will be idle for a year in the garage.

Budget assessment criteria:

The descriptive part of the application corresponds.

The amount is sufficient to ensure all the works mentioned in the descriptive part of the application.

3. Subroben.

Includes all donor-funded articles.

Includes all articles funded from other sources (including from the applicant's own resources).

Includes all types of work on a voluntary basis.

7. Separates the cost of benefits and taxes from wages.

8. Includes payment of consultants and other contract workers.

9. Separates pay from other direct costs.

10. Includes all indirect expenses if necessary.

11. It takes into account the current level of inflation.

When we write projects, we always need to be mindful of the dangers that lie ahead, especially if we are writing projects to apply for a grant competition. When we are gripped by an idea, we are in a hurry to implement it and often fall under the influence of the myths that surround the process of writing a project.


 Seven Myths writing projects


Myth one: The foundation is just waiting to make me angry.

Reality: The work requires activity. The word itself indicates the need to search, track down, rather than passively expect someone to come and give you money. In short, don't sit idly by. If you do not find a suitable fund first, others will do it "for you."

Rule: "Actively look for opportunities if you don't want to lose."

Myth two: The more money I ask, the more I will be given.

Reality: Usually, the bigger the project budget, the harder it is to get money. Only well-known and time-tested organizations with a "track record" of successful projects can count on large grants. If you represent a young organization, start small. However, if the idea of the project does not justify the requested money, it may happen that the fund even a very modest request will seem overpriced.

Rule: "Any sponsor wants to get a return on their money."

Myth three: Having received a grant from the foundation, I guarantee myself to receive new grants from the same fund in the future.

Reality: No grant can be a guarantee of automatically receiving new funding from the same fund. It is in your best interest to show the next donor that you already have a network of financial sources, with which you can carry out your project for as long as possible. Fund priorities change very often.

The rule: "Don't put any foundation of hope for lifetime funding on any foundation."

Myth four: Money in my pocket - I am the master of it and should not be accountable to anyone.

Reality: The Foundations enter into a contract with the organization that undertakes to implement the project, which is in accordance with the needs (interests, priority) of the fund itself. Your project becomes thus the document that legally binds you and your foundation. Under this contract, you are required to provide the fund with all documentation on time - reports, reports of changes in the program, etc.

The rule: "Grant imposes obligations on you first of all."

Myth Five: Solvav and presenting my organization in a more favorable light than it really is, I will achieve more than telling only the truth.

Reality: You may be tempted to embellish the truth. I don't think that's going to help. The fruitfulness of your relationship with the foundation depends mainly on how much you trust each other. If you find a lie, you will not only risk the reputation of your organization, but most likely you will have to return the money invested.

Rule: "Honesty is the best tactic."

Myth six: I have to completely subordinate my goals and objectives to the interests of the foundation.

Reality: Some applicants are convinced that their chances will increase if the goals and objectives of the donor are the main focus for them, and only then their own. Take a course on equal cooperation. Identify your own goals and needs and try to bring them closer to the interests of the foundation.

The rule is, "You can't control the wind, but you can control the sails."

Myth Seven: Refusal is a real disaster.

Reality: In this game you have a lot of opponents. Usually only 10-30% of all applicants receive a positive response. Therefore, if your offer received a negative answer, treat it as a good lesson and - try again! Ask the donor why he refused to fund your idea, and never give up the following attempts.

Rule: "If you fail, learn from your mistakes and try again and again!"

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