Budget Building Blocks
While building your budget, you'll want to consider the following expenses:
- Personnel – salary for current faculty or staff time as well as for new positions (see page 15 of the Grants Handbook (PDF) for guidance on salary, wages, and fringe benefits)
- Fringe benefits – an institution’s contribution to employees’ benefit packages
- Travel – required travel for project
- Equipment – details and justification for major purchases
- Materials or supplies – consumable materials or office supplies
- Consultants/contractual agreements – payments to individuals who are not WSU employees
- Other – miscellaneous costs such as postage, phone, or copying costs
- Facilities and administrative costs – intangible expenses associated with administering a project. For more information, review the Colleges & Universities Rate Agreement (PDF).
- WSU’s federally negotiated rate for on-campus work is 42.8% of direct salaries, wages, and fringe benefits
- WSU’s federally negotiated rate for off-campus work is 20.8% of direct salaries, wages, and fringe benefits
- The University rate for on- and off-campus work is 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC), which includes direct salaries, wages, and fringes; services; travel; publication costs; and the first $25.00 of each sub-award to other organizations)
To read more about these expenses, check out Budget Building Blocks (PDF). Also, refer to pages 12-14 of the Grants Handbook for a table of allowable costs for federally funded projects.
Budget Preparation Tips
Keep these tips in mind while preparing your budget and proposal:
- The budget and proposal copy should be mutually reinforcing
- Budget should be reasonable
- Create a budget by analyzing the tasks needed to complete each activity
- Avoid lump sum requests and be as detailed as possible
- Allow for inflation
- Follow the funding source guidelines
- Matching funds are your organization’s contribution to a proposed project
- In-kind contributions are a legitimate budget item
- Facilities and administrative costs are a legitimate budget item
- Consider basic budget items (see Building Blocks)
Review Budget Preparation Tips (PDF) for even more tips.
Granting agencies sometimes require that you use their template for the budget you create.
Other agencies do not provide a template.
In either case, you may find this Budget Template (XLS) useful in planning and writing your proposal.