The budget narrative gives the funding agency a written explanation of each line item or category in your budget. This gives the reader a clear idea of what the organization plans to do with the grant award money if they receive it. Please note that while the award amount is usually already determined by the funding agency, they still want you to elaborate on the details of how your organization will spend the money.
Your budget narrative should be short and to the point, yet convincing enough to persuade grant reviewers and give you a cutting-edge above your competition. Always keep in mind that the grant reviewer or reviewing committee will have multiple proposals to review. The proposal writers that find some way to differentiate their organization from others will be the ones that will receive funding. Be sure not to overdo your budget narrative, as this will not sway the decision makers but possibly turn them off.
Let’s review an example of what a sample Budget Narrative looks like:
Sample Budget Narrative
Salaries & Wages$75,000 will be paid to a part-time director and administrative assistant. The director will receive $40,000 per year and the administrative assistant will receive $35,000. Both will develop a youth mentoring program and manage the day-to-day operations.
$21,000 will be paid out in FICA, Social Security and other payroll taxes.
$4200 will be paid for utilities required to operate and manage the program. These expenses will include a land line, two cell phones, electric, gas, water, cable and Internet services
$5000 will be spent on the purchase of four laptops, four Epson printers and two HP fax machines.
$2700 will be spent on T-shirts for the youth participants, adult volunteers and staff. Office supplies will also be purchased for the program.
$4100 will be spent on hot lunches and healthy snacks for program participants.
$2300 will be spent on gas, maintenance and upkeep of the organization’s van, which will be used to pick up children from their schools and take them on field trips.
$12,000 will be spent for part-time custodial staff or to provide daily upkeep of the facility.
$36,000 will be used to pay for consultants that will provide accounting services, curriculum development and staff training for our mentoring program. These contractors will work on a part-time, temporary basis under the direction of our program director.
$1900 will be spent for the director to participate in two mandatory training sessions that will be conducted by the granting agency in Washington, DC.
Please note that simplicity in each of your explanations is all that is required.