Loving Your Grant Budget

For the Love of Grant Budgets

Grant budgets tend to not get a lot of love. Often grant professionals break into a cold sweat or get a migraine or go into a nervous panic at the very mention of the words “grant budget”. Budgets can seem quite daunting if you have never done one before.


Grant budgets are crucial to your organization and to getting grant funding. Having a reasonable, clear, concise budget helps you successfully meet your goals and objectives. And, once you have done a budget or two, you might just find you even like them.  

There are many great tools and resources to help you create your first or your thousandth budget including . . .


Advice for those just starting to develop grant budgets from GrantChat on grant budgets:

  • Find a ‘budget mentor’ – someone who is familiar with grant budgets that can review your application and budget. – Jo Miller
  • My advice on budgets is to use the calculations in Excel [or other spreadsheets] to do your math. – Danny Blitch
  • Make friends with whoever handles HR, Facilities, Technology, Business. – Gayla Rawlinson
  • Know that the actual expenditures need to be close to your proposed budget but there is usually a little room for variations. – Dave Tinker
  • Give yourself enough time for review and another set of eyes to check formulas. – Lucy Morgan
  • Limit yourself to fewer, simpler budget categories (rather than listing lots of line items), & give yourself lots of time. – Heather Stombaugh
  • Take a deep breath and start with the information you know. It is not as hard as we think it is. – Bethany Turner

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Bethany Turner is a Grant Professional Certified (GPC) and owner of bmtconsulting - funding your future (bmtconsulting.org). After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies from Ball State University, Bethany got her start in the grant professional as an AmeriCorps VISTA member in 2011. Since becoming a grant professional, Bethany has worked with many different organizations securing more than a million dollars in federal, state, and private foundation funds. These grant monies have been awarded for disaster response and rebuilding, humanitarian aid, grief counseling, arts and culture, arts education, drama therapy, historic preservation, and higher education. In 2015, Bethany earned a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Administration from Western Kentucky University. Bethany loves reading, traveling (anywhere and everywhere), and cheering on The Ohio State Buckeyes and Denver Broncos.

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