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Respond to each peer initial post with a response 3-4 sentences long.
Peer # 1
inancial Information Typically Required by a Grant Proposal
There are several components necessary to prepare a grant proposal with one of them being the budget request (annual budget) and budget justification. Budgets are prepared for a twelve-month period called the fiscal year which could be the dates of the organization’s choosing, not necessarily January 1st– December 31stif each year. “Some funders will request an organization or operating budget which is the annual projection of income and expenses for the organization’s fiscal year. Sometimes only the project or program budget will be required. The program budget contains the projected income and expenses for the specific program which is being proposed for funding (Annual Budget, 2018).” This is where you will now need to assign dollar amounts to staff positions and activities without going over the proposed budget amount. The budget justification, sometimes referred to as a budget narrative, includes information about the expense line items of the annual budget (Budget Justification, 2018). Common budget line items for the Budget Request include:
- Staff salaries
- Fringe benefits
- Indirect costs
- In kind items
- Rent and utilities
- Equipment and supplies
- Travel(Section 5. Writing a Grant, 2018).
Included in the financials will be the cash flow budget which will show when funds should be expected and when expenses will be paid. This budget helps the nonprofit determine if there will be cash available from the nonprofit’s income sources to pay for the organization’s expenses as they are incurred (Cash Flow Budget, 2018).
Ways to Present Financial Information so Grant Reviewers May Consider Your Grant Proposal More Favorably
There really is no right or wrong way to impress the funder with a grant proposal unless the requirements are just simply not met. But some of the best ways to present financial information so that grant reviewers may consider your grant proposal more favorably are listed as follows: Consider a meeting with the funding source. Sometimes, it is possible to set up a meeting with a foundation staff person to explore your idea before a proposal is written or delivered (Section 4. Applying for a Grant: The General Approach, 2018).Some funders may agree to a meeting while others may not be open to that idea as much because they may feel like they are too busy. Follow instructions, be sure to abide by the requirements and the format requested (this cannot be stressed enough). Research information on what you are proposing so that you may have accurate information but be specific to your program so that it may stand out. Be clear and concise as to what the funds will be spent on. Make sure that all financials are realistic and do not exceed the budget amount.
Peer # 2
Financial Information and Grant Proposals
We know that a grant is a specific amount of money given to an nonprofit organization to address a specific issue, typically dealing with the betterment of community or environment in a manner that is positively developmental for everyone involved. Grants can range from a small sum of money to a very large sum of money, depending on the scale of the project in which the grant is being applied. Different than a contract, a grant set out to complete a specifically stated goal within their own means as stated. Grant proposals are beneficial in that they provide the information that will be given to an investor who is considering giving a grant to a company or organization. Grant proposals cover overall budgets, with costs and expenses the grant would potentially cover. Grant proposals also stand to serve the grant agency that the organization has in mind (this tends to be an agency that has similar goals and initiatives). “Federal or state agencies often want to see a long-term plan for the self-sustainability of a project. The reasons for this vary. Maybe funding at the federal or state level will only be available for a couple of years. Maybe funding for a special interest will only be available until elections bring in new legislators with different fiscal and policy priorities. Some programs require a match of funding from the beginning. For example, for every four dollars awarded, a grantee (you) may be required to contribute matching funds of two dollars. Funders will want to know how grantees’ matching funds will be provided and sustained” (University of Kansas, 2006).
Financial information such as overall budgets, plans of implementation over time, and a coherent cost-benefit analysis are all things that are required for an effective grant proposal. Granting agencies or investors want to see exactly how their grant would be used within the organization over time, and how effective it will actually be. If the grant proposal can’t clearly communicate this, an investor is going to be less inclined to award the grant. In presenting this information, the most important thing is that the information be concise and digestible. A four page report on finances and expenditure would be daunting, and this is not how you want a potential investor to feel. Visual aids, shows are pie charts and bar graphs are effective ways to display information in a manner that isn’t overwhelming. Also breaking down aspects per page is an effective way to display financial information as well.
Peer # 3
When doing the budget section on a grant proposal it is important to include Staff salaries, travel, direct and Indirect cost, Rent and utilities, Equipment and supplies.
Staff salaries are listed in a budget as FTEs, or “Full Time Equivalents.” A person working a 40-hour week will be listed at 1.00 FTE, and the actual amount for salary requested in the budget will be 100% of the proposed salary for that position. A person working 20 hours a week will be listed at .5 FTE, and the actual amount for salary requested in the budget will be 50% of the proposed salary for that position (NYU).
Make sure to provide clear formulas and documentation for why travel is necessary. Include the cost for a plane ticket, the cost of a hotel per night and the number of nights you will be staying, and a food allowance. Be sure and use realistic but conservative figures and avoid using round numbers, such as use $1,280 instead of $1,000 (NYU).
Direct costs for your grant are perhaps the most important component in your grant’s budget. They represent the funds you are seeking from the funding source (NYU).
Otherwise known as overhead, indirect costs are defined as an attempt to compensate the organization for the cost of housing a project. Indirect costs may or may not be provided by your funding agency. They are often allocated as a fixed percentage of your direct costs (NYU).
Equipment and supplies
To help understand equipment costs, documentation of the program need for the equipment. Equipment costs should be well defined and include specifications. For example, you might include a high–speed copier system to be used to reproduce reports and other documents for committees, staff members, and volunteers. You should explain how the copier will help you in administering the program. Supplies: It is helpful to break down supplies into categories such as general office supplies, educational and training supplies, and computer supplies (NYU).
To make finical information stand out it is important to make sure that your budget does not exceed the maximum amount stated in the request for proposal. Make sure that the numbers in the proposal narrative and budget justification text match those in the line item budget. Also be sure to include the budget justification. It’s often referred to as a budget narrative. In the budget Justification, it is important to describe the need for each line item total requested. In one or two sentences per budget line item, show the reviewer exactly how you arrived at the total for an item. The budget justification provides information to explain the need for each line item and the calculations used to derive each line item amount as appropriate. The line items should be discussed in the order each appears in the budget. The budget justification should explain all the financial details of the proposed project to the grant reviewers (lecture).
Grant proposals are means by which businesses apply to the government or other institutions to allow them to get funding or other forms of assistance (New & Quick, 2016). For a nonprofit organization, one of the financial information required is the Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) if the entity does not file I-990. FEIN is a unique number that is assigned by the revenue service to businesses in the United States for identification purposes. This is required in the absence of an I-990 to offer information about the organization and to find out if they are abusing their tax-exempt status. The organization also needs to provide their IRS tax-exempt letter to enable the verification of their status.
The nonprofit organization needs to show documentation of the A-133 single audit. This is only applicable to organizations that receive more than $750,000 federal funds in one financial year. Organizations using less than this amount must provide a memo on their official letterhead, containing a title and date stating that the company is not required to obtain an A-133 single audit (McElrath & Carlson, 2013). Financial statements also need to be included in the financial documentation of the company. If the company needs assistance with indirect cost, then they need to file a Negotiated Indirect Cost Agreement (NICRA) which will allow the grant donor to reimburse awards (McElrath & Carlson, 2013).
In order for the proposal to be appealing, the organization needs to make sure that the financial information provided is up-to-date and reflects the current year’s report and should also include previous year’s report to allow for comparisons to be made. The financial information needs to be presented in the appropriate reporting manner and should exclude any unnecessary information. The budget provided in the proposal should be in line with other statements within the proposal and should not, at any time, exceed the amount of grant that is being offered (New & Quick, 2016)