The Development Source

Pricing Your Government Grant Proposal

The budget sections of government grant program guidelines can be very intimidating, especially if you are new to government grants.  If you are a small nonprofit organization and do not have a Chief Financial Officer, you may have trouble understanding all the regulations and required forms. 

Pricing is an important element in the valuation process because many government agencies state in their grant guidelines that 10 percent of the evaluation will be based on the reasonable of the program budget.  To gain these points, you must develop: (1) a budget that is complete and compliant – it follows the directions correctly; and (2) develop a budget that is competitive – it provides financial evidence that you have enough resources to achieve your goals within the budgetary range of the grant program.

Of course, the best way to learn about government grant budgets is to submit a few.  On the rocky road to government grant competency, there are some sources that you can consult.  Below is a list of online sources for government grant applicants about how to develop solid budgets:

  • The Foundation Center (  This is a great source for almost everything related to grants, including government grants.
  • GrantStation (  This is an interactive Web site that provides a wide variety of information about all types of grants, including government grants.
  • The Philanthropy Journal (  Published by the Institute for Nonprofits at North Carolina State University, the Journal publishes surveys and funding trends that may be of interest to your nonprofit.
  • (  This official federal Web site for grants published much useful information for nonprofits.
  • The Chronicle of Philanthropy (  The Chronicle is a great source of current information about trends in the nonprofit world, and it includes a grants database.
  • NOZA (  This is a free site for information about grants.
  • Seeking Grant Money Today (  This Web site has plenty of useful information about the grants process, including budgeting.
  • Agency Web sites.  Every federal agency has ample information on its Web site about the grants development process, including budgets.  For example the National Institutes of health (NIH) provides detailed, useful information about putting together a grants budget.

Some of these Web sites charge a subscription fee, which may be a very good investment in your nonprofit’s future.

Become more informed about developing good federal grant budgets.  This is not a task just for your accountant or Chief Financial Officer.  It is something that must be done together by your program and financial staff.  Ultimately, your proposal narrative and budget must tell the same story.  If they do not, you are not likely to be funded.

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