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Preparing your budget

Before making a contribution to your project, a funder will need to know how their money will make a difference and so it is important to show them what their grant will achieve. Whether you are fundraising for branch running costs or for a specific event or project, it is important to know what it will cost.

Writing a budget

A budget is a short statement showing anticipated costs (and expected income) for the project that requires funding. It should justify all relevant expenses and be supported by the written proposal - i.e. nothing in the budget should leave unanswered the question ‘why do they need to spend that?’

As part of your financial responsibilities, the branch committee produces an overall plan and budget for the branch’s activities. This will itemise branch expenditure from which you can select costs relevant to the application. You may require more or less detail, but it should provide a good basis for writing your budget.

  1. See managing your branch or group finances for more information.

Which costs are relevant?

Basically, all costs incurred in running the project or activity. Make sure you include everything. Will you require specific licences, insurance or advertising? Will there be volunteer expenses to pay? But, it’s not always necessary to list every item individually - e.g. postage, telephone, printing could be grouped as ‘administration’.

As a general guide, the bigger the proportion of your total project cost the item represents the more detail it is appropriate to include. However, it’s important to be able to explain the breakdown of each budget item, and so it’s advisable to record what each budget line represents. This can either be included in the budget or outlined in the written proposal.


Funders receive many applications and a well presented budget will make it quick and easy to read and understand.

  • Align figures neatly
  • Include column headings
  • Double-check your figures are accurate
  1. Back to applying to a local trust
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