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Budgets

About budgets

When you request a grant, you need to provide a budget for what you plan to do. The type of budget will depend on what you need the money for.

Grants can be for your business as usual running costs (operational costs) or for project costs and may be for just one year or for multiple years - up to three years. It is important to remember that grants are usually a contribution to part of your organisations running costs or the cost of delivering a project.

What the money will be put towards  The type of budget you will need to provide when submitting your request

One year’s operating costs

Your organisation’s operating budget showing the amount your organisation expects to earn (revenue) and spend for a financial year. Your budget can be for your current financial year or the next financial year.

One year’s project costs

A project budget showing all the costs to your organisation of delivering the project and any other funding your organisation may have gained to put towards the project’s delivery.

 Multi-year – operating costs

Your organisation’s operating budget showing the amount your organisation expects to earn (revenue) and spend for a financial year. Your budget can be for your current financial year or the next financial year.

If your request is successful, your organisation will be asked for an updated operating budget for the year ahead before receiving the next year’s payment.

Multi-year – project costs

A multi-year project budget showing all the costs to your organisation of delivering the total project (over multiple years), and any other funding your organisation may have gained to put towards the project’s delivery.

If your request is successful, your organisation will be asked for an updated project budget each year before receiving the next year’s payment.



 Note - Budgets are not required for the Community Internship Programme or the Lottery Individuals with Disabilities Fund

It is useful to remember in preparing your budget, that if your request is approved, you will be able to use the grant for any costs you have listed in your budget, except for:

  • any item that is not eligible
  • any cost that is excluded when the grant is approved.

What must a budget contain?

  • An operating budget shows your organisation's expected revenue and expenses for a financial year. If the grant you are requesting is for operating or running costs for your organisation and its services, you can submit your existing annual budget. This budget may be for the current financial year or the next financial year.
  • A project budget is for a project only and should not include your organisation’s operating costs. 
  • If you are requesting funding for a project and operating costs, check the grant scheme first to see if this is allowed. If you can request a grant for both, your budget should show the expected project income and costs, as well as the organisation’s budgeted expenses and revenue.
  • All budgets must clearly state the start and end dates for the period covered by the budget.

General tips about budgets

  • include all anticipated and confirmed income. List these items separately.
  • include all of your expected expenses. (If you spend the grant on costs that aren’t listed in your budget, you may have to repay the grant or part of it.)
  • for a project, list all of the project-related income and expenses, not just the amount you’re asking for.
  • it’s okay for a budget to show a loss if there are enough funds in reserve to cover it. You should add a note to the budget to make it clear that you intend to use reserve funds.
  • it’s a good idea to use last year’s accounts as a template for the operating costs. Update these costs for the year ahead.
  • if a grant is made, you can use it for any costs in your budget unless the online terms and conditions or grant agreement excludes a cost in your budget.

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