Grants 201: Creating Effective Budget Narratives



Grants 201: Creating an Effective Budget Narrative
Session 6 of the Grants 201 Series

A budget is a key element of most grant proposals and serves as a blueprint for spending the project’s funds. An effective proposal budget outlines the proposed project in fiscal terms and helps reviewers to determine how the project will be conducted. The decisions made now at the proposal stage will continue through the life of the grant, and others will make decisions based on it at future stages. There is no question that preparing a reasonable budget and thoughtful budget narrative is crucial.

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What You’ll Learn:

  • The difference between a basic budget and a line-item budget
  • How to create formulas for all expenses in a budget so funders understand how budgets were derived
  • How to describe the reasonableness of the proposed costs
  • How to provide short narrative which points to how the costs align with the narrative activities
  • How to describe how funding will be spent in a letter proposal


GPCI Competencies and Skills:

Competency 4: Knowledge of how to craft, construct, and submit an effective grant application.

  • Skill 4.8. Identify effective practices for developing realistic, accurate line-item and narrative budgets and for expressing the relationship between line items and project activities in the budget narrative.
  • Skill 4.9. Identify sources of in-kind matches for project budgets.
  • Skill 4.10. Identify factors that limit how budgets should be written

The trainers for these sessions are all credentialed grant professionals (GPCs) who agree to adhere to the Grant Professionals Association (GPA) Code of Ethics and are GPA Approved Trainers. All of the trainings in this series align with the Grant Professionals Certification Institute’s competencies and skills.


This training aligns with the Grant Professional Certification Institute’s Competencies and Skills and is approved for 1.0 Continuing Education Unit (CEU). Full participation in this training is also applicable for 1.0 points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.

Length: 60 minutes

Price: $50

Grants 201 Training Series

The average nonprofit professional needs more than just initial grant training. Anyone working with grants can analyze their strengths and weaknesses and then decide where they want to learn more deeply. Think of it as more tools in our toolbelt for that grant RFP or grant funder from whom we are determined to be successful.

These sessions are designed to provide deeper content on specific topics which challenge who have been working with grants for more than a year.

Cost: $50/session or $300 for the full series

To register for the complete series or for individual sessions:

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