How to construct a budget

For Proposals Submitted Under the Auspices of the
Towson University Foundation
How to Construct a Budget
Budget preparation
Please note that even if the funder does not require a budget at the time of submission,
a detailed budget is required for internal review and approval purposes. The Office of
Sponsored Programs & Research can offer guidance as to allowable salary and stipend
rates and provide templates which will automatically calculate wages to include
appropriate FICA. Responsibility for securing realistic quotes for all other expenses falls
to the program director.
If your budget includes TU cash and in-kind contributions and/or contributions by other
parties (i.e. waived honorarium), these contributions should be noted on the budget to
demonstrate institutional and third-party commitment to the project.
TIP #1: Grant makers often tear off the budget and lay it side by side with your
project narrative when reviewing your proposal. Be sure that any expenses
represented in your budget are fully explained in your narrative!
TIP #2: Grant makers look to see who else has invested in the project; including
TU contributions is advantageous, so take the time to investigate what internal
resources can be represented as cash or in-kind contributions!
Consider if you need a line item for:
Salary/stipend for program director
Will you request course release or stipend? All requests for course release must
be approved by department chair and dean. Course release can be represented on the
budget as a TU contribution with approval from department chair and dean.
Salary/stipend for program coordinator
Will you need assistance in handling logistical details? Can a graduate student
perform these tasks? Determine if your budget will allow you to offer an assistantship,
which conveys a stipend and tuition waiver. If your budget is limited, you can hire a
graduate student as an hourly employee.
Finger printing
Grant Seekers Tool Kit
How to Construct a Budget
Spring 2013
Will your project involve individuals in a capacity that brings them into contact
with minors? If so, HR may require that they be fingerprinted. This expense should be
accounted for in your budget.
Guest speaker honorarium/consultant fee
Does your project involve a guest speaker or consultant? Taxes are the
responsibility of the payee.
Will you require use of university buses or charter vehicles (i.e. to transport
students from campus to partner organization, or to bring individuals from the community
to campus)? If so, consult with Parking & Transportation Services to obtain commitment
of vehicles and fee quote.
Will you want to purchase parking passes for campus visitors/clients served?
Other Travel
What travel expenses will you incur (i.e. hotel, airfaire, conference fee)? Please
note that if you accept a stipend or salary for your participation, it is not appropriate to
ask for local mileage.
What are your needs for meals/refreshments (i.e. lunch for workshop
participants, visiting guests, etc.)?
Is a reception planned? Will your department/college cover this expense? Have
you considered what other campus entities might jointly sponsor this event?
Publications/educational materials/printing
What materials will need to be purchased or produced? Consider what internal
resources are at your disposal prior to seeking a quote from an outside consultant (i.e.
design services [Design & Pub], photography services [University Marketing], web
development [OTS], etc.) If internal resources are tapped, you may be able to represent
these services as TU contributions.
Equipment/technology/web hosting
What are your equipment needs? If you are requesting technology, have you
consulted with OTS to determine if they can provide technology support/repair as
necessary? Will you need OTS to provide technology support for
seminars/presentations, website development (i.e. web-based virtual tour), etc. Will OTS
charge you for the services? If no, OTS’ services may be represented as a TU
contribution; consult with OTS to determine how to represent the cost (i.e. percentage of
OTS staff salary or billable rate).
Will TU cover this expense or will you need to request funds to augment or fully
fund this expense (i.e. additional print ads for arts performances, etc.)?
Have you included a modest sum (i.e. $200) to cover unanticipated expenses?
Grant Seekers Tool Kit
How to Construct a Budget
Spring 2013