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.

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


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.

GPC Competencies:

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 (e.g., matching requirements, supplanting issues, indirect costs, prevailing rates, performance-based fees, client fees, collective bargaining, allowable versus non-allowable costs).

Length: 60 minutes


Course curriculum

    1. Welcome: Let's Get Started

    2. Video: Grants 201 - Creating an Effective Budget Narrative

    3. Session Evaluation: Grants 201 - Creating an Effective Budget Narrative

    4. Quiz: Grants 201 - Creating an Effective Budget Narrative

About this course

  • $50.00
  • 4 lessons
  • 1 hour of video content