The Narrative is written first by reviewing the activities associated with the Project Objectives.

As mentioned earlier in the Module/Week 3 presentation, this part of a Grant Proposal has 2 sections: (1) the Budget Narrative, and (2) an itemized Budget Summary. The 2 sections often comprise 2 double-spaced pages in the Grant Proposal.

The Narrative is written first by reviewing the activities associated with the Project Objectives. In essence, you are reporting to the Grant Maker the anticipated costs for the steps of every activity fulfilling each objective. You are expected to provide “real” cost estimates—not guesses—as well as how you gathered the information. For example, was it by past experience, formal estimates by local contractors, or mathematical formulas? Whatever your source, identify how you arrived at the cost of each line item in the Budget Summary.


If you selected Option 1, you need to ask specific budgetary questions of your contact person. This may take some time, especially if your contact is not familiar with the exact costs of some of the items listed in the budget summary (e.g., personnel fringe benefit %).

When you start the itemized Budget Summary, you need to plan for multiple conversations about budget. The need for a Grant to solve the organization’s “Need” may have been discussed multiple times for many years with the board of directors and staff, but no one really sat down to consider the individual line items necessary to complete the Project that would solve “the problem.”

If you selected Option 2, there is a greater likelihood this assignment will be easier. You and you alone will conceptualize the Budget line items and the only “real” research work is to provide data supporting your line items.

Whichever Option you selected, don’t be surprised that you have to revise either or both the Narrative or Summary from time to time.

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