The application requires three elements to describe the costs of a proposed project:
- Detailed Budget
- Summary Budget
- Budget Justification
These instructions also apply to an organization that will function as a partner in undertaking grant activities.
Detailed Budget Form(s)
You must fill out one Detailed Budget Form for each year of the project. The first Detailed Budget Form should begin on the project start date (as listed on 6c of the SF-424S) and end 12 months later. If the project timeline exceeds one year, the subsequent 12-month period(s) must be shown on separate Detailed Budget Forms. (Note: If the project timeline exceeds any number of months beyond a 12-month period, an additional Detailed Budget Form is required for the subsequent months. No more than 12 months may be included on a single Detailed Budget Form.)
The budget should include the project costs that will be charged to grant funds as well as those that will be supported by cost sharing. In-kind contributions to cost sharing may include the value of services or equipment donated to the project. All the items listed, whether supported by grant funds or cost share, must be reasonably necessary to accomplish project objectives, allowable in terms of the applicable federal cost principles, auditable, and incurred during the grant period. Charges to the project for items such as salaries, fringe benefits, travel, and contractual services must conform to the written policies and established practices of your organization. All revenues generated with project funds during the grant period must be reported as program income and should be applied to your cost sharing.
"Basis/Method of Cost Computation" may be a percentage of a person’s time devoted to the project, a number of days, a quantity of items, and so on. These entries should clarify how you arrived at the costs indicated.
1. Salaries and Wages: Include both temporary and permanent staff as well as volunteers engaged in project activities. Be certain to provide adequate information to allow us to verify computations—staff wages must be shown either on this form or in the Budget Justification.
2. Fringe Benefits: Fringe benefits may include contributions for Social Security, employee insurance, pension plans, etc. Only those benefits not included in your indirect cost pool may be shown as direct costs. Fringe benefits may only be claimed on the portion of Salaries and Wages identified for this project.
3. Consultant Fees: List the individuals or groups who will provide consulting services for the project and their fees, and explain the method of computation for the fees.
4. Travel: The lowest available commercial fares for coach or equivalent accommodations must be used, and foreign travel must be undertaken on U.S. flag carriers when such services are available, in accordance with applicable U.S. legal requirements (e.g. The Fly America Act).
5. Supplies and Materials: List the costs of supplies and materials purchased specifically for the proposed project.
6. Services: List the costs of project activities to be undertaken by a third-party contractor, including a formal partner, under this budget category as a single line item that shows the amount that will be charged to IMLS grant funds and the cost sharing that will be contributed by the third party. These costs should be clearly itemized in the attached Budget Justification.
7. Student Support: Ignore this section. It does not apply to this program.
8. Other Costs: Use this section for costs that are not assignable to other categories, such as internship expenses and equipment purchases. Permanent equipment is defined as nonexpendable personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more. Equipment costing less than $5,000 may be listed under Supplies and Materials.
Please do not use the "Other Costs" section to list items that did not fit in the number of lines allotted for another section. If more lines are needed for a specific section, the information should be summarized in the Detailed Budget Form and further explained in the Budget Justification.
9. Total Direct Costs: Add the subtotal amounts from the previous sections.
10. Indirect Costs: Ignore this section. It does not apply to this program.
11. Total Project Costs: Complete the first line; ignore the second line, which is not relevant to this program.
Detailed Budget form:
Adobe® PDF (335 KB)
Microsoft® Word Document (312 KB)
Summary Budget Form
The Summary Budget should clearly identify the amount requested from IMLS and the amount provided as Cost Share by the applicant. The line items in the IMLS and Cost Share columns should match the amounts from the Detailed Budget Form(s).
Cost share is that portion of the project costs that are not charged to IMLS funds. These costs may be supported by a grantee’s cash outlays, contribution of property and services, and in-kind contributions, such as staff time, that support project activities.
All listed expenses, including cost sharing, must be incurred during the grant period. Federal funds may not be used for cost sharing. All instructions regarding use of funds apply to both requested IMLS funds and cost sharing.
Summary Budget form:
Adobe® PDF (123 KB)
Microsoft® Word Document (83 KB)
The budget justification explains all Detailed Budget Form line items. It should address the role that each person listed in the project budget will play and justify all proposed equipment, supplies, travel, services, and other expenses. It should provide specifications for all hardware and software for which IMLS funding is requested. Any costs that were consolidated and summarized in the Detailed Budget Form should be itemized and explained within the appropriate section of the budget justification. The format of the justification should follow the section headings on the Detailed Budget Form.
We encourage you to contribute as cost share the salaries of permanent staff to be employed on a project in proportion to the amount of time they will spend on the project. If IMLS funding is requested for salaries of permanent staff, the proposal should explain why funds are requested for this purpose and how the regular duties of these individuals will be performed during the grant period. The Budget Justification should explain the role of any outside consultants and third-party vendors to be employed on the project and how each was identified and selected. Costs for third-party service providers should be documented by bids or otherwise justified.
The cost of project activities to be undertaken by a third-party contractor or a partner should be listed under "Services" on the Detailed Budget as a single line item that shows the amount that will be charged to IMLS grant funds and the cost sharing that will be provided by the third party. A complete itemization of these costs should be included as part of the Budget Justification. If there is more than one contractor, the cost of each contract must be listed separately on the IMLS Detailed Budget Form and an itemization must be included as part of the Budget Justification.