Grant Writing Tip 4
Matching Funds and Sustainability
Some grant funding programs may require that you provide a specific level of matching funds and demonstrate your project is sustainable after the grant funds have been expended. These two concepts – matching funds and sustainability – may be somewhat ambiguous to the novice proposal writer.
When the Request for Proposal (RFP) requires that your project include matching funds it means that you must match (equal or exceed) the funds requested in your grant budget with your own funds. When you estimate your matching funds, you need to provide precise and realistic estimates of the value of the resources you provide if your matching funds include donated human services and assigned facilities as well as actual financial resources.
In the following scenario, a total budget of $73,580 (one year) to establish a small community training lab offering five, 5-hours training programs, each taught by a part-time training consultant. The grant applicant estimates a matching grant of $37,830 in funds, equipment, staff time, and facilities. The grant funds requested total $35,750 so the matching grant exceeds the funds requested. The budget narrative indicates that the matching grant funds were pooled as follows: providing funds for .5% FTE of the director’s salary and 100% of the director’s benefits; purchasing or securing through an industry partnership five of the ten computers needed; and, dedicating space for the computer lab in the applicant’s existing facilities.
When an RFP requires that you demonstrate sustainability beyond the project year, it is requesting you to show how you plan to continue to raise the funds required to operate the project for the second year and thereafter. There are several methods for demonstrating sustainability. These are merely illustrations.
More Free Grants