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Helping New Zealand build strong communities


About budgets

When you request a grant, you usually need to provide a budget for what you plan to do. The budget should cover the full costs of your planned activity, and not just the grant amount requested. Grants are usually contributions towards a planned activity, rather than full funding for all of the costs.

If your request is approved, you may use the grant for any costs listed in your budget, except for:

  • any item that is not eligible
  • any cost that is excluded when the grant is approved.

The budget needs to:

  • be provided with the grant request rather than with the organisation profile
  • clearly state the time period (such as 1 April 20XX to 31 March 20XX).

If the budget doesn't meet these requirements, your request may be assessed as incomplete.

Types of budget

The type of budget you need will depend on the grant you are requesting and the scheme that funds it. Check the webpages for the funding scheme to find out any special requirements you need to meet. 

Operational budget

This kind of budget shows your organisation's expected revenue and expenses for a financial year. If the grant you are requesting is for operating costs for your organisation and its services, you can submit your existing annual budget. This budget may be for the current financial year or the next financial year.

Project budget

This kind of budget is for a project only. The budget should have the project’s start and end dates. It should not include your organisation’s operating costs.

Combined budget

If you are requesting funding for a project and operating costs, check the funding scheme first to see if this is allowed. If you can request a grant for both, your budget should show the expected project income and costs, as well as the organisation’s budgeted expenses and revenue.

Tips for completing your budget

  • Make sure your budget has a start and an end date, to show the time period it covers.
  • Include all anticipated income and confirmed revenue. List these items separately.
  • Include all of your expected expenses. (If you spend the grant on costs that aren’t listed in your budget, you may have to repay the grant or part of it.)
  • If a grant is made, you can use it for any costs in your budget  unless the online terms and conditions or grant agreement excludes a cost in your budget.
  • For a project, list all of the income and expenses, not just the amount you’re asking for.
  • It’s ok for a budget to show a loss, if there are enough funds in reserve to cover it. (Add a note to the budget to make this clear.)
  • It’s ok to use last year’s accounts as a template for the operating costs. Update these costs for the year ahead.

Recording grant funds

The receipt of grant funds must be acknowledged as a separate entry in the organisation’s annual accounts, or in a note to the accounts in the organisation’s annual or performance report.

Assessing a grant request

When they consider a grant request, the community advisors and decision-makers look at an organisation’s financial performance and planning. They also review:

  • the organisation’s performance against its budget, as shown in the annual accounts or performance report (eg does the organisation avoid deficits or is it using reserves set aside for other uses?)
  • how the organisation shows revenue from grants in its annual accounts or financial reporting
  • whether the budget is realistic for the project or service described in the grant request
  • any support shown in the budget from other funders or partners evidence of collaboration or access to community resources, if this is important for the type of grant requested
  • whether any quotes or other evidence of proposed costs are reasonable and provide the detail needed for the grant decision.

Supporting documents requirements