Cost Proposal: How to Build the Budget



Cost Proposal: How to Build the Budget

September 25, 2017 - 9:00am to 5:30pm

London , United Kingdom


Shannon M. Meehan

Language: English

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This one-day workshop is designed for NGO staff who contribute to developing proposal budgets. It focuses on how to build an appropriate cost proposal as well as how to maximize cost proposal budgets with the US Government (USG). You will practice the fundamentals of building a budget, format a budget according to the Federal Standard Form 424 (Application for Federal Assistance) and learn how to communicate and justify the cost proposal to your donor. Taught in a highly participatory style, the workshop provides you with the skills you need to confidently compete for your next USG Grant or Cooperative Agreement.

Who Should Attend

In addition to individual participants, Humentum encourages teams of employees to attend this workshop together. Staff who will benefit include: 

  • Finance, grants, and contracts staff who play a role in proposal writing or review
  • Program staff who work on new business development
  • Business development staff

What You Will Learn

You will learn how to:

  • Manage USAID/USG expectations for cost proposals
  • Determine the necessary costs to include in a budget
  • Comply with the formatting requirements as outlined in USAID/USG Standard Form 424
  • Apply best practices for budget narratives
  • Reconcile the budget narrative to the budget calculations


CPE Credits

Participants at the workshop will earn 7.8 CPE credits and receive a certificate of attendance. The course level is Basic. The delivery method of this program is Group Live and the Field of Study is Specialized Knowledge.

Humentum is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:

DAY 1:

8:30                            Introductions, workshop objectives

                                    RFA/RFP overview

                                              Elements of a Cost Proposal

                                              Category Based Budget

                                              How to Present a Budget to US Government

                                    Group Exercise: Examining an RFA

10:30                           BREAK

                                    Cost Proposals: The Components

                                              Budget Team Role

                                              Building the Budget: Cost Estimation

                                              Unit Cost by Type

                                    Group Exercise: Determining Costs

12:30                           LUNCH

                                    Building the Budget: Fixed Costs

                                    Group Exercise: Determining Fixed Costs


                                    Building the Budget: Identify Costs by Activity and Time

                                    Group Exercise: Build the Costs


3:00                             BREAK

                                     Evaluating the Cost Proposal: Common Considerations

                                               The Budget Narrative

                                     Group Exercise: Budget Narrative


                                     Budget Review

                                     Best Practices Review



5:00                             Close of Day

Participants are responsible for making their own hotel/lodging arrangements.

National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)
Society Building, 8 All Saints Street
London N1 9RL
Tel: 020 7520 2404
Fax: 020 7713 6300