Grant Services - Advice and Tips

More Tips on Matching Funds for Grants

Fri, Dec 21, 2012 @ 16:12 PM / by Alisyn Franzen

On one project, we worked for weeks with a church on a proposal that required a cost match. In-kind funds were acceptable, so we included the cost of transportation that the church was accustomed to providing. But the assistant pastor we were working with did not have signature authority and did not run this by the head pastor. On the day the proposal was due (submitting this late is not recommended!), the head pastor saw the final budget with a dollar-value commitment, and the fear in him grew greatly. He would not sign the proposal.

This example emphasizes not only the importance of keeping key people in the loop, but also thinking through issues related to matching funds. In a previous blog, published in April 2011, we offered some tips to keep in mind when writing a grant budget that includes matching funds. In this blog we provide more tips on ideas to consider when acquiring matching funds for a grant. And as always, remember we are here for you if you need additional guidance through any part of the grant process.

  • Make sure to read matching funds requirements carefully.Tips on Matching Funds

    • Sometimes the matching funds must occur during a certain period of time, such as before the grant starts or during the grant.

    • Sometimes, the match must be from a specific source, like an internal source, external source, or a particular type of agency, or not the federal government (in the case of many federal grants).

  • Find out for sure what is required in a letter of commitment or other documentation, and make sure you meet those requirements in the submission.

  • Work well ahead of the deadline with groups providing matching funds to make sure their authorities will sign the required documents. This can take a while.

  • Make sure you follow in-kind versus real-dollar match rules. In-kind contributions are donations of goods, services, or other non-cash donations. They may include donated labor, materials, services, etc. Matching funds are actual cash contributions from donors, foundations, businesses, etc., which are given to or provided by an organization.

  • Contact us for guidance on how to place a dollar value on in-kind contributions, if required. Remember, our initial consultations are free.

  • If you have any questions, contact the agency and ask.

As for the church whose pastor would not sign, a sufficiently authorized assistant pastor jumped in at the last minute with pen and passion to sign the proposal. The proposal ended up being rejected for criterion that were not publicized in the official guidelines, but that is another blog article for another day.

Grants often have complex and stringent guidelines and requirements that govern every part of the grant application and its accompanying documents. If you need help in any part of the grant process, we have services that we can customize to meet your needs and goals. Contact a grant expert today for more information.


Image credit: Tax Credits, Tax Credits

Topics: grant services, free grant money, application tips, grant application hints, matching funds, grant writing help, find matching funds for grants, find matching funds, grant writing, Grant Writing Tips, grant application tips, in-kind funds

Alisyn Franzen

Written by Alisyn Franzen

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