Grant Budget Guidelines
Grant-funded projects entail one or more of the following:
- purchasing items or services
- personnel costs
- travel expenditures
The sections below describe how each of these should be handled in order to comply with grant requirements.
Purchasing Items or Services (Consultants, Contractors, etc.)
Before Spending Money
Before making any purchases or hiring a consultant or contractor, review the Scope of Work section of your grant contract with the USHRAB executive secretary, who is overseeing your project. This will help avoid the problem of spending money on things that are not going to be eligible for grant reimbursement. The executive secretary can also assist you in developing a Request For Proposals (RFP) for projects that are going out to bid. She can help make sure that all the right information is included in the RFP.
Bid requirements vary based on how much the item or service costs.
- Under $1,000: No bids required, though we recommend that you compare costs.
- $1,001 to $5,000: Telephone quotes from at least two (preferably three) vendors are required. If there is only one vendor for the item or service in your area, submit a statement to that effect.
- Above $5,000: Written, detailed competitive bids from at least three vendors are required.
Governmental entities should use their own procurement procedures and provide a statement describing those bid/procurement procedures.
All purchases must be suppported by the following:
- Invoice or receipt - Itemized, detailed invoice/receipt showing date of service/purchase, quantity of item purchased and detailed description of goods and services. (Debit/credit card summarized receipt is not sufficient.)
- Proof of payment. This is usually a canceled check (front and back). Government agencies may submit copies of official payment ledgers in lieu of a canceled check. Non-governmental grant recipients may either provide copies of front and back of canceled check; a copy of the mimeographed sheet of checks the bank provides, with processed date underneath; or a copy of the front of the check (copied before giving it to the vendor) and a copy of the bank statement showing the check clearing the bank account.
- If essentially all of an employee’s time is devoted to a grant-eligible activity (i.e. preservation planning), the time-keeping is simple: the total number of hours and the dollar amount should be recorded on one line of a time sheet and verified by an attached letter from the human resource department (or equivalent).
- If only certain activities of an employee are eligible, then a regular time sheet is required. Daily totals are recommended, but totals based on pay-period increments (every two weeks) are acceptable.
Volunteer services may be furnished by professional and technical personnel, consultants, and other skilled and unskilled labor. Although donated time is not reimbursable, it frequently is used as matching share if it is an integral and necessary part of the approved work.
The following support documentation is required for all donated volunteer time:
- Detailed time sheets (see Time and Expense Sheet) for grant activity services performed by each volunteer. Records must show the actual hours worked and the specific duties performed. The individual who performed the work must sign each time sheet.
- Volunteer time must be counted at federal minimum wage (currently $7.25 per hour) unless a professional rate applies and is justified in writing.
- If a volunteer performs services outside his or her profession, the volunteer time must be valued at the federal minimum wage rate (for example, an archivist stuffing envelopes would be valued at minimum wage rate).
- State guidelines require that all mileage rates do not exceed the maximum current rate of .50 per mile.
- Mileage should be recorded on the individual’s time sheet and show the name of the location of travel and how many miles were traveled.
Tips for Filling Out the Forms
- Scope of Work item numbers must be given for each donation or expenditure on the Time & Expense sheet, so it is clear to which work item the donation or expenditure applies.
- Another option for keeping track of donations and expenditures for work items is to fill out a separate Time & Expense sheet for each work item (e.g., one sheet for administrative costs, one for public education, etc.). This does not work if you have several people donating time to a single work item, since each individual must fill out his/her own time sheet. Grants with primarily cash expenditures may find this approach useful.
- You may wish to combine a number of expenses (cash purchases, payments to consultants, etc.) on one Time & Expense sheet labeled “Grant Expenses” rather than fill out a separate sheet for each one.
- Descriptions for work activities on each line need not be lengthy but they should be clear and complete. Examples: “conservation of Browning photographs” instead of “conservation;” “meeting to review consultant bids” instead of “meeting;” “purchased book on disaster preparedness” instead of “book.”
- Neatness and organization of the packet helps the review process immensely. Time sheets do not have to be typed, but they should be legible and accurate.
Grantees must retain financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other records pertinent to a grant for a period of three (3) years or until an acceptable audit has been performed and all claims and audit findings involving the records have been resolved. The three-year retention period starts from the date of the submission of the final expenditure report.
Questions? Contact Janell Tuttle at 801-531-3845 or firstname.lastname@example.org.