Budget estimates should be realistic and based upon fair and open competition among suppliers of services, materials, and equipment (see “Procurement” below). The History Fund strongly recommends that applicants obtain estimates of major cost items to use as a basis for preparing budgets and include such estimates as attachments to the application. Label and classify every expense; no expense labeled “miscellaneous” will be allowed. All project costs must directly relate to the accomplishment of the project.
Use the budget narrative field to elaborate on any budget items that are complex or require additional explanation.
The completed budget form will express numerically and in chart form what the project narrative describes. The budget shows for whom or for what funds are needed and how you calculated those costs. The budget also shows how these costs will be met—either by History Fund grant support, by Match, or by a combination of the two. Finally, the Total for each row is to be included. Note regarding the Budget Form:
- As shown on the Sample Budget Form below (and in the online application), itemize budget expenses in the column titled “Budget Item.” Also use the Budget Item column to show calculations of time and materials, etc. Do not itemize items or show calculations in the Budget Category column (the form will not let you).
- The Budget Form available for download is a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. If you do not have access to Excel or cannot download the Budget Form spreadsheet, contact the History Fund.
- The History Fund has set up the Budget Form in Excel to do the math for you (but you should still double check it). The Total Cost field will auto-fill after you enter the unit and rate information. The Total field will auto-fill when you enter amounts in the History Fund and Match columns. Do not use symbols ($) or commas when you enter figures in the Unit, Rate, History Fund, or Match columns.
History Fund procurement policies and procedures are designed to encourage and promote competition among vendors to ensure the highest quality products and services at the lowest price. Should your project receive a History Fund grant, you must comply with the following regarding the purchases of goods and services listed in the project budget:
1. For purchases of goods or services with a cost of $6,000 or less, the grant recipient is not required, but is encouraged, to solicit competitive proposals (three suggested) to ensure that the History Fund project is receiving the highest quality product or service at the lowest price. Documentation of costs or proposals may include notes of verbal price quotes and written proposals including the name of person contacted, date of proposal, and quoted amount.
Note: Requests for Proposal are not required at the time of application.
2. For purchases of goods and services over $6,000, grant recipients are required to solicit competitive proposals. The recipient must:
(a) Prepare a Request for Proposals (RFP) in accordance with History Fund guidance;
(b) Solicit a minimum of three proposals;
(c) Award the contract to a responsive bidder on the basis of written selection criteria.
The hiring of any contractor/consultant as part of the project must be done in an open, competitive manner whether accomplished prior to submitting the History Fund proposal or after a grant is awarded. Requests for Proposal for project costs greater than $6,000 must be reviewed and approved by the History Fund prior to issuance. Any contractor/consultant involved in preparing the RFP cannot be hired to carry out the work. Applicants who hire consultants prior to the grant period must provide documentation of a fair and open selection process if a grant is awarded. An example of an RFP is appended at the end of these Instructions.
Download the Sample Budget. (Opens in Excel)
Download the Budget Form. (Opens in Excel)
Budget Form Categories
There are seven overarching budget categories on the Budget Form:
- Materials & Supplies
- Marketing & Promotion
- Printing & Publication
- Professional Development
Not all budget categories or line items within budget categories will apply to all grants. Please mark “N/A” in the Budget Form to denote budget categories or line items which do not apply to your grant.
Certain costs are ineligible under History Fund rules. For a list of ineligible costs, see the Guidelines
, section titled “What kinds of costs are ineligible for History Fund grant assistance?