Crunching Mathematical Puzzle
Like explained in part-1, the budget should be easy to follow. You do not want to puzzle your donors with heavy mathematical terms or equations. Simple language is what you need. If you do make use of formulas, make sure it is clear how you arrived at the result. Make it simple- DMAS is all you need to calculate your budget.
Asking for the Wrong Amount
Just like location and theme, donors also have a set range of grant sizes they are willing to give. Requesting an amount outside that range is a mistake a major mistake done by NGOs who do not do donor research or submit the same proposal to every grant opportunity. The vast difference in the amount offered and amount asked will lead to proposal failure. You do not want to ask for a USD 2,000 when a foundation wants to give USD 10,000 or vice versa. If the amount is not mentioned in the funding opportunity announcement, do your research to find other funded projects to find their range.
Not Including the Actual Amount
At the end of the budget always mention the net amount you want from the donor. Asking specific amount always helps the donor. Do not make it a guessing game by giving a range.
For Example, give an exact amount like USD 7,000 rather than USD 5,000- USD 10,000.
Also remember to combine all subtotals, and subtract any income or additional funding sources.
Using different currency
Always check if the foundation is giving funds in Dollars, or Pounds or any other currency. It is recommended to list out amounts in the donor’s currency and also in local currency. Do not presume that the donor is going to sit and calculate the exchange rate for you. Clearly define the exchange rate and formula used. When you do use exchange rate, do not give amount with pennies or cents. The inclusion of pennies makes it difficult to understand. Calculate a round figure.
Lack of Transparency
Transparency is the ethical liability of an NGO towards its donor. Showcasing Financial transparency will help omit any skepticism. List out available funds and other sources of funding. When you list an expense, make sure it matches the market price. You may feel you can ballpark the price. Don’t. Always confirm the market price. Even if it was not your intention, you do not want to be labeled as untrustworthy.