Project budgets

Many applications will ask for a budget at some time during the process.  It is important that your budget remains within the guideline amounts provided and clearly shows how any monies provided will be spent.

It is also useful to show that you have received quotes or done some preliminary research to show where you got your figures from.  Funders disbursing public funds will be particularly alert to any misuse of the funds they provide and may ask for extra safeguards to be in place, such as particular bank accounts or levels of signatories to those accounts.

To be complete, every budget should show both income and expenditure.  The monies you are applying for from this funder may only be a part of the funding you are applying for, and it will undoubtedly strengthen your application if you can show other funding is in place before you apply.

List all of the various items you need to spend money on - which may include:

  • Materials
  • Assistants
  • Rental of equipment or venues
  • Travel
  • Publicity, marketing, printing or websites
  • Your fee (which you should decide depending on the time the work will take and how much work is involved) - a guide to thinking about artists fees is on this website.
  • An optional 10% 'contingency', listed as such, as the last item on the budget.  This allows for a limited overspend should you need it.
  • Any other materials or other costs specific to your project.

Also list all of the sources for funding or income that you have received or are applying for, and what stage of the application process you are at:

  • Public funding - such as Arts Council England
  • Charitable funding
  • Local council funding, or support in kind (such as someone at the council working with you on your project)
  • A contribution from yourself
  • The time you will devote to the project with no pay, if applicable - calculate what you would be paid and show this as support for the project
  • Any support - in materials or cash - received from a private company.

There is further information on budgets at the a-n Practical Guide on Budgets.

This article is from the Artlaw Archive of Henry Lydiate's columns published in Art Monthly since 1976, and may contain out of date material.
The article is for information only, and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.
Readers should consult a solicitor for legal advice on specific matters. Artists can get free online legal information from Artquest.