Most 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, as well as where any other money you need will come from.
A budget at its simplest is a table that shows where the money for a project comes from (income), what it will be spent on (expenditure), with a breakdown of the amounts on each side. All budgets must balance; that is, income and expenditure must be the same.
It is also useful to show that you have received quotes from suppliers for different services or goods, or done some other 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 types of bank accounts (often with more than one signatory to withdraw funds).
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. You may also be selling tickets for an event, or selling editions or multiples, meaning that some of your proposed income might not be fully confirmed. Find a way that suits whatever you are applying for to show this projected income clearly.
List all of the various items you need to spend money on – which may include:
- Assistant fees
- Rental of equipment or venues
- 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 Grants for the Arts
- Charitable funding
- Local council funding
- 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-kind received from a private company.
There is further information on budgets at the a-n Practical Guide on Budgets (requires log-in / membership).