GRANT BUDGET BLUES | 1st installment: Budgets as Storytelling

Welcome to GRANT BUDGET BLUES: a blog series. For the next five months, I will dive into different aspects of Budgets for Grants. I will explain why Grant Budgets are so fascinating to me, and why they should be for you too! Why they are different from other budgets your finance team produces, why they need special care and feeding, and why you should NOT leave them for last!

1st installment: Budgets as Storytelling

Everyone loves a good story. There’s characters and setting, plot twists, conflict and conflict resolution, story lines, protagonists (your agency) and antagonists (the problem or need you address). In the story your Grant Budget tells, YOU and your funder get to be the heroes! You swoop in with a winning grant to vanquish evil and save the day!

Just as with a good story, you must start with the exposition, introduce everyone to the places and faces, and prepare the reader for upcoming events. You build action with the project or program you propose that addresses the main problem or conflict. Your budget should be a stand-alone document that describes the deep (monetary) mysteries of how your agency (our hero) will slay the dragon, step by step. Excruciatingly exciting!

The climax or turning point of the story is all the activities you undertake to solve the problem – will he or won’t he (be able to carry on without the funder’s dollars)? Your budget spells out exactly how you will solve the problem, in numbers.

In the end, your resolution is the wrap-up of the story and everything it took to result in a balanced budget and a HAPPY ENDING!

Next Month: Don’t Leave Money on the Table!

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