• Clarity is very important in the budget. It should be clear how each cost is calculated, why it is incurred, and what funds will be used to meet this cost.  Fuzzy numbers or incomplete information decrease confidence in the organization’s ability to manage the grant.
  • Do not ask for more than necessary thinking NMHC may cut the project budget. Be resourceful and economical, demonstrate how Sponsor is leveraging resources.
  • Recruit partners. Show clear roles and responsibilities to create a stronger program together.
  • Grants are contracts. Phase project accordingly and don’t promise more than possible to deliver. 


Applicants must meet the minimum one-to-one cost sharing (aka matching contributions) requirements to be eligible to apply for a grant. Cost sharing must include cash contributions and can also include in-kind contributions. 

When filling out the budget application and the final report, these cost sharing items must be:

  • verifiable in the records of the applicant's / sponsoring organization's accounting records
  • an allowable cost based on grant guidelines outline in the Uniform Guidance

  • directly related to the execution of the project

  • itemized per unit to demonstrate the cost listed meets fair market value standards

In-kind donations to the project from the Sponsor Organization(s) or other individuals or organizations, consisting of goods, services, or volunteered time. Volunteer services should be valued at fair market value rates consistent with those ordinarily paid for similar work.

Cash contributions from the project’s Sponsor Organization(s), or individual contributors may include expenses paid meet the criteria outlined in the four bullet points above.  

  • Only universities with a federally negotiated in-direct cost share rate may incorporate in-direct costs based on the percentage defined in their previously approved rate.

  • Project income directly generated from grant supported activities or events must be logged in a way that demonstrates how it will be used to support the funding needs of the project. 
    • This income must be included and must be used to defray project costs.

  • NOTE: Cash contributions from the project’s Sponsor Organization(s) may not come from an organization’s board or board member, the project director, or any other individual who might be seen as to gain benefit by financially supporting the proposed program.



In this column there are four possible types of expenditures that NMHC can fund:

l. Services and supplies: This category includes expenditures for support for a project.  For items listed as “other,” check with NMHC staff to make sure that the service is allowable. For example, a fee for the services of a videographer may not be allowable, given the limitations on funding video production.

ll. Marketing /publicity: Include the cost of advertising, production of flyers and posters, and distribution of press releases and announcements.  Be clear about the intended audience and how they will find out about the program.  Public service announcements (PSA) can count as a cost-share item; check with the broadcaster for the market value of a PSA.

lll. Travel

Commercial travel: Commercial travel (airplane, bus, or rail) must be figured at economy or coach rate.  
All air travel paid with grant funds must be on U.S. air carriers.

 Mileage allowance: $0.655 per mile per mile (destinations and mileage must be included).

• Per diem allowance: Up to $98 per night for lodging and $59 per day for meals (Breakfast= $13 Lunch=$15 Dinner = $26 Incidentals = $5 ). NMHC will generally fund meals only if an overnight stay is required. Grant funds should only be used on the days related to the scholars presentation. Applicants may budget for higher rates for travel costs, provided the difference between NMHC and budgeted rates comes from other sources (external supporters, the Sponsoring Organization's funds or in-kind donations).  Higher rates for per diem food costs are disallowed for inclusion as in-kind contributions.

lV. Honoraria and Personnel: NMHC will pay up to $350 honoraria per individual scholar/speaker per event.NMHC will pay a $350 honoraria for the evaluator per event evaluation (with prior approval additional funding can be allocated for a professional in-depth evaluation company to be utilized.)

Funding support for staff must be able to provide documentation to confirm the following:

1) specifically provide the person's name and job title

2) provide a concise list of duties they will be completing specifically related to executing the grant funded project

NOTE: The person may not be performing tasks that are part of a funding exclusions or are unallowable in the Uniform Guidance (examples: lobbying, preparing food, managing tasks related to food, hosting fundraising events etc. etc.)

3) specify the total number of hours they will contribute paired with their rate of pay (in an hourly rate format even if they are salaried.)

 For more specifics visit the Uniform Guidance § 200.413 direct costs sections (b) and (c ).

NOTE: Budgets should not focus heavily on seeking funds just for staffing support. Please ensure funds are requested to support the project in all core areas. 

Additional staff time, additional honorarium payments for scholars and evaluators may also be reported as part of the cost sharing to meet the matching requirements.

Also for matching, in-kind donated time must be able to address the three points above and confirm the rate assigned is a fair market value rate for the tasks being performed.


If the Sponsor Organization has already met the cost sharing requirements to meet the one-to-one match, then there is the option to document additional community support for the project using the "additional community cash contributions" column. This may come in the form of donors contributing cash based support to the project such as: online donations, mailed checks, other grants, memberships fees etc. We encourage applicants to record other sources of funding being used to support the project. To document additional community cash contributions for final reporting please provide: copies of checks, deposit slips, donor letters, award letters etc.. Please pair these items with a written note of how these funds will be applied to directly support the project. 

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