Cost Effective Budget │ Guidelines and Principles

How clear is the financial plan, estimates and recognition of potential budget variances? What methods are being employed to promote cost effective implementation (i.e. volunteers, use of existing assets and resources etc)?

What are we looking for?

A well numerated, sensible and clear budget, which sets out a breakdown of the total proposed expenditure, and also any other sources of income if you are not applying for the full project cost, including matched funding, and any income generation. We are looking for a demonstration of strategic thinking to deliver value for money throughout your application in a composite and holistic measure. We are keen to encourage projects to think hard about how they can deliver their intended project outcomes in a way that is cost effective but still produces maximum benefits to participants.

This principle is assessed in the following questions:

  • 4a: Budget
  • 5d: Please explain how you will ensure a “legacy” as part of this project. How will your project outcomes be sustained after the grant period?

How can this be demonstrated?


  • Double check the final totals!
  • Give details where appropriate, e.g. hourly rate for staff, quotes for venue hire etc.
  • Are there any match funding? E.g. financial contributions or resource (in-kind match funding) through volunteering, staff time, venue hire etc.
  • Is the matched funding “confirmed match funding”? If unconfirmed, or you are relying on income generation which could be variable, please make clear how this risk will be managed in your budget and risk assessment


  • Is there scope for joined-up working to share resources with other projects, services and partners?
  • Evidence of searching actively for more cost-effective ways to implement the project, e.g. comparing multiple quotes for major capital expenditure items.
  • Match funding contributions.
  • What are the prospects for the long-term sustainability of the project? Will equipment purchased as part of this project be reused as a legacy outcome?