Making a Project or Annual Budget

Creating a budget for your next project (or your next year) can be tricky, especially when you plan on providing that information to a funder, in the hopes of securing a grant. How much is too much? How do you plan for the unexpected? And just where do you fit into the picture? Below is a helpful guide for budgeting, that you can use as a template.

Line Items for a Project or Annual Budget



Artist’s fee $ _________
You must pay yourself in your proposed budget. If you are unable to secure the income you are projecting, you can list your time as in-kind service, but funders want to see that you value your time and are working on a professional level.
Other fees $ _________
These fees are for personnel directly involved in the production and/or creation of the work. For example: co-writer, composer, researcher, producer, set designer, performers, editor and assistant. Fees for those involved with PR, legal services, documentation, etc. should be listed elsewhere, as seen below.

Production and pre-production
Studio space rental $ _________
If you are paying a fee for rehearsal space or studio space, list it here. If you are receiving use of space in-kind, list it in your income section.
Materials/Supplies $ _________
These are paint, paper, film stock, props, framing, etc. If you’re using rentals, consider listing them separately from items that must be purchased. Also remember to save receipts for tax purposes.
Administration $ _________
This includes insurance you may need to purchase, accountants, legal services or transcription. It can also include office overhead expenses such as a fax line, photocopying, Internet, etc. Royalties or licensing fees can be included here as well. If you need to, you can sub-divide Administration into a set of categories all its own. If you’re doing your own administration, account for that time and list it here. This includes what you pay yourself to put together mailings, etc.
Utilities/Telephone $ _________
Postage $ _________
FedEx, bulk mail, etc. $ _________
Equipment Rental/Purchase $ _________
Web Hosting/Website $ _________
Travel/Transportation $ _________
Airfare, car rental, taxis, lodging. You may also need to transport
materials or artwork.

Personnel $ _________
This is includes fees for a publicist, graphic designer, etc.
Materials $ _________
Materials include press kits, press photos, postcards, demo tapes,
DVDs, printing, duplicating, etc.
Documentation $ _________
If you hire a photographer or videographer to document your work for marketing, fundraising or archival purposes, be sure to budget it. Include both labor and materials.
Contingency $ _________
This is one of the items artists often forget to include. Contingency is the line item to account for the unknown. It should equal at least 10% of your hard costs (everything but your time). It covers you if airfare goes up, materials costs change, you need to hire another person or the studio space you’ve been getting for free suddenly evicts you.


Commission/Fee $ _________
Do not forget to include yourself!
Teaching/Lectures $ _________
Any fees earned from teaching, lectures or workshops in conjunction with your project.
Sales $ _________
Box office or other ticket sales, distribution sales, rights sales, sales of prints or works of art.

Foundation Grants $ _________
Individual Contributors $ _________
Don’t forget to include your own cash contribution to the project. This
may come from your day job.
Corporate Support $ _________
Government Support $ _________

In-Kind Contributions
Space $ _________
This includes a donation from a business, a residency or a space grant.
Materials/Supplies $ _________
There may be in-kind contributions that you or your collaborators are responsible for, including tools, materials, unpaid overtime, food, etc.
Surplus/(Deficit) $ _________
When submitting a budget as part of a grant application, your income and expenses will sometimes balance, leaving neither deficit nor surplus. If they do not balance, include the surplus or deficit here.

Amount Requested $ _________
The amount requested can either be folded into the Income portion of the budget, or it can be listed at the end of the budget. If you included the amount requested in its appropriate income category (Foundation, Corporate Support, etc.), your budget should be balanced. If you haven’t included the amount requested in Income, then the amount you request should match your deficit.

More Online Resources