Cost Proposal: How to Build the Budget

Learning Opportunities


Cost Proposal: How to Build the Budget

March 15, 2018 - 8:30am to 5:00pm

Nairobi , Kenya


Shannon M. Meehan

Language: English

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HUMENTUM MEMBERS $525 $575 $630
NON-MEMBERS $630 $680 $735


This one-day workshop is designed for NGO staff who contribute to developing proposal budgets. It focuses on how to build an appropriate cost proposal as well as how to maximize cost proposal budgets with the US Government (USG). You will practice the fundamentals of building a budget, format a budget according to the Federal Standard Form 424 (Application for Federal Assistance) and learn how to communicate and justify the cost proposal to your donor. Taught in a highly participatory style, the workshop provides you with the skills you need to confidently compete for your next USG Grant or Cooperative Agreement. 

Who Should Attend

In addition to individual participants, we encourage teams of employees to attend this workshop together. Staff who will benefit include: 

  • Finance, grants, and contracts staff who play a role in proposal writing or review
  • Program staff who work on new business development
  • Business development staff

What You Will Learn

You will learn how to:

  • Manage USAID/USG expectations for cost proposals
  • Determine the necessary costs to include in a budget
  • Comply with the formatting requirements as outlined in USAID/USG Standard Form 424
  • Apply best practices for budget narratives
  • Reconcile the budget narrative to the budget calculations
CPE Credits

Participants at the workshop will earn 7.8 CPE credits and receive a certificate of attendance. The course level is Basic. The delivery method of this program is Group Live and the Field of Study is Specialized Knowledge.

InsideNGO is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:

8:30 (International)/9:00 (US)          Introductions, workshop objectives                        

                              RFA/RFP overview

                                                         Elements of a Cost Proposal

                                                                  Category Based Budget

                                                                  How to Present a Budget to US Government

                                                                  Group Exercise: Examining an RFA

10:30                                                         BREAK

                                                                  Cost Proposals: The Components

                                                                  Budget Team Role

                                                                  Building the Budget: Cost Estimation

                                                                  Unit Cost by Type

                                                                  Group Exercise: Determining Costs

12:30                                                         LUNCH

                                                                  Building the Budget: Fixed Costs

                                                                  Group Exercise: Determining Fixed Costs

                                                                  Building the Budget: Identify Costs by Activity and Time

                                                                  Group Exercise: Build the Costs

3:00                                                          BREAK

                                                                  Evaluating the Cost Proposal: Common Considerations

                                                                  The Budget Narrative

                                                                  Group Exercise: Budget Narrative

                                                                  Budget Review

                                                                  Best Practices Review


5:00                                                          Close of Day

Boma Hotel Nairobi
For reservations:
Masha Kalama

Participants are responsible for making their own hotel/lodging arrangements.

Boma Hotel Nairobi
Red Cross Road off Mombasa Road
Nairobi, Kenya

For reservations:
Email Masha Kalama <>

Please make sure you mention the InsideNGO workshop in order to qualify for the negotiated rates: $200 USD for a single, $255 USD for a double room.