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Comprehensive Community Initiatives, Improving the lives of youth and families through systems change, a toolkit for federal managers
How the toolkit was created What is a CCI? CCI Tools for Federal Staff
How to...
Plan a budget
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How to plan a budget: A Checklist

Use the following checklist when you create budget forms for your solicitation. Refer to it again later as you review the budgets submitted by applicants.

Essential The budget for the CCI Project, and for each site, should allocate funds to support…
  • a full-time, highly skilled, well-connected project director (Less experienced staff cost the project less but may not have standing or backing to convene executives of public and private agencies in the community.) Learn more
  • technical assistance (Set aside a minimum of 10% of the total budget — more depending on the scope of the project.) Learn more
  • evaluation (Again, set aside a minimum of 10% — more depending on the scope of the project.) Learn more
  • travel by site representatives to cross-site meetings and other locations for mentoring, information gathering, and training
  • information technology for data collection (including cross-site data), data management, and information-sharing (Funds might be used to assess, seed, or expand the IT system. Amounts should be reasonable.)
  • the participation of community members through, for example…
    • reimbursement for transportation and/or child care
    • stipends (to show that their time is valued)
    • food and drink for meetings
    • mini-grants to neighborhood organizations to help them defray the costs of staff to participate in the CCI.
  • a meeting that brings together all project participants for visioning and strategic-planning, including the cost of facilitators. (Repeat at least once a year.)
And, be sure to…
  • carefully review applicants' budgets to make certain that funds will be used to support activities that could conceivably lead to the development of collaboration or systems-change work. (Funds should not be "passed-through" to collaboration partners, for example, by sub-granting most of the funds to other agencies for client services.) Learn more
Optional If possible, budget for funds to support:
  • individuals to serve as liaisons to other agencies (Fund the time of staff to meet with other agencies.)
  • cross-agency shadowing
  • public-education and public-information programs (along with the resources to support these programs, such as websites, brochures, and publications)
  • small-scale introduction of new, evidenced-based programming
  • development and testing of unified, cross-agency tools for intake, assessment, and screening
  • further training and technical assistance to promote collaboration.
You might also want to…
  • use a "bell curve" funding strategy (Dedicate a smaller amount at the beginning to support planning and start-up, and a smaller amount at the end to promote sustainability and encourage grantees to find other sources of funding.) Learn more
  • build-in a match requirement (Although public/private partnerships are not required by the federal government, you could offer this as an option for encouraging grantees to diversify their funding - thus bolstering their chances for sustainability.)