Grants – Preparing the Budget


A vital component of every LEH grant proposal is the budget, which should be realistic in reflecting costs for the implementation of the project. The budget should reflect the cost of the entire program (including LEH funds requested, applicant’s cost share–both cash and in-kind services–and any gifts).

Download Application Budget Form (Excel Format)

Calculating LEH Outright Fund Requests

To assist in developing a budget, the best resource person will be the fiscal agent or grants officer of the sponsoring organization. Each budget should be itemized into the following categories:

Salaries: Funds in this item are used to pay the project director and/or other project staff members involved in the actual administration of the project. As a rule, the LEH prefers to use its grant funds for project activities rather than administrative overhead; thus, the limit for total salaries is 10% of the total LEH funds requested.

Honoraria: Humanities scholars participating in the project are entitled to honoraria payments in exchange for their services. Such services can take a variety of forms and the LEH’s suggested scale of payment for scholars differs with their function, as the following scale indicates:

  1. Moderator – (two to three hours) $50-$100
  2. Panelist – (two to three hours) $70 to $100
  3. Lecturer – $200 to $400
  4. Scholar – (full day/public program) $200 to $500 (scholars are usually limited to $200 (including fringe benefits) for programs on their own campuses)
  5. Scholar/Evaluator – limited to $150 to $200 for project evaluation; $100 for Outreach evaluation
  6. Nationally known Scholars – Negotiable

These figures represent guidelines and not fixed rates. Applicants can often obtain the services of scholars as in-kind contributions. A project director sometimes also serves as a scholar and his/her services should be divided between the two categories.

Consultant Fees: Reserved for non-scholarly participants (technical consultants, media production personnel, and/or exhibition designers), such fees should be based on the rate paid to scholars or the fair market value of the rendered services.

Travel: The LEH will allow only actual costs incurred for the travel of participating scholars, consultants, or project staffs. For air travel, the LEH requires the Coach Class or Super Saver fares. For ground travel, the LEH reimburses at the state rate of 50 cents per mile. For budget purposes, per diem costs should be calculated as follows:


  • In state (exceptions below) $59
  • Baton Rouge $75
  • Bossier City, Lake Charles, Shreveport $85
  • New Orleans $108


  • Breakfast: $7
  • Lunch: $10
  • Dinner: $20
  • Total: $37

During implementation, per diem is based on actual costs and should not be considered a flat rate item; the maximum LEH share of per diem is at the budgeted rate. Receipts for actual expenses are required.

Supplies and Equipment: Costs for expendable items such as stationery, audio and videotapes, or office supplies consumed during the project should be estimated. The cost of renting equipment such as slide projectors, hand-held cameras or film projectors should also be estimated. As the Restrictions section of these guidelines indicate, LEH funds cannot be used for equipment purchases except when rental costs exceed purchase costs.

Facilities: In most cases, sponsoring organizations have use of facilities at no charge. Consequently, donated facilities are a usual source of the applicant’s share of the cost of the project. However, if the request can be justified, the LEH will fund facility rental.

Printing and Publicity: Expenses for program materials such as brochures, posters or hand-outs is allowable. The itemized budget should provide a cost breakdown, which includes number of items to be produced and cost per unit (often applicants place their printing bid in the support materials). This item should include sufficient funds to provide 30 copies of all produced materials to the LEH.

Other: This category includes all other expenses for the project that do not belong in the above categories. Examples of items appearing in this line are long distance telephone, duplication or postage charges. These should be itemized and detailed.



All sponsoring organizations are required to contribute cost-share equal to or greater than the amount requested from the LEH, with the exception of Outreach Grants and President’s Discretionary Grants. The applicant’s contribution can take three forms: (1) cash, (2) in-kind services, and/or (3) gifts.

1. Cash Cost Share consists of actual monies committed to the project by the sponsor. For example, if salaried staff members are assigned to the project as part of their duties, the money used to pay their salaries during the period of the grant is considered to be a cash contribution to the project.

2. In-Kind Cost Share consists of those services, goods and/or facilities donated to the project. Examples of in-kind contributions include volunteer time, donated supplies, use of equipment, and donated office space.

Indirect Costs may be itemized as part of the applicant’s share of the cost of the project, but LEH funds cannot be used to reimburse indirect costs.

Salaries: Donated time of administrative personnel is considered to be part of the in-kind cost share and should be calculated at the rates discussed in Calculating the LEH Request, Salaries.

Honoraria: Scholars donating their services are included as in-kind contributions to the project and the value of their services should be calculated at the rates found in the previous section, Calculating the LEH Request, Honoraria.

Consultant Fees: When calculating the value of these contributions, applicants should follow the rates paid to humanities scholars or the fair market value of the services rendered.

Travel: Actual travel expenses in excess of the amounts reimbursed with LEH funds should be considered cash cost share for the project. See Calculating the LEH Request, Travel for rates and restrictions.

Supplies and Equipment: The value of donated supplies should be calculated at fair market value or, if this value is not easily discernable, a reasonable value should be placed on such donations. Equipment values should be calculated at the equipment rental.

Facilities: If building space, an auditorium or classrooms are donated for project activities, the value should be figured at the normal rental rate of these facilities. Otherwise, such contributions can be calculated at $100 to $150 per day for most large group facilities.

Printing and Publicity: If cash other than LEH funds is used for this item, list such funds under cash cost share. The value of goods donated in this category should reflect the fair market value.

Other: Actual cost for long distance telephone, duplication, postage, and the like should be included under cash cost share. This category also includes any charges for Indirect Costs. LEH funds cannot pay indirect costs; such costs always appear in the Applicant’s Cost Share. Indirect costs can be itemized by budget categories, calculated at a rate previously negotiated with a federal agency, or at approximately 20-45 percent of the LEH funds requested.

Note: Food, entertainment and liquor may NOT be used for cost share.



The following example is provided to illustrate the points described in this guide. Scenario: A parish library wishes to present a series of book discussion programs and a small exhibit about Southern writers. A local bank has informed the library that it will donate a $1,000 gift to the project. The project director is requesting $3,063 in outright LEH funds and $500 in federal matching funds.

Salaries: The project director is a volunteer. She is eligible for an LEH stipend. The services of a salaried secretary are being provided by the library. The fiscal agent is donating his time.

Honoraria: A principal scholar will assist the project director in organizing 12 discussion programs. He will conduct each session. Three of the sessions will include guest speakers. Part of the evaluation plans call for an independent scholar to assess the program.

Consultant’s Fees: An exhibit designer will be hired to mount the exhibition. Travel: The principal scholar and guest speakers live 41 miles from the site of the project. Round trip mileage has been used to calculate these expenses at the rate of 40 cents per mile.

Supplies and Equipment: Thirty copies of nine paperbacks will be needed. Two films (movies made from books) will be rented. The use of the library’s TV and VCR are donated. The books and films will be placed in library circulation following the program. Facilities: All programs will be held at the library.

Printing and Publicity: The library will produce 100 posters and mail 1,000 brochures about the series.

Other: The library will provide long distance telephone and postage costs. Indirect costs have been calculated at 20% of the combined LEH outright, gift and matching request.


Total Applicant Portion (Cost Share + Gifts) (Columns 2+3+4) = $5667

Anticipated Gift Summary: 
Gift Source: First Bank
Expected receipt date: 11/1/05
Amount: $1200

**Other Expected Income Summary:
Sales: $0
Admission Fees: $0

**LEH sponsored projects must be open to the public. In general, such fees are discouraged. If anticipated, include rationale in the budget narrative. Other Expected Income must be reflected in the Applicant Cash Cost Share of the Budget.