December 13, 2017

Finding Matching Funds for your Grant Application

SPA’s Augusta Isley and Jackie Davis led the last colloquium in the SPA series for the fall semester on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 in the Arts and Journalism Building.

This colloquium focused on finding sources of matching funds to accompany an award from a sponsor who requires you to obtain a matching amount of money from elsewhere in order to receive their award. This requirement is otherwise referred to as costsharing.

Augusta Isley leads the colloquium.

What is Costshare?

Isley and Davis define it as, “the portion of total project costs related to a sponsored project that is not provided by the sponsor.”

This is generally in the form of a direct cost that would be charged or used to support the project. Costshare can be either a fixed amount of money, a percentage of the project costs, or the commitment of a specified level of effort, but it must be quantified.

Ball State’s Stance on When to include Costshare

  • There MUST be a reason to include costshare in a project budget.
  • When it is required by the sponsor (mandatory)
  • When it is strongly encouraged (voluntary)
    • Some sponsors want to see applicant support (buy-in)

What can be used as Costshare?

The best place to begin is to work with your proposal manager to identify sources of cost-share. They can then help you review the proposal guidelines or award terms and conditions, as it will often state what can be used in those documents. After consulting with your proposal manager, utilize the following moto, "Is it allowable, allocable, and reasonable for this project?"

Sources of Costshare
The room was packed for the
last colloquium of the semester.
  • Salaries and fringe benefits- effort
  • Graduate assistantship tuition
  • Matching grant reserve (MGR)
  • Unrecovered indirect costs (if IDC is allowable on sponsor dollars)
  • Unrecovered indirect costs on BSU costshare (if allowable by sponsor)
  • Department and college funds for supplies and travel
  • Research Incentive Accounts (RIAs)
  • Internal grant funds (ASPiRE, Provost Immersive Learning, Start-up, etc.)

What cannot be used as Costshare?
  • Federal funds are not allowed as costshare for another Federally funded project.
  • Specific costs that are included as F&A in the proposals cannot be cited as direct costshare expenditures.
  • Double counting: Costshare can only be committed and reported as costshare once ($1 = $1).
  • Costs incurred prior to and after the project period.
  • Costs that are not specifically related to the performance of the project.
  • Full costs of equipment owned by Ball State, including maintenance agreements.

Costshare Considerations

It is important to consider potential project costs at the time of budgeting. Once funds are committed, whether mandatory or voluntary, upon award they can no longer be used for anything but that project.

Documentation is key! Your grant manager must keep documentation in the grant file for mandatory and voluntary committed costshare. The department and project team will be closely involved with the documentation process.

For questions regarding costshare please feel free to reach out to Augusta Isley,, or Jackie Davis,

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