Clear and detailed budgeting is crucial to winning a technology grant proposal and to ensuring that the funds received are adequate to do the job.

Creating a good budget requires accounting for the obvious—hardware, software, connectivity, initial training. It also requires determining the cost of less obvious matters, such as investing in ongoing training so that staff can keep up with fast-changing computer technology, or staffing the school library for more hours or with more people if the library becomes a media center.

Grant reviewers look at a proposal to see if these additional costs have been factored in to the request, and they downgrade applicants who do not provide information on the impact of computers on peripheral costs. Since the Education Department suggests that schools devote 25 to 35 percent of their technology budget to professional development, grant reviewers are likely to judge applications against this standard (although the author notes the typical school spends about three percent of its technology budget on professional development today).

Reviewers look for budgets that:

• Are presented clearly and comprehensively;

• Are realistic but not overstated;

• Reflect the project’s design;

• Match the implementation strategy; and

• Do not ask for more overhead support than is

allowed by the program.