ATTACHMENT 7: Detailed Budget Instructions for Cost Reimbursement Grants
(eGrants Budget Section)
Refer to Volunteer Iowa Budget Tips on Budget Categorization and Budget Development in the Applicant Guide and FAQs as additional resources. While only cost reimbursement grantees must submit a detailed budget, many of the requirements listed here still apply to Fixed Amount Grants. Applicants for Fixed Amount Grants refer to Detailed Budget Instructions for Fixed Amount Grants including notes on budget requirements that also apply to their programs.
Section I. Program Operating Costs
Complete Section I, Program Operating Costs, of the Budget Worksheet by entering the “Total Amount” ,”CNCS Share,” and “Grantee Share” columns in the budget Parts A-I, for Year 1 of the grant, as follows below. CNCS = AmeriCorps
A. Personnel Expenses
Under “Position/Title Description,” list each staff position separately and provide salary and percentage of effort as percentage of FTE devoted to this award. Each staff person’s role listed in the budget must be described in the application narrative and each staff person mentioned in the narrative must be listed in the budget as either CNCS or Grantee share. Because the purpose of this grant is to enable and stimulate volunteer community service, do not include the value of direct community service performed by volunteers. However, you may include the value of volunteer services contributed to the organization for organizational functions such as accounting, audit work, or training of staff and AmeriCorps members.
Volunteer Iowa guidance: Because this section is for sponsor organization personnel, only include individuals who are employed by the applicant organization. Host site supervisors or staff who are employed by partner agencies assisting with the grant should be listed in the contractual and consultant services section (F).
B. Personnel Fringe Benefits
Under “Purpose/Description,” identify the types of fringe benefits to be covered and the costs of benefit(s) for each staff position. Allowable fringe benefits typically include FICA, Worker’s Compensation, Retirement, SUTA, Health and Life Insurance, IRA, and 401K. You may provide a calculation for total benefits as a percentage of the salaries to which they apply or list each benefit as a separate item. If a fringe benefit amount is over 30%, please list covered items separately and justify the high cost. Holidays, leave, and other similar vacation benefits are not included in the fringe benefit rates, but are absorbed into the personnel expenses (salary) budget line item.
C. 1. Staff Travel
Describe the purpose for which program staff will travel. Provide a calculation that includes itemized costs for airfare, transportation, lodging, per diem, and other travel-related expenses multiplied by the number of trips/staff. Where applicable, identify the current standard reimbursement rate(s) of the organization for mileage, daily per diem, and similar supporting information. Reimbursement should not exceed the federal mileage rate unless a result of applicant policy and justified in the budget narrative. Only domestic travel is allowable.
Volunteer Iowa Requirements: Volunteer Iowa requires applicants to budget a minimum of $1250 for program travel expenses to attend Volunteer Iowa-sponsored or endorsed training events. Over the course of the program year, organizations will be expected to send at least one staff member to the following trainings: Volunteer Iowa new Program Director training (for new programs/new staff only, in Iowa in advance of the new program year), Volunteer Iowa program launch training (in Iowa in the first few months of the program year), a regional National Service Training Conference (in the spring/summer with most to attend in the North Central region), and sometimes to a mid-year Innovation Exchange-Volunteer Iowa Program training (in Iowa). Other trainings may be offered or required throughout the program year, based on AmeriCorps monitoring and feedback. For easy identification, each line item pertaining to required state travel should be a separate line item in the application budget, labeled as “Volunteer Iowa required training- specific training name.” Please itemize the costs.
For example, for two staff members will attend the Annual AmeriCorps Program Launch in Des Moines:
Volunteer Iowa required training- Annual AmeriCorps Program Launch= 200 miles round trip @ $0.535/mile + 2 staff X (1 day) $100 lodging + (2 days) $35 per diem = $447
The line item for AmeriCorps/CNCS-sponsored trainings is intended for staff of National Direct programs to attend the AmeriCorps Symposium and does NOT apply to Iowa programs. In some years AmeriCorps has offered other trainings open to state-level programs; if that occurs in 2023-2024 programs may request to use funds budgeted in this section to attend those trainings.
C. 2. Member Travel (not applicable for planning grants)
Describe the purpose for which members will travel. Provide a calculation that includes itemized costs for airfare, transportation, lodging, per diem, and other related expenses for members to travel outside their service location or between sites. Costs associated with local travel, such as bus passes to local sites, mileage reimbursement for use of car, etc., should be included in this budget category. Where applicable, identify the current standard reimbursement rate(s) of the organization for mileage, daily per diem, and similar supporting information.
Volunteer Iowa Guidance: Volunteer Iowa suggests programs budget for member travel to potential in-person trainings including those that may be offered by the Program Council.
D. Equipment (not applicable for planning grants)
Equipment is defined as tangible, non-expendable personal property having a useful life of more than one year AND an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit (including accessories, attachments, and modifications). Any items that do not meet this definition should be entered in E. Supplies below. Purchases of equipment are limited to 10% of the total AMERICORPS/CNCS funds requested. If applicable, show the unit cost and number of units you are requesting. Provide a brief justification for the purchase of the equipment under Item/Purpose.
AmeriCorps members must wear an AmeriCorps logo on a daily basis – preferably clothing with the AmeriCorps logo. The item with the AmeriCorps logo is a required budget expense. Please include the cost of the item with the AmeriCorps logo in your budget or explain how your program will be providing the item to AmeriCorps members without using grant funds. Grantees may add the AmeriCorps logo to their own local program uniform items using federal funds. Please note that your program will be using the AmeriCorps logo in the budget description.
Include the amount of funds to purchase consumable supplies and materials, including member service gear and equipment that does not fit the definition above. You must individually list any single item costing $1,000 or more. Except for safety equipment, grantees may only charge the cost of member service gear to the federal share if it includes the AmeriCorps logo. All safety gear may be charged to the federal share, regardless of whether it includes the AmeriCorps logo. All other service gear must be purchased with non-CNCS funds.
F. Contractual and Consultant Services
Include costs for consultants related to the project’s operations, except training or evaluation consultants, who will be listed in Sections G. and H., below. There is not a maximum daily rate. Itemize each contract or consultant and provide a brief justification of the need for each. The cost calculation should provide a basis for determining the cost, such as a daily or hourly rate. Note that there is no maximum daily rate.
G. 1. Staff Training
Include the costs associated with training staff on project requirements and training to enhance the skills staff need for effective project implementation, i.e., project or financial management, team building, etc. If using a consultant(s) for training, indicate the estimated daily rate. There is not a maximum daily rate.
Volunteer Iowa Guidance: Programs are reminded that an AmeriCorps Program Council was recently developed to provide networking and professional development opportunities to program staff. The Council may also work to offer cross-program member trainings (see more in the Member Training section). Programs wishing to participate in the council are suggested to budget costs for council membership.
G. 2. Member Training (not applicable for planning grants)
Include the costs associated with member training to support them in carrying out their service activities. You may also use this section to request funds to support training in Life after AmeriCorps. If using a consultant(s) for training, indicate the estimated daily rate. There is not a maximum daily rate.
Volunteer Iowa Guidance: All members must receive an orientation to the program and Life After AmeriCorps training. Volunteer Iowa encourages programs to invest in additional member training and professional development. Programs are reminded that the AmeriCorps Program Council may offer cross-program member trainings (such as the joint Life After AmeriCorps training that has been offered in recent years). Programs wishing to send members to an in-person joint council-led training are suggested to budget $50+ per member, plus mileage in the Member Travel section above.
Include costs for project evaluation activities, including additional staff time or subcontracts, use of evaluation consultants, purchase of instrumentation, and other costs specifically for this activity not budgeted in Section A Personnel Expenses. This cost does not include the daily/weekly gathering of data to assess progress toward meeting performance measures, but is a larger assessment of the impact your project is having on the community, as well as an assessment of the overall systems and project design. Indicate daily rates of consultants, where applicable.
Volunteer Iowa Guidance: Programs should note the AmeriCorps evaluation requirements listed in the Volunteer Iowa RFA, including the requirement for recompeting grantees receiving $500,000 or more in AmeriCorps funding to conduct an independent impact evaluation, and prepare their budget accordingly.
I. Other Program Operating Costs
Allowable costs in this budget category should include when applicable:
- Criminal history background checks for all members and for all employees or other individuals who receive a salary, education award, living allowance, or stipend or similar payment from the grant (federal or non-federal share). Please include the cost of the NSOPW, state check, and/or FBI check for criminal history checks for all covered positions. If funds are not budgeted, an explanation for how the costs will be covered must be noted in the budget.
- Office space rental for projects operating without an approved indirect cost rate agreement that covers office space. If space is budgeted and it is shared with other projects or activities, the costs must be equitably pro-rated and allocated between the activities or projects.
- Utilities, telephone, internet and similar expenses that are specifically used for AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps project staff, and are not part of the organization’s indirect cost allocation pool. If such expenses are budgeted and shared with other projects or activities, the costs must be equitably pro-rated and allocated between the activities or projects.
- Recognition costs for members. List each item and provide a justification in the budget narrative. Gifts and/or food in an entertainment/event setting are not allowable costs.
Volunteer Iowa Requirements/Guidance:
- State Member Management System Costs: Effective member management and timekeeping is critical for the success of any AmeriCorps State program. Applicants are required to budget $18/member for costs of participation in the state’s member management and timekeeping systems. This is a required budget item and should be labeled as a separate line item entitled, “State Member Management System Costs”. Applicants who wish to use another member management and timekeeping system may be allowed to do so, with Volunteer Iowa approval and at additional cost to account for increased Volunteer Iowa staff time required to conduct required monitoring in a separate system.
- State Support & Monitoring Fee: Volunteer Iowa will charge programs a fee to offset the costs of commission monitoring and support of the program. In 2023-2024, Volunteer Iowa will pilot a new method of calculating the State Support & Monitoring fee that is designed to better align the fee amount with the staff support provided. To determine the State Support & Monitoring fee amount to include in your budget: (a) apply the competitive ($300) or formula ($375) base fee per MSY in the budget; (b) multiply the base fee by your assigned tiered fee level (0%, 25%, or 50%), (c) add the base fee plus the tiered fee and enter this amount as a separate line item labeled State Support & Monitoring fee and showing your calculation. Ex. 10MSY* $300/MSY competitive base fee= $3000; $3000*25% tiered fee= $750; $3000+$750= $3750 State Support & Monitoring Fee.
- Programs may be charged a fee for new staff to participate in the Volunteer Iowa AmeriCorps mentoring program and/or for members to participate in statewide trainings/events.
Section II. Member Costs (not applicable for planning grants)
Member Costs are identified as “Living Allowance” and “Member Support Costs.” Your required match can be federal, state, local, or private sector funds.
A. Living Allowance
The narrative should clearly identify the number of members you are supporting by category (i.e., full-time, half-time, reduced-half-time, quarter-time, minimum-time, abbreviated-time) and the amount of living allowance they will receive, allocating appropriate portions between the AMERICORPS share (CNCS Share) and grantee share (match).
The minimum and maximum living allowance amounts are provided in the RFA.
In eGrants, enter the total number of members you are requesting in each category. Enter the average amount of the living allowance for each type of member. In addition, enter the number of members for which you are not requesting funds for a living allowance, but for which you are requesting education awards.
B. Member Support Costs
Consistent with the laws of the states where your members serve, you must provide members with the benefits described below.
- FICA. Unless exempted by the IRS, all projects must pay FICA for any member receiving a living allowance, even when AMERICORPS does not supply the living allowance. If exempted, please note in the narrative. In the first column next to FICA, indicate the number of members who will receive FICA. Calculate the FICA at 7.65% of the total amount of the living allowance.
- Health Care. You must offer or make available health care benefits to full-time members in accordance with AmeriCorps requirements. Except as stated below, you may not pay health care benefits to less-than-full-time members with AMERICORPS funds. You may choose to provide health care benefits to less-than-full-time members from other sources (i.e., non-federal) but the cost cannot be included in the budget. Less-than-full-time members who are serving in a full-time capacity for a sustained period of time (such as a full-time summer project) are eligible for health care benefits. If you budget health insurance for less-than-full-time members serving in a full-time capacity, indicate this in the budget narrative. In your budget narrative, indicate the number of members who will receive health care benefits. AMERICORPS will not pay for dependent coverage. If health care is not budgeted for all full-time members, please confirm all full-time members will have access to coverage.
- Worker’s Compensation. Iowa requires worker’s compensation for AmeriCorps members (applicants should indicate if they are self-insured for this purpose), except Education Award Only programs (EAPs). However, though EAPs are not required to pay worker’s compensation, they must obtain Occupational, Accidental, Death and Dismemberment coverage for members to cover in-service injury or accidents.
- Unemployment Insurance and Other Member Support Costs. Include any other required member support costs here. Programs are responsible for determining the requirements of state law by consulting State Commissions, legal counsel, or the applicable state agencies.
Volunteer Iowa Guidance: In Iowa, you may NOT charge the cost of unemployment insurance taxes to the grant as members are not considered eligible for state unemployment benefits. Programs should consider any additional, optional member benefits they wish to provide including mental health care through member assistance programs (such as https://www.statecommissions.org/americorps-member-assistance-program), housing, or other in-kind assistance being offered to members. This may be included here or in the Other Program Operating Costs section of the budget, as appropriate.
Section III. Administrative/Indirect Costs
Administrative costs are general or centralized expenses of the overall administration of an organization that receives AMERICORPS funds and do not include particular project costs. These costs may include administrative staff positions. For organizations that have an established indirect cost rate for federal awards, administrative costs mean those costs that are included in the organization’s indirect cost rate agreement. Such costs are generally identified with the organization’s overall operation and are further described in Office of Management and Budget Uniform Guidance.
Options for Calculating Administrative/Indirect Costs (choose either A, B, OR C)
Applicants choose one of three methods to calculate allowable administrative costs – an AMERICORPS/CNCS-fixed percentage rate method, a federally approved indirect cost rate method, or a de minimis method. Regardless of the option chosen, the AMERICORPS shareof administrative costs is limited to 5% of the total AMERICORPS funds actually expended under this grant. Do not create additional lines in this category.
A. AMERICORPS/CNCS-Fixed Percentage Method
Five/Ten Percent Fixed Administrative Costs Option
The AMERICORPS/CNCS-fixed percentage rate method allows you to charge administrative costs up to a cap without a federally approved indirect cost rate and without documentation supporting the allocation. If you choose the AMERICORPS/CNCS-fixed percentage rate method (Section IIIA in eGrants), you may charge, for administrative costs, a fixed 5% of the total of the AMERICORPSCNCS funds expended. In order to charge this fixed 5%, the grantee match for administrative costs may not exceed 10% of all direct cost expenditures.
1. To determine the maximum AMERICORPS/CNCS share for Section III: Multiply the sum of the AMERICORPS/CNCS funding shares of Sections I and II by 0.0526. This is the maximum amount you can request as Corporation share. The factor 0.0526 is used to calculate the 5% maximum amount of federal funds that may be budgeted for administrative (indirect) costs, rather than 0.0500, as a way to mathematically compensate for determining Section III costs when the total budget (Sections I + II + III) is not yet established. Enter this amount as the AMERICORPS/CNCS share for Section III A.
2. To determine the Grantee share for Section III: Multiply the total (both AMERICORPS/CNCS and grantee share) of Sections I and II by 10% (0.10) and enter this amount as the grantee share for Section III A.
3. Enter the sum of the AMERICORPS/CNCS and grantee shares under Total Amount.
The Volunteer Iowa commission will not retain any share of the 5% of federal funds available to programs for administrative costs.
B. Federally Approved Indirect Cost Rate
If you have a federally approved indirect cost rate, this method must be used and the rate will constitute documentation of your administrative costs, not to exceed the 5% maximum federal share payable by AMERICORPS. Specify the Cost Type for which your organization has current documentation on file, i.e., Provisional, Predetermined, Fixed, or Final indirect cost rate. Supply your approved IDC rate (percentage) and the base upon which this rate is calculated (direct salaries, salaries and fringe benefits, etc.). AMERICORPS does not restrict the overall indirect cost rate claimed. It is at your discretion whether or not to claim your entire IDC rate to calculate administrative costs. If you choose to claim a lower rate, please include this rate in the Rate Claimed field.
1. Determine the base amount of direct costs to which you will apply the IDC rate, including both the AMERICORPS/CNCS and Grantee shares, as prescribed by your established rate agreement (i.e., based on salaries and benefits, total direct costs, or other). Then multiply the appropriate direct costs by the rate being claimed. This will determine the total amount of indirect costs allowable under the grant.
2. To determine the AMERICORPS share: Multiply the sum of the AMERICORPS/CNCS funding share in Sections I and II by 0.0526. This is the maximum amount you can claim as the AMERICORPS/CNCS share of indirect costs.
The Volunteer Iowa commission will not retain any share of the 5% of federal funds available to programs for administrative costs.
3. To determine the Grantee share: Subtract the amount calculated in step 2 (the AMERICORPS/CNCS administrative share) from the amount calculated in step 1 (the Indirect Cost total). This is the amount the applicant can claim as grantee share for administrative costs.
C. De Minimis Rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs
Organizations who have never, at any point in time, held a federally negotiated indirect cost rate (except for those non-Federal entities described in Appendix VII to Part 200—States and Local Government and Indian Tribe Indirect Cost Proposals, paragraph (d)(1)(B)) and who receive less than $35 million in direct federal funding, may indefinitely use a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC). Additional information regarding what is included in MTDC and use of this option can be found at 2 CFR 200.414(f) and 200.68. If this option is elected, it must be used consistently across all federal awards.
Source of Funds
In the “Source of Funds” field that appears at the end of Budget Section III, enter a brief description of the match. Identify each match source separately. Identify if the match is secured or proposed by labeling it as such in the narrative. Include dollar amount, the match classification (cash or in-kind), and the source type (Private, State/Local, or Federal) for your entire match. Define all acronyms the first time they are used. The total amount of Source of Match should equal the Grantee Share amount in the budget narrative exactly.
Note: the value of the Segal Education Awards that members earn for their service is not identified in the budget. Also, the childcare reimbursement provided to eligible members is not included in the budget.