When planning a project, large or small, you need to draw up a budget particularly if you intend to apply for funding.

A project budget is an intelligent and practical estimate of all the likely costs and a realistic estimate of the income. The aim is to make your budget balance so that the total income estimate is the same as the total expenditure. Although you probably would like to make a small surplus, funders are unlikely to subsidise a profit.

Income is often more difficult to predict than expenditure. Here are some points that it will be useful to bear in mind as you plan:

Earned Income

Think about how many people might attend and what they would be happy to pay. Estimate likely attendance against the capacity of the venue, for example you may be able to expect 50/60% of tickets to be sold at full price.

Income – Earners

Charging stall- holders for their pitch at a fair
Charging a fee for trade stalls (up to 10% of the day’s takings) i.e. the fast food trailer or the ice cream van
Entrance fees
Participant’s fees
Programme sales
Programme advertising
Selling refreshments
A raffle

Income – Sources

Fundraising activities
Personal/Group donations
Local charitable trusts
Own reserves


Artist’s fees and expenses
Materials and equipment
Publicity and printing
Room hire
Administrative costs
A contingency – about 5% of the total

Click here for the next section on ‘Funding’

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