Waiver Request for Voluntary Cost Sharing

Use the Waiver Request for Voluntary Cost Sharing Form to detail voluntary cost sharing on a grant proposal for external funding.


“Cost sharing” (also known as “in-kind” or “contributed” costs) are project expenses that are not requested in a grant application budget but will be covered by the applicant institution in support of the proposal. Cost sharing may be either required or voluntary.

Required cost sharing - Some funding mechanisms REQUIRE an applicant organization to pay a certain amount or percentage of the total project budget. For example, a construction grant might require that the institution pay 30% of the total building expenses. Application submission is dependent on the commitment of those funds. Do not use this form for required cost sharing.

Voluntary cost sharing refers to any voluntary assumption of costs that are necessary to carry out the proposed work and will be met voluntarily by the applicant organization. If cost sharing is NOT required by the funding agency, then any expenses in a grant application that will be covered by the Department are voluntary cost sharing. For example, if an application budget of $100,000 is submitted to a grant mechanism with a $60,000 maximum award, then the Department has voluntarily agreed to cover $40,000 in meeting the costs of the proposal.

Voluntary cost sharing, often in the form of personnel effort, is “real” committed, auditable time. For example, if a key person on a proposed project is listed at 30% FTE, but only 20% of their time is included in the application budget, then the Department has agreed to cover 10% of their FTE (salary and fringe benefits) in order to allow them to commit the full 30% FTE to the proposed work. Voluntary cost sharing MUST be documented on the Waiver Request for Voluntary Cost Sharing Form before application budget review to ensure that the Department is aware of and has agreed to cover the voluntary cost commitment.

LATEST UPDATE: 02/23/2024