Conservation Project Budget Standards

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The essential task of grant coordination is standardization of phases, tasks, and the language used to describe costs

The Align – Grant Coordination Workgroup has been working with South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group and NOAA Restoration Center to develop a conservation project budget standard for Washington State, coordinated among grant programs. This allows a project sponsor to develop a single budget worksheet, and use it to apply to multiple grants, and to track funding allocation over the lifecycle of a project. The coordinated standards encourages grant programs to develop a shared language for phases, tasks, and deliverables. Sponsors won’t need to develop and administer an unique budget for each funding proposal and award. Instead an updated whole project budget could serve as a single tool for coordinating funding allocation among sponsors and funders. This capability is important as our projects become more expensive and complicated to meet the practical challenges of ecosystem recovery and stewardship.

We hope this standardization encourages future incremental reforms to enable large complex conservation projects. Our aim is to develop a natural resource project funding system, where diverse funding sources apply robust technical priorities, and where competitive projects get the right resources, at the right time, with a minimum of administrative cost.

The attached spreadsheet is a prototype that is ready for testing during project development in 2020. If you are developing a complex project, and you anticipate developing a portfolio of funding from multiple sources, we would be grateful if you would consider using this standard as the basis for your project budget description over time. The Grant Coordination Workgroup in collaboration with the cross-agency Continuous Improvement Initiative will be continuing to evaluate and adjust this template over time, supported by your experiences and recommendations.

Please share any thoughts or concerns over this effort with your grant program partners, or with the Continuous Improvement Team: Paul Cereghino (, Laura Rivas (, and Kathy Woodward (

2018-19 Development Documents


This effort is linked to Coordinated Investment pilot work