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Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Resource Guide Collection

LSTA Direct Grants Application: Budget


Funding for these grants comes from federal LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) funds provided by the Institute of Museum of Library Services (IMLS). As such, guidelines about what can and cannot be part of your budget must adhere to federal rules and regulations.

Cost Share

A cost share is your contribution to the project. This is also referred to as a match. There are two types of matches: cash match and in-kind match. A cash match would be a contribution of direct monetary funds. An in-kind match typically refers to the time spent by individuals carrying out the project.

Projects are required to have a 10% match.


Budget Categories

There are 7 budget categories which are based on federal reporting.

  • Personnel - staff costs for time spent carrying out project activities
  • Consultants/Contracts - consulting, training, or programming
  • Travel - travel costs incurred by staff
  • Supplies - physical materials
  • Services - 3rd party services
  • Indirect Costs
  • Single Item over $5,000

Each category includes specific line items. Each line item includes a narrative section where you can give more detail about what you are doing with this purchase and why. Applicants must use these line items in their budget. See resources for the full list.



  • Speak with your consultant if you’re not sure about whether something is permissible with grant funds. Sometimes it depends on how you would be using something to know if it’s allowable.
  • Anything you cannot use grant funds for can be paid for through your cost share.
  • This is not a reimbursement grant! Funds are sent at the beginning of the project year. All funds must be spent in full by September 30.
  • Request whole dollar amounts, no cents!

This website, and other programs of the MBLC, is funded in part with funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency that fosters innovation, leadership, and a lifetime of learning.