Cross-posted from the Knight News Challenge Blog Jose Zamora is a Journalism Program Associate at Knight Foundation 1. Do your research 2. Develop an accurate budget 3. Be reasonable
You have a great idea, and you want to apply to the Knight News Challenge, but you are not sure about how much money to ask for. The answer lies in how much the project will cost.
To decide how much funding to ask for you have to create a budget. And that budget should be as accurate as possible. You should take into account things like salaries, contractors, rent, utilities, travel, legal fees, marketing, etc. Include everything you are planning to do and how you will do it. Then do research and get real estimates of what each activity, salary and fee will cost.
It might also be helpful to look for other projects in the application pool and see how much they are asking for. You also could examine the budgets of organizations or individuals that are doing projects similar to the one you want to develop. That number should also help you determine how much you should ask for.
The Knight News Challenge contest does not request a line-post budget unless you are a finalist. However you need to know your general budget when you apply to be able to state the amount you are requesting. Creating a budget will be a helpful exercise. It will allow you to know how much to ask for and it will also allow you to have a budget ready in case you move forward in the contest to the phase where we do ask for a budget.
The most important thing to remember when asking for an amount for your project is to ask for an amount that is reasonable for what you are proposing to do.