Work Plan and Budget Plan

As you create your budget, be sure to include all of your expenses, including taxes and shipping charges. For example, if you need to buy computers or technology equipment for your project, remember to include labor and maintenance as indirect expenses. Many include an additional 10 percent overage to account for these added costs.

These elements are typically included in a standard budget:


  • Salary and benefits, including taxes and benefits, such as retirement and health insurance costs


  • Car mileage for gas and expenses
  • Airfare, hotel, per diem or daily meal expense, and ground transportation to attend conferences


  • Consumable
  • Equipment. Refer to the RFP for allowable major and minor technology equipment


  • Printing, postage, photocopying, and other office expenses


  • External evaluators
  • Speakers
  • Instructors

Read this article on how to plan and present a budget. Though different grant proposals may require specific budget formats, this article gives several formatting examples.

What is a Work Plan?

A work plan, sometimes called a project plan, outlines in specific detail how a project will be conducted, who will work on which part, and when and in what order each part will be accomplished (Perelman, Barrett, & Para, 2001).

Work plans, often shown as Gantt charts, show all the tasks involved in a project, who is responsible for each task, and when the tasks will be completed.


What Types of a Work Plan and its Elements?

There are several types of work plan: a weekly work plan, a monthly work plan, and an annual work plan.

  • A weekly work plan is a short-time work plan for a one-week duration. This work plan is normally done by a team member. It is used when small scale activities need to be monitored closely.

  • A monthly work plan is a one-month basis work plan which is normally used at a team level or at a project level. A team member can do a monthly work plan, and the project coordinator or manager will consolidate all of them in order to form a team or a project monthly work plan.

  • An annual work plan is a work plan that is used at a project level or at an organizational level. At a project level, it looks at all activities and resources that a project needs for a period of one year. At an organizational level, it combines all projects and resources that the organization needs for a period of one year.

    An annual work plan is a detailed plan of activities to achieve a specific set of results during a particular year. A well prepared annual work plan provides a clear plan of action that links resources, activities, and responsibilities to results. It should identify who does what, why, when, how, where, and with what resources.

    When you prepare an annual work plan, it is essential to involve project management, program support, and relevant project stakeholders as you determine what needs to be implemented during the year, the time frame, and the cost involved. The produced work plan should indicate the principle activities that will be carried out during the fiscal year, with a timeline or schedule for execution.

    In some organizations, an annual work plan also includes expected results and planned budget. An annual work plan can be as complex as or as simple as the organization wants it to be. It is created in order to oversee planned activities, expected results, the allocation of human and financial resources, all of which have to be carried out or achieved within a limited time frame.

Whether it is a weekly or monthly or annual work plan, an organization should have agreed on a work plan template, so that different work plans across the organization can be consolidated, and be easily understood by all staff members.

Most work plans for a project include the following elements:

  • A short description of the project's objective.

  • A list of personnel participating in the project.

  • A breakdown of the project into specific tasks, with indications of which tasks are dependent upon the completion of others.

  • A schedule indicating when each task will be started and when it will be completed and who will perform it; this information may be represented as an annotated bar chart.


Benefits of a Work Plan

A work plan provides the following benefits:

  • Define required resources in terms of persons and time: who are required to do the tasks or activities, how many persons or team members are needed, how much time is needed, or can be allocated.

  • Define roles and responsibilities: who is doing which tasks and therefore s/he is responsible for their tasks.

  • Clarify expectations: which results can be expected and from whom.

  • It can be used as a monitoring tool to check whether the project is on-track, once it is started.


Examples of Different Work Plan Formats

We will look at various examples of different work plan formats. Firstly, however, in doing or designing a work plan, we need to:

  • Use identified activities, possibly with purpose or outcome, from the Logframe in order to plan what will be carried out and the time frame of the project.

  • Arrange identified activities and the time frame in the format of a Gantt chart by using MS Excel or MS Project.

Example 1
: "Improve the Quality of River Water" from Logframe session.

  • List main and sub-activities to be carried out and set corresponding the time frame.

Example of an Annual Work Plan

Example 2:
 An annual work plan listing activities a team must carry out from January to December in 2016 of Capacity Development Project:

  • Accompany by each activity is the number of days that a team member has in order to complete their assigned activities.

  • An activity can be jointly implemented by different team members and is assigned to a lead person who has the overall responsibility.

  • By listing the number of days, this annual work plan presents also the total workload of all team members in a year.

Example 2 of an Annual Work Plan

Example 3:
 This example presents a work plan in multiple years. Each task has an assigned person and can be tracked as not started, or in progress, or complete, or overdue.

Example 3 of an Annual Work Plan


What is a Budget Plan?

A budget plan is a document that outlines planned and estimated expenditures of a project for a specific period of time. In some cases, a budget plan can include money that the organization expects to generate, which is listed as "expected incomes". This is important for organizations that have income generation activities from providing services such as health or restaurant, or from selling handcrafts or agricultural products. In this case, the budget plan will also show how much an organization estimates to generate, and how much is needed to cover all expenses in order to carry out the planned activities within a period of time (FundForNGOs, 2011)).

The budget plan is also a principle document that the project team needs to use at the project implementation phase before making actual expenditures as they have to check whether the items were included in the budget and for which amount. A budget plan normally reflects on project activities and resources required in order to implement a project. A proper and well-planned budget is required to convince a project donor when you need to request their funding.

How to Develop a Budget Plan?

There are some points to consider when starting to develop a budget plan:

  • It should be developed upon a certain base. In most cases, the basis should be the previous year's budget plan with updated costs and items for the current year.

  • It is a joint, team work. If you are a project manager, you will need to develop a budget plan at least with a financial officer who can provide you with updated information that you need and who can ensure that it also complies with internal financial policy if one exists. If your project is jointly implemented with other partners, you will need to develop a budget plan with their consultation.

Types of costs that can be included in a budget plan:

  • Core or Administrative Costs: they are costs occurring towards the operational expenses of the organization, which include administration staff, office rental, stationery, utilities, and other office maintenance expenses.

  • Project Costs: they are expenses that have to be met in order to implement activities of a project. For example, organizing a village meeting, conducting training or workshops, policy lobbying and meetings, radio talk shows, conducting awareness campaigns, publishing research findings, materials or equipment that need to be bought for a project, and so on.

In case of applying for a grant from a donor, you will need to check their budget guidelines, and correctly follow their budget plan template or format, in order to know:

  • The total amount of funding that can be asked.

  • The duration of the funding: on one year or multiple-year basis.

  • What items and costs can be or cannot be included?

  • The maximum percentage or ceiling amount that you can ask for administrative or core costs and project costs.

After considering the above points, in order to develop an actual budget plan, there is a need to check if "inputs" information is included in the Logframe matrix or not. If it is included, it would indicate at least some main costs and their items. The activities listed in the Logframe or in a work plan are needed to use as items in the budget plan.

Example 1: "Reduced infant and maternal mortality rates" from the Logframe or work plan, the activities of which will be used to develop a brief budget plan as in the following:

  • The budget plan contains two main costs: administrative costs and project costs.

  • Items: lists all items on which the project needs to spend.

  • The unit: elaborates type of item which can be person, month, or days.

  • Frequency per year: explains how often a payment must be made for an item in one year.

  • Shared %: this project can ask for 20% of cost-sharing for administration while items under the project costs can be covered until up to 100%.

Example of a Budget Plan

Example 2:
 The following example shows a brief budget plan of Capacity Development Project for 2016:

  • The budget plan contains two main costs: administrative costs and project costs.

  • Items: lists all items on which the project needs to spend.

  • The unit: elaborates type of item which can be person, month, or days.

  • Frequency per year: explains how often a payment must be made for an item in one year.

  • Shared %: this project has 25% shared cost for administration while items under the project costs can be covered until up to 100%.

Example 2 of a Budget Plan


Source: Center for Civil Society and Nonprofit Management,
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Last modified: Monday, October 12, 2020, 5:54 PM