Budgeting for an evaluation can be challenging because the cost is largely dependent on the design and the skills you have in-house. Federal granting agencies currently recommend that about 10% of your project budget be dedicated to evaluation.
When budgeting, you should consider the following:
- Staff time (salary & benefits)
- Consultant time
- Respondents time (especially if paying or offering an incentive)
- Travel costs
- Communication costs (especially for phone interviews or online survey services)
- Equipment (if audio or video taping interviews)
- Supplies (computers and software)
- Annual inflation increases (if project is for more than one year)
The Evaluation Center at Western Michigan University offers a checklist for developing and evaluating evaluation budgets. You can get a copy at Budgeting Checklist.