Matching Funds Policy

Cost Share (sometimes also referred to as Matching Funds) is the portion of a project or program cost not borne by the sponsor. It is the University's share in the cost of conducting the project/program. Cost sharing occurs either when a sponsor requires, or the University commits in a proposal, funds beyond those awarded by the sponsoring agency to support a particular grant or contract.

Cost sharing may be required by federal sponsors, and the obligation must be met using non-federal funds. Only charges that would be allowable as direct costs to the award are allowable as cost sharing. Federal flow through funds may not be used as a cost sharing source unless prior written approval has been received from both the federal sponsor and the flow through sponsor.

The "cost share" pledge may be either a fixed amount of money, or a percentage of the project costs, or the commitment of a specified level of effort. The term "cost matching" often refers to cost sharing where the amount required as cost share is equal to the amount received from the sponsor. This is also known as dollar-for-dollar cost sharing or matching.

  • Mandatory: Cost sharing that the sponsor requires as a condition of the award.
    • For example, if the total cost of a project is $150,000, the sponsor might award $100,000 and require that the University provide (or find an outside source to provide) the additional $50,000 from non-federal funding sources.
    • The sponsor may require the University to provide either a fixed amount of money or a percentage of the total project costs as cost sharing.
  • Voluntary Committed: Cost sharing that the PI commits in the project proposal budget or the budget justification that is not required by the sponsor. However, if Voluntary Cost Share is committed in a proposal, the Cost Share becomes mandatory if the proposal is awarded.
    • The University discourages cost sharing commitments when not required by the sponsor.
    • The commitment is quantified as a dollar amount.

Cost Sharing guidelines

This Cost Sharing overview includes: Role and Responsibilities, Federal Requirements, Definitions, and Expenditures Not Allowed as Cost Sharing.