Cost Sharing (Matching)

Cost sharing is a term that describes circumstances whereby the university is not reimbursed for allowable costs of performing a project because the requested or approved budget does not cover the full costs associated with the specific project. Therefore, cost sharing (also known as matching, or in-kind contributions) represents that portion of the project costs not paid for by the sponsor. In-kind contributions may be donated time, space, equipment, etc.

Caution: The value of a third party in-kind contribution must be established and verified at the time of proposal submission and documented at the post award stages. For example when the contribution is in the form of personal services, the contributor must certify that the amount being provided as in-kind is comparable to the individual's regular rate of compensation. When in-kind contributions are other than personal services, the fair market value of the item must be established. Voluntary committed cost sharing offered in a proposal may be accepted by the sponsoring agency and become a condition of the award, thereby making it mandatory cost sharing.

Only mandatory cost sharing (matching or institutional contributions/support) should be submitted to sponsoring agencies. Mandatory cost sharing requirements are defined in a specific program, request for proposals, award document or agency guidelines. When there is mandatory cost sharing, a copy of the RFP, regulations or guidelines must be submitted with the proposal along with a written commitment from the individual authorized to commit the resources. Any mention of voluntary cost share within a proposal, facilities and resources description or budget narrative commits UWF to the resources identified as cost share even though it may not have been required by the grantor. In order to identify specific cost elements that will be used to meet cost sharing commitments, RSP requires Principal Investigators (PIs) to explain the details in a cost sharing letter or in the budget justification of the proposal.

When the university accepts an award with mandatory or voluntary committed cost sharing, the university is making an agreement with the sponsor that is subject to audit. The university is committing to provide the stated cost sharing during the period of performance of the sponsored project.

Contributions in the form of salaries or Other Personal Services (OPS) and their corresponding fringe benefits are documented via UWF’s Academic Compliance Reporting & Evaluation System or ACRES at the end of each academic term. It is imperative that the investigator initiate the action required to meet the cost sharing requirement. The responsibility for identifying other cost sharing documentation during the reporting period is at the department level. RSP is responsible for entering cost sharing data provided by the departments. RSP provides the official reporting for such cost sharing. Cost sharing documentation is subject to the same audit requirements as costs directly charged to the award.

Criteria for Cost Sharing Commitments

  • Cost sharing or matching funds must be verifiable from the university's records.
  • Third party contributions offered as cost sharing require a commitment letter on company letterhead signed by an individual who is in a position to commit the in-kind contribution. After-the-fact reporting to the university will be necessary.
  • Commitments must not be included as contributions for any other project or program.
  • Commitments are necessary and reasonable for proper and efficient accomplishment of project or program objectives.
  • Commitments are allowable and allocable under the applicable cost principles (2 CFR 200).
  • Cost sharing commitments may not be from other funds supported by the Federal Government under another award, except where authorized by Federal statute to be used for cost sharing or matching.
  • Costs are described in the approved budget and/or terms of the sponsored agreement when required by the awarding agency.
  • Cost sharing provisions of 2 CFR 200 are met.

Examples of Acceptable Cost-Sharing Items

The following are examples of some cost elements used to further project objectives:

  • Salaries of UWF faculty or staff who are paid by the university, and who devote a percentage of their compensated time to a sponsored project, without receiving reimbursement from the sponsor;
  • Fringe benefit costs associated with contributed effort as described in item 1;
  • Where the sponsor allows less than the federally approved negotiated F&A rate to be charged to the project and allows unrecovered F&A as cost sharing, the difference may be allowed as cost sharing;
  • Other direct costs, such as supplies, equipment, or travel that are paid for from non-federal funding sources;
  • Project costs financed by cash contributions by the recipient or by cash donated to the recipient by third parties;
  • Project costs represented by services and property donated by third parties (non-federal public agencies and institutions, private organizations, and individuals).
  • Cost Accounting Standards
  • UWF follows Uniform Guidance, 2 CFR 200 Cost Accounting Standards.