Contributing a portion of the salaries, fringe benefits, and applicable indirect costs can usually provide the cost share. The cost share may also be made by the contribution of other direct cost items such as supplies, printing and duplicating, or travel. If these types of items are used for matching, adequate documentation must be available for audit purposes.
In order to include an item as cost sharing it must be:
All cost share must be approved at the time of proposal submission. It is required that the availability and commitment of funds to be used for the match be documented in writing by a person in the submitting unit who has authority to do so. Approval can be obtained by entering the information on the proposal development form. All third party matches (those to be made by funds from outside the University) must also be documented in writing.
In-kind contributions, that is, contributions of goods or services by third parties (parties other than the grantor or grantee) in lieu of dollars may also be used as a form of matching when allowed or otherwise required by the funding agency. Examples include the waiver of a consultant's normal fee, the free use of an auditorium, or the contribution of supplies that would otherwise have to be purchased from grant funds. In all cases, documentation in the form of a statement or receipt from the contributor must be obtained and kept for audit purposes. Many times a letter of support/commitment from the contributing agency needs to be submitted with the proposal.
Note: Contributions of salaries, supplies, and indirect costs by Indiana University are "cash" contributions, not "in-kind" contributions. These contributions are actually charged to some University budget and are documented for bookkeeping and audit purposes. Nevertheless, agency guidelines should be checked carefully as agency definitions and uses of the term "in-kind" vary. To be certain of the correct interpretation, check with the sponsored programs staff.