Voluntary committed cost share is a type of cost share provided by the non-Federal entity on a Federal grant or cooperative agreement. 

This information applies to:

All grants and cooperative agreements



Voluntary committed cost share is pledged by an applicant in anticipation of a Federal financial assistance award that, if approved, becomes a part of the total project cost of the award (see §200.83 Project cost). Voluntary committed cost share must be included in the proposed budget and adhere to allowable cost principles, and if approved by the granting Federal agency, must be reported on required financial reports and is subject to reviews and/or audits. For discretionary programs , the Federal awarding agency must explicitly announce in the notice of funding opportunity if voluntary committed cost share is included in the merit review process as a favorable criterion. Voluntary committed cost share is not expected on Federal research proposals and is not to be used as a factor during application review. 



2 CFR 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards

§200.83 Project cost.

Project cost means total allowable costs incurred under a Federal award and all required cost sharing and voluntary committed cost sharing, including third-party contributions.

[78 FR 78608, Dec. 26, 2013]

§200.99 Voluntary committed cost sharing.

Voluntary committed cost sharing means cost sharing specifically pledged on a voluntary basis in the proposal's budget or the Federal award on the part of the non-Federal entity and that becomes a binding requirement of Federal award.

[78 FR 78608, Dec. 26, 2013]

§200.306 Cost sharing or matching.

(a) Under Federal research proposals, voluntary committed cost sharing is not expected. It cannot be used as a factor during the merit review of applications or proposals, but may be considered if it is both in accordance with Federal awarding agency regulations and specified in a notice of funding opportunity. Criteria for considering voluntary committed cost sharing and any other program policy factors that may be used to determine who may receive a Federal award must be explicitly described in the notice of funding opportunity. See also §§200.414 Indirect (F&A) costs, 200.203 Notices of funding opportunities, and Appendix I to Part 200—Full Text of Notice of Funding Opportunity.

[78 FR 78608, Dec. 26, 2013, as amended at 79 FR 75883, Dec. 19, 2014]


Frequently Asked Questions

Can allowable indirect costs be used by recipients as voluntary committed cost share? 

Yes. The FWS permits recipients to use allowable indirect costs as cost share on Federal awards. In order to do this, recipients must

  1. have an approved indirect cost rate;

  2. have an FWS-approved budget (as part of the approved application) that reflects the voluntarily waived indirect costs as cost share; and,

  3. report these costs on the Federal financial report (FFR) as required in the Notice of Award (NOA). 

If a recipient charges less than their full amount of allowable indirect costs, can the unrecovered amount be used as voluntary committed cost share?

Yes.Unrecovered indirect costs  (or "waived" indirect) may be included as part of cost share with prior approval of the FWS. To be allowable, the recipient must 

  1. have an approved indirect cost rate;
  2. have an FWS-approved budget (as part of the approved application) that reflects the voluntary reduction of indirect costs as cost share;
  3. provide a written statement to the FWS from the official authorized to negotiate indirect costs on behalf of the recipient organization with the reduced rate and award(s) to which it applies; and,
  4. report these costs on the Federal financial report (FFR) as required by the Notice of Award (NOA).

The recipient must still meet the requirements at 200.306(b) in using unrecovered indirect costs as cost share. Unrecovered indirect costs may not be carried forward and recovered by the recipient in a future indirect cost rate proposal.

Can non-cash in-kind services/contributions be attributed as voluntary committed cost share?

Yes. In-kind services or contributions are non-cash third-party  contributions to a Federally-funded project and can be a type of voluntary committed cost share. 

Can Federal funds be used by a non-Federal entity as voluntary committed cost share on a Federal award?

Yes, if the Federal program providing the funding has statutory language allowing the use of those funds as cost share for other Federal financial assistance awards (§200.306(b)(5)).

Is voluntary committed cost share allowed on grants or cooperative agreements from programs with required cost share requirements?

Yes. While some FA programs in FWS have mandatory cost share requirements established by Federal statute, non-Federal entities can elect to voluntarily contribute cost share above the required cost share under the Federal program. If a non-Federal entity pledges voluntary committed cost share above what is legislatively required, they must submit it as part of the application package. If approved, it becomes a part of the total project cost and is subject to Federal cost principles, reporting requirements, and reviews/audits.


Learning Aids


Related Pages 

Third-Party In-kind Contributions