Budgeting and Forecasting

Budget Award Criteria

Each application submitted to the program must include a Detailed Location Criteria guide. This document provides the required references to demonstrate how the budget document addresses each criterion. GFOA updated the program criteria for budgets with a fiscal year beginning on or after January 1, 2021. Budgets beginning before that date will continue to use the current criteria guide. Please choose the appropriate criteria guide below depending on the beginning date of your budget.

Budget Award Criteria

Budgets with a fiscal year beginning before January 1, 2021

Download current criteria guide

Budgets with a fiscal year beginning on or after January 1, 2021

Download 2021 criteria guide

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When do governments have to start using the new criteria in their submittals to the GFOA?
    Effective for budgets with a fiscal year beginning January 1, 2021 or later
  • Why did GFOA revise the Budget Awards Criteria?
    It has been about a decade since the criteria was last revised, and many forms of budget communication are now taking place outside of the budget document.
  • How can participants and reviewers find out more about these changes?
    The GFOA is offering training on the overall criteria and on individual criterion. In addition, the revised criteria explanation description is also available on the Budget Awards home page.
  • Are there any restrictions on schools and community colleges applying?
    No restrictions. We encourage all school and community colleges to apply.