In accordance OMB Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200.29, cost sharing or matching means the portion of the project not paid by Federal funds (unless otherwise authorized by federal statute).
Many granting agencies require that the costs of a grant project be shared between the sponsor and the awardee. Some programs expect the grantee to match the sponsor's resources in a specific proportion (e.g. 1:1 or 2:1, etc.). Other programs simply require evidence of some cost sharing.
To qualify as cost sharing, a cost must be verifiable from the recipient's records. The costs used may not be obtained from federal sources (unless otherwise authorized by federal statute) nor can they be costs used for match on any other grant. The cost must be allowable under OMB Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200. If cost sharing is offered and accepted, it must be tracked and reported.
Grantees may exceed the matching requirement of a grant. However, if a grantee does not contribute sufficient match, the agency support may be reduced proportionately to maintain required matching ratios. Therefore, caution must be exercised in estimating all cost share amounts.
If an agency does not require matching, you may wish to include a summary of University commitments in the project narrative without assignment of a dollar value. Any cost share offered in a grant proposal becomes a binding commitment to that agreement even if the agency did not originally require such support.