Chief executives' body Acevo has told charities to be less "defeatist" about full-cost recovery.
The umbrella group has published case studies of its full-cost recovery template, which aims to help charities calculate the true cost of projects when bidding for contracts.
It says that organisations that have used the template have enjoyed "a more informed dialogue with funders".
Mary Foley, Acevo's director of resources, said: "Too many charities are still apologetic or defeatist about costing their work accurately. These case studies show that a more rigorous approach reaps major benefits."
The case studies published by Acevo include BTCV, the RNID, reconciliation charity Toc H, and Vista - the Royal Leicestershire, and Wycliffe Society for the Blind.
Vista said that by using the template, it found that it was more under-funded than it thought. "We are able to demonstrate the need for more realistic funding, which has resulted in the renegotiation of more realistic fees for services," its submission reads.
According to Acevo, funders have historically "drawn an artificial and pernicious distinction between costs directly associated most closely with delivery, and those associated with management, overheads, and organisations infrastructure".
In central government, the Treasury and the Department for Education and Skills have both recommended the template as good practice.