Crafting Convincing Funding Proposals
The Eight Commandments of a Funding Proposal
It doesn't matter what anybody else says, simply no organisation needing funds from any other organisation gets away from putting together a convincing plan on the reasoning, and the where and how the requested money is eventually spend. Funders fulfilling their social responsibility still need to be transparent and accountable for the funds they give away; it is their job making sure that their shareholder's funds are invested wisely.
There are actually eight main components to making an awesome proposal package:
1. the proposal summary;
2. introduction of organization;
3. the problem statement or needs assessment;
4. project objectives;
5. project strategies or design;
6. project evaluation;
7. future funding required; and
8. the project budget.
The subsequent gives a summary of these factors.
(1) Program Outline: Summarize the Project Objectives
The proposal summary describes the proposed project and should appear at the beginning of the offer. It may be in the form of an application cover letter or perhaps an individual page, but should really be brief – no longer than 2 or 3 paragraphs.
The overview will be best when it were prepared following your proposal and how it's been developed in order to incorporate all of the key conclusion points necessary to talk through the goals and objectives of the project. It is primarily the record that results in being the key of your proposal, plus the very first impression it provides is going to be important to the success of your endeavour.
In many instances, the synopsis may be the first section of the proposal package noticed by funders, agencies or authorities or potential sponsor and could very often be the only real part of the package which is thoroughly reviewed prior to the decision. The summary is therefore unquestionably crucial to trigger funders to think about the project any further.
The applicant must opt for a fundable project that can be supported in view of the local needs. The effect of the project both during and after the project period needs to be explained. The end results of the engagement as a result of funding needs to be showcased.
(2) Program Introduce: What makes a reputable applicant?
The applicant should gather data about its organization from all obtainable options. Most proposals have to have a description of an applicant's organization to describe its past and existing operations. Some characteristics to take into account are:
- A short biography of board members and key staff members.
- The organization's objectives, philosophy, background with other funders, and then any other testimonials.
- The data ought to be connected to the goals of the funding agency, financier or investor and should establish the applicant's credibility with the relevant target group.
(3) Problem statement: Purpose of the Organization
The problem statement (or simply needs assessment) is really a vital component of the proposal that produces a clear, to the point, the problem to be addressed. The simplest way to obtain more knowledge about the issue is to undertake and document both a formal and informal needs assessment for the program in the target or even service area. The information provided ought to be both factual and directly related to the problem addressed by the proposal. Areas to document are usually:
- The purpose for creating the proposal.
- The recipients — who are they and in what way will they benefit.
- The sociable and also economic expenses being affected.
- The character of the problem (offer the maximum amount of hard evidence as possible).
- How the applicant organization came to recognize the problem is out there, and what is currently being completed in regards to the problem.
- The remaining alternatives available any time financing has been exhausted. Describe what will eventually be the remaining project as well as the imminent implications.
- Most importantly, the specific manner, company approach and budget whereby problems will most likely be fixed. Consider the resources required and how they will be used to exactly what extend.
There's a quite a bit of literature on the specific review techniques to be used.
Types of data that may be collected include: traditional, geographic, geological, physical, quantitative, factual, statistical, and also philosophical information, as well as research completed by any credible source.
(4) Program Objectives: Goals and the Desired Outcome
Program objectives and goals refer to particular activities within a funding proposal. It's important to ascertain all objectives associated with the goals to be reached, and also the techniques to be utilized to achieve the explained objectives. Consider volumes or factors quantifiable and refer to a problem statement and the results of suggested actions any time while developing a well-stated objective. The actual figures used really should be verifiable. Just remember, whenever the proposal is financed, the stated goals will most likely be utilized to assess program progress, thus be realistic. There are books on the market to guide determine and write program objectives.
(5) Program Methods and Design: A Plan of Action
The program design refers to how the project is anticipated to operate and how to remedy the stated problems. Take the following into consideration:
- The activities to occur, as well as all related resources and staffing required to run the project (inputs).
- A project chart or diagram should summarize how the different parts interrelate, where and what staff are needed, and what they're supposed to accomplish, and the kinds of facilities, transportation, and support services required (through puts).
Explain what will be carried out in step 1 and 2 above (outputs); i.e., plan measurable results. Point out the unique highlights of the proposal and why they are distinctive from all the other proposals under consideration. It may be helpful to devise a project diagram of the program design. Project staff may be required to provide evidence of the program's performance with an inspection of stated goals during either a site visit by the funding agency and or allow reviews, which may entail peer review committees.
This kind of method will assist to conceptualize both the scope and fine detail of the project. Wherever possible, explain in writing the course of action taken. One of the most economical method needs to be used that will not compromise or perhaps compromise project quality. The financial expenses relevant to performance of the project will later be points of negotiation with all the funders. When everything is not really carefully justified in writing in the proposal, the approved project will, after negotiation with the funders, not resemble the original concept.
Carefully think about the constraints of the execution, with regards to the time and money needed to put into action each section of the plan. Whenever possible, use the appendix to provide particulars, supplementary data, referrals, and information demanding in-depth analysis. These types of data, even though supportive of the proposal, when contained in the entire body of the design, could detract from the legibility. Appendices give the reader with access immediately to the details of your concept, sequence of event or conclusion is necessary.
(6) Plan the Evaluation: Product and Process Analysis
The evaluation is a must and part of the plan, which consists of two parts:
(i) Product evaluation; and
(ii) Process evaluation.
Product evaluation addresses outcomes that may be attributed to the task and its practical obstacles, as well as the extent to which the project has satisfied its planned objectives. The evaluation addresses the way the task was performed, in terms of frequency with the described course of action plus the performance of the different activities of the plan.
Most agencies, funders or investors require some kind of program evaluation to be able to reflect how and where their funds were spent. The requirements of the proposed project assessment really should be investigated thoroughly.
The original plan should already point out the amount of time needed to evaluate and a schedule for review and comment on the actual end result of evaluation. Evaluations must be designed together with the project plan, it provides more assurance if the indicators are specified early on rather than afterwards; adjustments are always possible. It is helpful to submit an evaluation design at the outset of a project for two reasons:
- An evaluation need to cater for the collection of data before and during program implementation; and also,
- if the analysis convincing evaluation cannot be prepared in the beginning, a critical review of the chosen approach might be advisable. Even if the evaluation design has to be revised during the lifetime of a project, it is much easier and cheaper to modify a genuinely good design.
Often even research is done beforehand to identify facts, indicators or relationships; mostly however a comprehensive literature review will reveal the necessary information.
Evaluation demands both control and agreement among system decision producers (if known). Above all, the funders often need a distinct evaluation design or layout, i.e. what details are important and how it must be presented. The applicant should ask specifically about these types of points.
(7) Planning for Continuation: Long-Term Project Funding
A long-term financing plan details a strategy for the continuation past the grant period, for example the accessibility to alternative resources necessary. Funders must be confident – at least in theory – that their project has the possibility to survive even without their funds. Take into account other needed expenditures if program includes acquisition of equipment in the long-term, and also maintenance and program funding of any construction activity.
(8) The Final Step: Planning the Financials and the Budget
It really is beneficial to evaluate the appropriations of potential funders over the past years to gauge their financing appetite.
However, it is best to never anticipate that all income can be grant funded and that this will be the sole support for the project. Attention ought to be given to the entire budget needs, especially, to be able to budget products which are under inflationary pressure. Restrain yourself from budgeting for inflationary prices (stay clear of cushioning budget line items), yet make an effort to forecast possible long-term increases.
Some prone budget areas are: utilities, rental associated with buildings as well as equipment, wage increases, meals, telephones, insurance policies, and travel. Consider all costs associated with leases, audits, developments, implementation and maintenance of information and accounting systems, and other long-term financial commitments.
Budget adjustments are now and again made after the award, but this is often a disastrous exercise. Double check that the program is flexible enough to address these unexpected events and that implementation, continuation and phasing-out costs can be met.
A well-prepared budget justifies virtually all expenses and is particularly consistent with the proposition's narrative explanation. Some areas requiring an assessment regarding uniformity are generally:
- the salaries in the proposal must be comparable to those of the applicant organization;
- if new staff is employed, additional office space and equipment should be taken into account, as necessary;
- if the acquisition of equipment is budgeted, it should be the brands allowed by the funder
- if additional office space is rented, the appropriate increases should be noted;
- if an indirect cost percentage applies to the proposal, the division between direct and indirect costs should be clearly stated, and should have reference to an approved budget formula; and
- if the matching of funds is needed, the contributions to the matching fund should be removed from your budget unless particularly requested.
Getting funding these days for all kinds of programme, charity, non-profit-origination or let alone a start-up is really a mission. Following the proposed steps above isn't going to guaranty any money influx, however it definitely boosts the chances of getting finances for your objectives and dreams.