The best advice i can give to you before you even start writing a funding proposal is that don’t start writing a funding proposal before you have done the necessary research, thinking and planning!
The funding proposal forms the basis of your relationship with a donor. If the donor can see that it is hastily written, without careful thought and planning, the relationship may be a very short one! Rather give the impression, based on fact, that you are thorough, careful and committed to doing a good job, right from the start.
Why Write the Funding Proposal
Before you begin writing funding proposal, you need to:
- Be clear about why and for whom you are writing the proposal.
- Understand the donor for whom you are preparing it (See the sections on Choose the Donor and Know the Donor).
- Know yourself, which means being clear about your identity, knowing your strengths and weaknesses (look at the section on the SWOT Analysis), and being able to present a credible track record in areas such as financial management, project impact, technical competence and general management ability.
- Finally, you need to plan the project, which means understanding the context, setting objectives, and designing a process.
Why? For whom are you Writing the Funding Proposal?
The first question you need to ask yourself is: Why are you writing a funding proposal? The simple answer to this is that you write a funding proposal to persuade someone to give your organization or project money. The chief purpose of a funding proposal is persuasion, NOT description. So, while you will need to describe the proposed project, you need to do so in a way that will convince a donor to give you money.
There are several reasons why you may have decided that the best route to go in raising money for your project is through “selling” it to a donor. These might include:
- Large sums of money are needed;
- You have decided that it is important to “diversify” your funding base – to have more than one or a few donors who support your organization;
- The proposed project fits within a broader framework of regional or national development in which a number of donors are already involved.
Before you go ahead, be sure that requesting funds from a donor is a good route to go for this particular project. Alternatives include:
- Raising money from the community which will benefit;
- Using money which the organization has generated itself through investment or earned income.
Who are you writing the Funding Proposal for?
There are two levels at which this question can be answered:
- “Who” meaning what kind of funding agency do you have in mind?
- “Who” meaning what sort of person is likely to read it?
Who is likely to read your Funding Proposal?
Usually, there are two kinds of people who could read your funding proposal:
- The decision-maker who will make the final decision, based on your proposal. Sometimes there may be more than one decision-maker, with someone at a project officer level making the initial decision to support the proposal and someone at a more senior level, or a committee, making the final decision.
- A technical expert who will assess the technical competence of the proposal and write a report to the decision-maker(s) but not make the decision.
This should tell you that your funding proposal must be:
- Persuasive; and
- Technically detailed and correct.
In the section dealing with The Proposal, we suggest that, in order to keep the body of the proposal a reasonable length, you include the technical detail as one of the appendices.
Call/Text Dan 0722 281679 for a Do It Yourself (DIY) template that will assist you do your Funding Proposal in a Day!