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Proposal Writing Basics10.08


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Proposal Writing Basics10.08

  1. 1. Proposal Writing Basics Andrea Snyder Grants Collection Enoch Pratt Free Library [email_address] (410)396-5320
  2. 2. What We Will Learn Today <ul><li>Getting Started </li></ul><ul><li>Before Your Write </li></ul><ul><li>Writing the Proposal </li></ul><ul><li>Submitting Your Proposal </li></ul><ul><li>What Happens Next? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Getting Started
  4. 4. Planning <ul><li>IRS 501 ( c ) (3) Status </li></ul><ul><li>Project vs. General Support </li></ul><ul><li>Timing </li></ul>
  5. 5. Information Gathering <ul><li>Project Concept and Its Place in your organization </li></ul><ul><li>Project Timetable </li></ul><ul><li>Outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Budget Needs </li></ul>
  6. 6. Researching Potential Funders <ul><li>Who funds in our area of interest ? </li></ul><ul><li>Who funds in our geographic region? </li></ul><ul><li>Who will provide the type of support we need? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Before You Write
  8. 8. Organize Your Prospects <ul><li>Verify all deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>Create a spreadsheet or chart: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Donor name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deadline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Amount to be requested </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be optimistic: Leave a column for grant amount and date received </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gather contact information </li></ul>
  9. 9. Approach the Foundation or Corporation <ul><li>Read the guidelines thoroughly </li></ul><ul><li>Make initial approach via telephone </li></ul><ul><li>Call with an idea as to which of your programs might be of interest </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for a visit (if you have something to show, ask if you can meet at your office.) </li></ul><ul><li>Know the deadline date and correct contact information </li></ul>
  10. 10. What is the purpose of a proposal? <ul><li>To convince the funder </li></ul><ul><ul><li>there is a challenge in the community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>your organization has a program in place to meet the challenge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>your organization has the ability to successfully implement the solution </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Writing the Proposal
  12. 12. Five basic principles <ul><li>The proposal should be neat, clean, and easy to read </li></ul><ul><li>Write your proposal in English </li></ul><ul><li>Make it brief </li></ul><ul><li>Be positive </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid unsupported assumptions </li></ul>From: Program Planning and Writing by Norton Kiritz. Los Angeles: The Grantsmanship Center, 1980.
  13. 13. Writing Style & Tips <ul><li>Prepare an Outline </li></ul><ul><li>Give a Name to Your Project </li></ul><ul><li>Keep Narrative Clear and Simple </li></ul><ul><li>Use Action Words; Avoid Jargon </li></ul><ul><li>Revise and Edit </li></ul>
  14. 14. Proposal Contents <ul><li>Title Page & Table of Contents </li></ul><ul><li>Executive Summary </li></ul><ul><li>Statement of Need </li></ul><ul><li>Project Description </li></ul><ul><li>Budget </li></ul><ul><li>Organization Information </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Appendix & Supporting Materials </li></ul>
  15. 15. Statement of Need <ul><li>The Problem and Issues the Project Addresses </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting Facts and Statistics </li></ul>
  16. 16. Project Description <ul><li>Goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Broad, general statement of what your project will accomplish </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Objectives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>S (pecific) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>M (easurable) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A (chievable) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>R (ealistic) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>T (ime-bound) </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Project Description (cont.) <ul><li>Methods </li></ul><ul><li>Replicability </li></ul><ul><li>Staffing and Administration </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul>
  18. 18. Project Description (cont.) <ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Measure the outcome or product </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analyze the process </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Project Description (cont.) <ul><li>Sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate the long-term financial viability of the project and of your organization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the project finite? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Could it be self-sufficient? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will it be attractive to other funders? </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Budget <ul><li>Expenses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct costs: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personnel </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Non-personnel </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indirect costs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Income (Fees) </li></ul><ul><li>Budget Narrative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Notes to budget for unusual items </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Information About Your Organization <ul><li>History and Mission </li></ul><ul><li>Programs and Expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Board and Staff </li></ul>
  22. 22. Conclusion <ul><li>Final Appeal for Your Project </li></ul><ul><li>What You Will Accomplish </li></ul><ul><li>Why It’s Important </li></ul><ul><li>Who will benefit </li></ul>
  23. 23. Executive Summary <ul><li>State the Problem and Solution </li></ul><ul><li>Your Funding Requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Your Organization and Its Expertise </li></ul>
  24. 24. Appendix & Supporting Materials <ul><li>List of Board Members and Key Staff] </li></ul><ul><li>IRS 501(c)(3) Letter of Determination </li></ul><ul><li>Financial Documents </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting Materials </li></ul>
  25. 25. Packaging Your Proposal <ul><li>Cover Letter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reference Recent Contact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Request for Funding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your Proposal Package Contents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer to Meet and/or Answer Questions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Proposal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Add a title page and table of contents </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Appendix & Supporting Materials </li></ul>
  26. 26. Proposal Submission <ul><li>Follow the funder’s guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Initial contact </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Telephone call? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Letter of inquiry? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Full proposal? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Common Grant Application Form? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Funder’s own application form? </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Submitting Your Proposal What’s Next?
  28. 28. Follow-up with Foundations <ul><li>Cultivating Relationships After You Submit the Proposal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Telephone Conversations and Appointments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Board contact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep them informed </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. The Answer is YES! <ul><li>Write a Thank You Letter </li></ul><ul><li>Keep the Foundation Informed about the Project’s Progress </li></ul><ul><li>The Renewal Request </li></ul>
  30. 30. Your Proposal is Turned Down <ul><li>Don’t Take it Personally </li></ul><ul><li>Find Out Why </li></ul><ul><li>Inquire About the Prospect for Future Funding </li></ul><ul><li>Move On - Seek Out Other Prospects </li></ul>
  31. 31. Resources <ul><li>Pratt Library – Grants Collection </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Foundation Center </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Maryland Nonprofits </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  32. 32. <ul><li>Andrea Snyder </li></ul><ul><li>Enoch Pratt Free Library </li></ul><ul><li> /locations/grants </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>(410)396-5320 </li></ul>