Funding Proposal

What is in this guide?

This guide will look at fundraising from donors, business or government. It contains the following sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. What goes in a proposal / plan?

2.1 Cover Page
2.2 Executive Summary
2.3 Organisational Overview
2.4 Project details
2.5 Appendices and supporting documentation

  1. Building a good relationships with Funders

  1. Introduction

Most community organisations and projects depend on donor or government funding. In this section we look at a simple way of writing a proposal or business plan for an organisation that wants to apply for funds or for contracts to do certain work. All funding proposals or business plans should be based on an organisation or project’s strategic plan.  Before you start you must be clear about the following:

  1. Be clear about the goals and purpose of the organisation and the specific objectives of the project – funding proposal must be based on strategic plan.
  2. What exact service you will provide – who is the target group/beneficiaries;
  3. What activities do you need to implement and what resources do you need

A proposal is a written way of communicating. You may not have a chance to explain anything to the reader so you must be sure you are communicating well and clearly. Most decision-makers who read proposals see hundreds of similar documents. They will want a professional looking document that is easy and quick to read. Make sure the most important things are visible and do not send proposals that are 50 pages long. You can always rather put extra information in the supporting documents at the end of a proposal.

  1. What goes in a proposal / plan?

There are three main things that must go into any proposal:

  1. Description of organisation;
  2. Management information and Constitution;
  3. Overview of how the project will be implemented.

You should always write proposals on computer and save them so that you can re-use parts of them for other proposals. For example items 1 and 2 above will stay the same for all proposals for an organisation. Proposals and business plans must be organised in a logical way.

Here is a simple structure you can follow:

2.1 Cover Page

The cover page should contain the title, business name, date of the proposal, business address and contact details.

2.2 Executive Summary

This is the most important part of the proposal – it has to catch the attention of the donor.  The summary is an overview of the entire plan and helps decision-makers to quickly get an overview of your proposal so they can see if they are interested. Therefore, although it is at the beginning of the document, it is usually written last to capture the essence of the plan. The summary stands alone and should not refer to other parts of your document. The executive summary should emphasise the purpose and objectives of the project.

3. Organisational Overview

Write an organisational or project profile, including the following:

2.4 Project details

Aims and objectives:

Implementation plan:

2.5 Appendices and supporting documentation

Remember to add in any relevant documents that will support your proposal. For example:

  • Building a good relationships with Funders

  • It is very important for fundraisers to understand the programmes and projects of the organisation and the benefits that the community will get from these. Make sure that you know details about the project and success stories and that you have things such as photographs, videos and newspaper articles to share with funders. It is vital to be enthusiastic and positive about your work if you want to inspire funders to support you. Most funders want to know that the money that they give will be well-used and accounted for. It is very important to build a good relationship with the individual funders and to make them feel confidence in you and your organisational structures.

    There are a number of small things that you can do to make sure that your relationship with funders stays good: