A good concept note must explain the entire project idea, objectives, strategies and plan of action in a clear and concise manner. Here are the key characteristics of a good concept note, and things one should keep in mind:
- Concise and Coherent: A concept note covers all the key sections of a proposal, but in a concise manner. It has to contain clear language to explain more in fewer words. Many organizations give ready-to-use templates and/ or web forms for submitting concept notes and many of these templates have a strict word (and sometimes) even character limits. One has to be mindful of these aspects while working on a concept note. Typically, a concept note can be 3 to 5 pages long.
- Clear, interesting and action-oriented language: The language is key to the quality of a concept note. Keep the language clear and action-oriented. Do not over-explain the statements, but avoid being vague. You can make use of the numbers and data from your records to make your case stronger and to show your NGO’s expertise and experience in the field. Try to keep the title and section titles attention-grabbing and make sure you include some hooks in the language.
- Articulation of synergy: Your research will inform the alignment of your proposed program with donor projects and funding priorities. Make sure this is reflected clearly and emphasized adequately in the concept note.