Grant proposal writing is the “Go big or go home” of the fundraising world. When successful it can regenerate entire organisations and communities. When it goes wrong you have potential lost hundreds of hours of work and investment with very little to show for it.Our experience actually shows that in some cases receiving a letter of rejection from a grant making foundation is not always the end of the road. We’ve compiled a series of actions you can take to revive your application if you receive … [Read more...] about What to do if your grant proposal is rejected?
Problems in Writing ProposalsThe following are the common problems we face while trying to write a proposal:Confused about the format?There are as many proposal formats as there are a number of donors and each donor as a different format. Although the basic information requested by various donors is generally the same, yet we often encounter snags that make the entire process confusing.Planning problems?Although a good idea exists, yet when we try to plan it out extensively, we face many … [Read more...] about What are the challenges and problems in writing proposals for raising funds for my NGO?
The COVID-19 or Coronavirus crisis has made a tremendous cross-sectoral impact across most of the countries around the world. The entire social, economic and cultural structure is gradually transforming into an unexpected reality. Poor communities have become more vulnerable to the basic issues of livelihood, hunger, housing and shelter.International and local donor agencies, corporates and governments have announced several new multi-million grant programs across different countries to address … [Read more...] about How NGOs can develop a quick Proposal Concept Note to apply for Grants to address the COVID-19 impact?
As project activities influence the budgeting of your project, it is important to gain greater clarity about them. If you know the specifications of your project activities, then budgets can be developed more easily and more frequently. We will understand this from the following example.Let us say that you, as an NGO in Nepal, are proposing a project about building the capacity of civil society leaders in the country. One of the activities you will mention under this project is:‘Organize … [Read more...] about How can I use Project Activities to prepare my project’s budget?
A concept note is the shortest expression of your project idea on a paper. It is a brief written note, giving an introduction to your project and your organization. If your NGO is seeking to raise funds for a project, then the first thing you would do is develop a short note of this project, explaining what it is and why it is required.Most donor agencies interested in providing funding support to NGOs prefer to receive an outline from them about the prospective project. As proposals are lengthy … [Read more...] about What is a Concept Note and why NGOs are required to develop it?
You can draft the proposal using this template and then customize it to suit donor guidelines. For helping you develop your proposal, suitable examples have been used to describe the content of each section. Title Page: The title page typically contains the project title, along with contact details of the organization and the donor. Remember that the title of the project should be catchy and should capture the essence of the project proposal. The project title should provide a general idea of … [Read more...] about How do I Write a Master Proposal?
A project proposal has several components such as project goals, objectives, results, strategies and activities. With so many sections, how and from where you can start the process of developing a project budget.An ideal way of starting to develop a project budget is to look at your project activities. Although the project development process requires you to go back and forth from goals, objectives to strategies and activities and back again, but once your activities are ready, then you have … [Read more...] about How can I start developing a project budget?
If you are submitting a concept note to an organization as per the call for proposals or if it is a solicited concept note, they will have their templates to be used. If not, you can use the outline and sample template given in this book. But in either case, the outline and template given in this book will help you in putting the concept together, as most of the sections are certainly to be included in a concept note. While the outline can vary depending on the type of opportunity, type of … [Read more...] about What goes into the content of a Concept Note?
Proposals are lengthy documents with various components, comprising of the background information, current situation analysis and the future projections. NGOs are expected to write every part of the proposal carefully with in-depth research, knowledge and detailed planning. In this free guide, we cover information about the various elements of a standard proposal to help NGOs apply for their grant funding.1. Cover PageA cover page is sometimes also referred to as the title page and as the name … [Read more...] about How to easily Write the Various Elements of Your Project Proposal?
While CreateYourProposal seeks to assist NGOs in developing proposals and raise funds, in no way we consider that this is your final solution to getting grants. Fundraising is a process, and there are different stages in this process that you need to complete one by one. In one of these stages, you are required to write a proposal, and CreateYourProposal only guides you in this process using the most useful tools and resources. Rest is up to you on how to use and build it. For more … [Read more...] about Will CreateYourProposal help me raise funds for my NGO?
The CreateYourProposal is a unique platform built by the fundsforNGOs team based on a decade-long fundraising experience. It offers an online database of project proposals to assist NGOs in grant writing and raising funds from donor agencies. Proposals are crucial planning documents required by donor agencies before providing funding to any project. Often NGOs in developing countries find it challenging to create strong proposals under tight deadlines. This platform seeks to empower NGOs in … [Read more...] about What is CreateYourProposal?
When looking at any proposal, the project title is the first thing the donors see. That is why a project title has to be very effective in capturing donors’ attention while also summarising the essence of the project. In addition, it has to convey the uniqueness of your project to the donor. Thus, it would be worthwhile to spend some time with your team to discuss to finalize a good project title before you submit your project proposal to the donors. Before answering your question, let us … [Read more...] about Could you please tell me what type of project titles impress donors?
As the name indicates, Unsolicited Proposals imply those proposals that are submitted to a donor without them asking for them. In other words, an unsolicited proposal is initiated by the applicant and is submitted to the donor. Just like a solicited proposal, an unsolicited proposal is also a written document and contains all the essential components of a proposal. You will have to devote the same effort and time that you would have devoted for writing a solicited proposal, the only … [Read more...] about What are Unsolicited Proposals?
In order to prepare a successful concept note, adequate and careful planning needs to be done by several teams in an NGO. Ideally, you must involve different team members, including the program team, technical resources, monitoring and evaluation team (M&E), finance team and also others as needed. You may also need to take into account inputs from your key stakeholders and experts working in the field, also the beneficiaries, local communities or the target groups. To manage the concept note … [Read more...] about Which teams must be included in a concept note preparation process?
Many funders and foundations prefer taking the first look at a concept note before asking the NGOs to submit full-fledged proposals to ensure an alignment of objectives, compliances and eligibility of the NGO submitting the concept note, before the proposal stage. This also helps them in eliminating the ones which do not fulfill their selection criteria or are not appealing enough based on the donor priorities. To find out about such opportunities where ‘Calls for Concepts’ or ‘Calls for Concept … [Read more...] about When should I submit a concept note to a funder?
Before developing your program idea into a concept note, it is worthwhile to invest time and energy into conducting proper research. Research plays an important role in enriching your concept note and brings depth to your writing too. Typically, you might need to put in some research on the following aspects: Needs assessment: It would mean using primary and secondary research to build the context, to define the problem and to establish the need for the solution that your program is … [Read more...] about How to research ideas before preparing a concept note?
Include a budget in your concept note only if required by the donor at this stage. You will need to conduct detailed background research and in-depth analysis of the inputs and resources required to implement the program activities to gauge the costs. If including a budget as per the donor template or your own, always add the word ‘tentative’ or ‘preliminary’ to the budget at this stage, as many additional costs may come into the picture or many might be modified at the later stages of detailing … [Read more...] about Should I include a project budget in my concept note?
Your concept note must be simple, clear and concise. It must not be overwhelming for the donor with loads of details, but at the same time, it must display clarity and coherence in the idea and all the sections. Use technical language when needed, but avoid using complicated language and jargon. The language must be easily understood by the person reading your concept note. Pay attention to detail as this concept note is going to create your first impression in the donor’s mind. Make sure you … [Read more...] about What should be the writing style of a concept note? Any tips around formatting?
Aside from paying attention to a solid project design, crisp and well-articulated sections and meeting the eligibility and application criteria, some ‘nice to have’ additional detailing and fine-tuning of your concept note ideas can be the cherry on the top. To enrich your concept, you can include the ‘soft’ and long-term aspects of the impact your program can have. Some examples are: gender inclusion, capacity building, inclusion and customizing as per the local context, ensuring a long-term … [Read more...] about What additional elements can make my concept note stand out?
Here is a brief template with section and subsection headings that one can use for preparing a concept note if a template is not already provided by the donor. The outline can vary depending on the type of opportunity, type of format or template, type of the project to be described, and so on, and this is a general outline that may be used as it is or by picking the most relevant points: Title of the project; Project or Program Summary; Organization Profile; Background or Problem … [Read more...] about What are the contents of a concept note?
The various types of concept note submission opportunities for NGOs are: ‘Calls for Concept Notes’ opportunities: Many donor agencies solicit concept notes on a periodic basis which can be semi-annual, annual, etc. Most of them publish the ‘Call for Concept Notes’ on their websites, other web-portals, their regular publications, and sometimes in the print media. These are open to NGOs based on the qualifying criteria. Some examples of such organizations are USAID, European Commission, … [Read more...] about What are the various types of concept note submission opportunities for NGOs?
A concept note must cover the following key elements: It must convince the donor that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Second, it must describe the solution for the problem that you are proposing. Lastly, your concept note needs to demonstrate your ability and credibility as an organization to solve this particular problem by implementing your solution. The structure and templates for a concept note must ensure these three basic elements are covered in it. To this end, in … [Read more...] about What are the key elements of a concept note?
Essentially, a concept note is a summarized version of a project proposal and must include a brief description of the project goal/s, objectives and overall approach or strategies to be followed to achieve the stated goal and objectives. It must display an outline or framework of the development program that you are seeking funds for. It must be kept in mind that your concept note is the first opportunity to make the first impression on a donor. The preparation and submission of a concept … [Read more...] about What is a concept note? and how long should a concept note be?
If you are an early riser when it comes to a submission deadline, congratulations. You have enough time to enrich your project proposal, and you can go for a deep-diving brainstorming session with your team to come up with innovative and creative project titles. It should be noted that if the application deadline is approaching and you have very little time on your hands, it is fine to do with a good title that fulfills the first two qualities among the ones mentioned above. However, it … [Read more...] about How can I come up with innovative and creative project titles?
Some of the prerequisites for applying to USAID for assistance grants are: Your organization’s mission and capabilities must be aligned with USAID’s proposed program and you must go through the eligibility criteria in detail based on the terms of the USAID solicitation. Read the solicitation completely and very closely. Make sure you understand the program description, expected goals, results and objectives, the kind of work and activities that will be or will not be supported, cost … [Read more...] about What are the key aspects of preparing a budget for a USAID proposal?
Here are some of the considerations and tips for preparing your application for USAID funding, or in USAID terms, preparing for a solicitation: First of all, go through the solicitation in-depth and detail: Make sure you go read the solicitation in-depth and detail and make notes of the important points. Some points to be understood well in detail would be the scope of work, evaluation criteria, and eligibility criteria. Understand the evaluation criteria of USAID: Review and … [Read more...] about What are the best practices when applying for a USAID funding opportunity?
USAID encourages a large number of applications and competition to ensure high-quality proposals and solutions. To this end, USAID issues solicitations and asks the organizations to respond to them. After this, the organizations whose response best meets the evaluation criteria outlined in the particular solicitation, get selected. However, this is not the end of the process. The various types of solicitations by USAID to assess your organizational capacities, select potential partners, and get … [Read more...] about How to apply for USAID funding? Or in USAID terms- ‘What process does responding to a solicitation involve?’
Ideally, you must begin the preparation even before the opportunity is released by USAID. To have a good shot at getting shortlisted, the proposal must be of very high quality and stands out from the competition. This can only be ensured by spending time and effort in comprehensively researching, understanding the complete process, onboarding the right staff/ consultants and so on. Many of the organizations vying for USAID grants and partnership opportunities start working at least 8-12 … [Read more...] about How and when should I start proposal preparation for a USAID funding opportunity?
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) releases a wide range of federal grant opportunities for the developing nations with the aim of furthering its objectives of saving lives, reducing poverty, strengthening democratic governance and progress; by means of humanitarian assistance and international development efforts. USAID works in over 100 countries in the areas of - Promoting Global Health, Supporting Global Stability, Providing Humanitarian Assistance, Catalyzing … [Read more...] about What are the areas of USAID funding and how and where can I find the USAID funding opportunities?