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Preparing Successful Funding Proposals January 2005. Megan K. Riebe Director of Development, WSU Extension Director, Washington State 4-H Foundation. What is a Proposal?. A written document requesting funding A portrait of you and your organization A description of the problem or need

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preparing successful funding proposals january 2005

Preparing Successful Funding Proposals January 2005

Megan K. Riebe

Director of Development, WSU Extension

Director, Washington State 4-H Foundation

what is a proposal
What is a Proposal?
  • A written document requesting funding
  • A portrait of you and your organization
  • A description of the problem or need
  • A contract

A proposal is a

program representation and a plan

measure twice cut once otherwise known as pre planning
Measure Twice, Cut OnceOtherwise Known as Pre-Planning

“In baiting a mousetrap with cheese, always leave room for the mouse.”

-- Saki

know thy self attribution inscription on the oracle of apollo at delphi greece 6th century b c
Know Thy Self (Attribution: Inscription on the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi, Greece, 6th century B.C.)
  • What are the mission and strategic goals of your organization?
  • What is special or unique about your organization?
  • Who is your community/constituency and what are its characteristics?
  • How does your organization serve this community?
know thy self grasp the subject the words will follow cato the elder 234 bc 149 bc
Know Thy Self“Grasp the subject, the words will follow.” --Cato the Elder (234 BC - 149 BC)
  • Why is it important that your organization serve the community in the way it does?
  • Why should your organization be supported?
  • Who should support your organization?
know thy project
Know Thy Project

“Lack of money is no obstacle. Lack of an idea is an obstacle.”

-- Ken Hakuta

know thy project7
Know Thy Project
  • Can you write a two- or three- sentence summary of the project?
  • What is the problem you are trying to solve?
  • What is your general strategy for solving the problem?
  • Why do you need this funding to solve this problem?
  • Why is your organization the best one to do this work?
know thy project8
Know Thy Project
  • How will this project further the mission and strategic goals of your organization?
  • How will this project make a difference to the community you serve?
  • If you actually get the money, do you have the people, time, resources and motivation to carry out this project?

“Money often costs too much.”

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

writing exercise 1
Writing Exercise #1

Briefly answer the previous set of questions for your organization or project.

15-20 minutes

show me the money
Show Me the Money!!

“The use of money is all the advantage there is in having it.”

-- Benjamin Franklin

types of funding sources
Types of Funding Sources
  • Public
      • Governments – local to federal
  • Private
      • Corporations
      • Private Foundations
      • Individuals
      • Community Groups/Service Clubs
the world of philanthropic giving
The World of Philanthropic Giving

We are a giving nation: 2003 = $240 BILLION

  • Individuals
  • Corporations
  • Private Foundations
  • Bequests

QUIZ: Guess the percentages…

total giving 1962 2002

250

200

150

100

50

0

1962

1967

1972

1977

1982

1987

1992

1997

2002

Current dollars

Inflation-adjusted dollars

Inflation-adjusted dollars during recessions

TOTAL GIVING, 1962-2002

($ in Billions)

Source: AAFRC Trust for Philanthropy/Giving USA 2003

giving by foundations 1962 2002
GIVING BY FOUNDATIONS, 1962-2002
  • The Foundation Center estimated $26.90 billion for grantmaking in 2002 by independent, community, and operating foundations. This is a drop of 1.2 percent (-2.7 percent adjusted for inflation).
  • Despite the fact that 2002 was the third straight year of overall decline in stock prices—and hence of the value of endowments held by many foundations—foundation giving showed very little change from the $27.22 billion granted in 2001.
  • The Foundation Center summarized four trends important to foundation grantmaking in 2002:

1) Giving by newly active foundations brought additional resources to the field.

2) A continuing high level of new gifts and bequests from donors to existing foundations reduced losses to foundation endowments despite stock market performance.

3) Payment of commitments made after the September 11, 2001, attacks boosted overall foundation payments.

4) Many foundations made an effort to maintain stable levels of giving—or at least to limit reductions—in the face of government funding cutbacks.

Source: AAFRC Trust for Philanthropy/Giving USA 2003

giving by foundations 1962 200217

26.90

15.60

13.92

11.08

9.31

8.61

7.54

8.64

5.89

5.94

4.17

5.88

3.16

Current dollars

2.00

2.00

1.40

0.70

Inflation-adjusted dollars

1962

1967

1972

1977

1982

1987

1992

1997

2002

GIVING BY FOUNDATIONS, 1962-2002

($ in Billions)

Source: AAFRC Trust for Philanthropy/Giving USA 2003

the number of 501 c 3 organizations 1993 2002

909,574

865,096

819,008

773,934

733,790

692,524

654,186

626,225

599,575

575,690

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2002

2001

THE NUMBER OF 501(c)(3) ORGANIZATIONS, 1993-2002

Source: AAFRC Trust for Philanthropy/Giving USA 2003

the world of private foundations
The World of Private Foundations
  • Private (Family/Independent)
  • Community
  • Corporate
research
Research

“No student knows his subject: the most he knows is where and how to find out the things he does not know.”

-- Woodrow Wilson

private foundation information sources
Private Foundation Information Sources
  • Electronic Resources
  • Internet
  • Publications – Cooperating Collections
  • Periodicals
  • Networking
  • Grantor’s Guidelines
slide22
MID-COLUMBIA LIBRARYReference Department1620 South Union StreetKennewick, WA 99336(509) 783-7878

KING COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEMRedmond Regional LibraryNonprofit & Philanthropy Resource Center15990 NE 85thRedmond, WA 98052(425) 885-1861

SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARYThe Fundraising Resource Center1000 4th AveSeattle, WA 98104(206) 386-4636

SPOKANE PUBLIC LIBRARYFunding Information Center906 W. Main Ave.Spokane, WA 99201(509) 444-5300

TACOMA LIBRARYUniversity of Washington1900 Commerce St.Tacoma, WA 98403-3100(253) 692-4440

WENATCHEE VALLEY COLLEGEJohn A. Brown LibraryFunding Information Center1300 Fifth StreetWenatchee, WA 98807(509) 664-2520

what to research
What to Research
  • Commitment to Your Funding Needs
  • Geographic Limitations
  • Fields of Interest
  • Types of Support
  • Size of Awards
  • Funding History
  • Special Population Groups Funded
  • Matching or Cost Sharing Requirements
  • Application Deadlines and Procedures
  • Rules of Engagement
the initial approach
The Initial Approach
  • Personal Visit
  • Phone Call
  • Letter of Inquiry
  • Project Summary
  • Full Proposal
writing and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting
Writing (and rewriting….and rewriting….and rewriting…..)

“Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.”

-- Samuel Johnson

follow the guidelines
Follow the Guidelines!

“Traffic signals in New York are just rough guidelines.”

-- David Letterman (1947 - )

If you don’t fit their Guidelines, don’t send them a proposal!!

components of a proposal prior to the narrative
Components of a Proposal Prior to the Narrative

Letter of Transmittal

  • Accompanies the proposal document
  • Written in first person
  • Addressed to a person with title
  • Single spaced, business letter style
  • Ideally limited to one page
  • Not a summary – hands document from one person to another
components of a proposal prior to the narrative28
Components of a Proposal Prior to the Narrative

Cover Sheet

  • Data page
  • Title of project
  • Contact information
  • Dates of project activity
  • Total project cost
  • Amount requested
  • Signatures(s)
components of a proposal prior to the narrative29
Components of a Proposal Prior to the Narrative

Title Page

  • Recommend always having one
  • Four things on it:
    • Name or title of project
    • Organization it is being submitted to
    • Submitted by
    • Date of submission
components of a proposal prior to the narrative30
Components of a Proposal Prior to the Narrative

Table of Contents

  • Necessary if proposal is over 2-3 pages
  • Follow guidelines/requirements
  • List of figures
  • List of tables/graphs
  • Attachments
components of a proposal prior to the narrative31
Components of a Proposal Prior to the Narrative

Summary or Abstract

  • Begins the narrative section
  • Project dictates if it is needed
  • Keep it short and concise – ½ page
  • Summarize entire focus, don’t restate every point
  • Include amount requested
  • Gain the reader’s attention!
components of a proposal narrative section
Components of a Proposal Narrative Section

Introduction

  • Introduce organization
  • History and background
  • Mission, vision and philosophy
  • Population group served
  • Geographic area served
  • Overview of programs
  • Focus of the project
components of a proposal narrative section33
Components of a Proposal Narrative Section

Need or Problem Statement

  • Definition of the condition or situation you want to change
  • Relate needs to people
  • Make this very clear
  • Prove the need exists - support with facts/statistics
  • Leave no doubt in the reader’s mind that a real problem exists
  • Motivate the reader to read further

If the reader leaves this section without understanding the need fully and clearly, you are in trouble!

components of a proposal narrative section34
Components of a Proposal Narrative Section

Need or Problem Statement

Writing Assignment: Prepare a need statement suitable for becoming the basis for a funding request for your organization.

20 minutes writing, 10 minutes discussion

components of a proposal narrative section35
Components of a Proposal Narrative Section

Objectives

  • What we will do to meet the need or solve the problem
  • Measurable within the life of the project

Four Types:

  • Product
  • Program
  • Performance
  • Behavioral
components of a proposal narrative section36
Components of a Proposal Narrative Section

Methods or Procedures

  • How we will accomplish our objectives

Tip: Restate the need/problem in

each section to create flow

components of a proposal narrative section37
Components of a Proposal Narrative Section
  • Impact Statement
  • Rationale
  • Sustainability/Future Funding – how will you continue this work after the grant funds are gone?
components of a proposal narrative section or attachment
Components of a Proposal Narrative Section OR Attachment
  • Organizational Structure
  • Staffing Plan
  • Project Timeline & Milestones
    • PERT, GANTT
  • Facilities Description
components of a proposal narrative section or attachment39
Components of a Proposal Narrative Section OR Attachment

Evaluation

  • Formative - forward
  • Summative – looking back
  • Impact - beyond
  • Anticedent – peripheral, i.e. model programs
components of a proposal narrative section or attachment40
Components of a Proposal Narrative Section OR Attachment

Budget

  • Clear and easy to read
  • Provide justification
  • Project dictates presentation
attachments or appendices
Attachments or Appendices
  • Information you want reviewers to access, but will not distract them while reading the narrative
  • Don’t include anything you do not reference in the narrative
  • Include only information that reinforces the basic arguments contained in the narrative
commonly required attachments
Commonly Required Attachments
  • IRS 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) Letter
  • Listing of Board Members
  • Audited Financial Statements
  • Operating Budget
  • Project Budget
  • Listing of Other Funding Sources for the Project
  • Letters of Support
  • Documentation of Partnerships
writing tips
Writing Tips

Writing Exercise: Editing Proposal Content

“You become a good writer just as you become a good joiner: by planing down your sentences.”  

-- Anatole France

out the door
Out the door!!

“No more prizes for predicting rain.

Prizes only for building arks.”

-- Anonymous

proposal submission
Proposal Submission

“A professional is a person who can do his best at a time when he doesn't

particularly feel like it.”

--Alistair Cooke

follow up with the granting agency
Follow-up with the granting agency

“One ungrateful man does an injury to all who stand in need of aid.”    -- Publilius Syrus

evaluation of the process
Evaluation of the process

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

-- Rita Mae Brown

now what do i do
Now what do I do??

“I have never been lost but I was bewildered once for three days.”

-- Daniel Boone

  • Submit the same proposal idea to other agencies.
  • Develop new proposal ideas for this same agency.
final pearls of wisdom
Final Pearls of Wisdom

“Do not cast your pearls before swine.”

-- Matthew 7:6

  • People give to people – It’s all about relationships
  • Proposal development is a process
  • Make a fit between the problem and proposal
  • Be aware of differences of opinion in professional fields
  • Demonstrate competency and success
  • Be creative and positive!