EnglishSubtitle: added by anonim
Introduction to Proposal Writing
1 00:00:04,0 --> 00:00:10,500 Hello and welcome to our recording of Introduction to Proposal Writing. My name is Caroline Herbert, Instructional Design Manager 2 00:00:10,500 --> 00:00:16,500 at Foundation Center.This class will provide you with an introductory overview of the proposal writing process. 3 00:00:16,500 --> 00:00:25,600 To learn more about how nonprofits are supported and how to find funding prospects, you’ll want to start with our Introduction to 4 00:00:25,600 --> 00:00:28,566 Finding Grants course. 5 00:00:28,566 --> 00:00:36,332 Today we will explore some tips and best practices on how to organize, write and submit a proposal to a foundation. 6 00:00:36,333 --> 00:00:44,199 We’ll also take a look at the most effective ways to follow up on your proposal whether the answer is “yes” or “no.” 7 00:00:44,200 --> 00:00:51,0 To begin our discussion, we will start by looking at the proposal writing process as a whole 8 00:00:51,0 --> 00:01:00,66 It’s important to know that proposal writing is part of a process that includes planning, research, writing and follow up. 9 00:01:00,66 --> 00:01:09,932 Planning is about what do you need the money for; Research will help you determine who will you approach 10 00:01:09,933 --> 00:01:18,33 Writing is how will you put your proposal together; follow up is what you will do once the decision has been made 11 00:01:18,33 --> 00:01:23,866 The thing to remember here is that you can devote a lot of time to produce a well written proposal, 12 00:01:23,866 --> 00:01:30,199 but if you send it to the “wrong” funder because you didn’t do your research, then you won’t get a grant no matter how beautiful it is! 13 00:01:30,200 --> 00:01:39,266 So all the steps in the process are important. In this class, we will focus primarily on writing the proposal and the best way to follow up 14 00:01:39,266 --> 00:01:46,266 once you have received the decision. For more discussion on research and making the initial approach, please take our Introduction to 15 00:01:46,266 --> 00:01:52,966 Finding Grants class. Let’s dive into the first step in the process: Planning 16 00:01:52,966 --> 00:02:00,232 Planning is an important first step in the proposal writing process. Grantseeking is very competitive and 17 00:02:00,233 --> 00:02:07,66 you need to be prepared when approaching funders. In getting started, you need to make sure you 18 00:02:07,66 --> 00:02:14,566 give yourself enough time to go through each step of this process so that you can end up with a competitive proposal. 19 00:02:14,566 --> 00:02:23,266 Foundation fundraising is not a “quick fix” solution--It can easily take six to nine months from the date you begin your planning and 20 00:02:23,266 --> 00:02:31,699 research, to submitting a proposal and then receiving a grant. Not only do you need time to research prospective funders 21 00:02:31,700 --> 00:02:38,866 and write your proposal, remember that once you submit the proposal to a foundation, they will have their own process of due diligence in 22 00:02:38,866 --> 00:02:49,766 reviewing the many requests they receive. Your first step is to decide what you’re asking for. What are the priorities of your organization, 23 00:02:49,766 --> 00:02:57,99 and what do you want to put in front of foundations? In your proposal you are asking for a specific amount of money for 24 00:02:57,100 --> 00:03:02,366 a specific purpose. One decision is to think about what kind of support you need— 25 00:03:02,366 --> 00:03:10,799 funding for general operations, funding for a project, or something else like building/ renovation funding or equipment. 26 00:03:10,800 --> 00:03:16,466 You’ll find more foundations wanting to support your projects or programs rather than general operating support 27 00:03:16,466 --> 00:03:26,132 (unrestricted funding for your organization), so this is an important question. Today we are going to focus on preparing a project proposal, 28 00:03:26,133 --> 00:03:33,366 though the process is often the same as for a proposal for general support. Let’s move on to the next step—Research. 29 00:03:37,366 --> 00:03:42,532 Before you start writing, you need to know as much about the funder as possible. Thorough research helps you 30 00:03:42,533 --> 00:03:50,466 to know who you're approaching and why. When we ask funders what the number one reason is why a proposal is turned down, 31 00:03:50,466 --> 00:03:59,699 they often say it’s because it wasn’t the right fit for what they were looking for. That’s why finding the right match between what you plan to do 32 00:03:59,700 --> 00:04:05,200 and the funder’s interests is critical to the success of your proposals. Our database, Foundation Directory Online, 33 00:04:05,200 --> 00:04:12,466 will help you identify funders who give to your field of interests, geographic focus and provide the type of support you’re looking for. 34 00:04:12,466 --> 00:04:20,866 To learn more about Foundation Directory Online and how to use it to find grants, please take our Introduction to Finding Grants class. 35 00:04:20,866 --> 00:04:29,466 Last but not least, remember the why is as important as the who. By that we mean that once you have identified a list of 36 00:04:29,466 --> 00:04:38,932 potential prospects you need to tell them why they should care about your particular project or program based on their specific interests. 37 00:04:38,933 --> 00:04:45,499 How will it help them to achieve their goals as well as your own? You want to emphasize how your work will help them fulfill their mission 38 00:04:46,500 --> 00:04:52,833 and priorities, through the powerful combination of your program and their resources. 39 00:04:52,833 --> 00:04:57,333 Now it’s time to move on to the main event, writing the proposal! 40 00:04:57,333 --> 00:05:05,66 Now that we’ve taken a quick look at the planning and research parts of the proposal writing process, let’s put it all together and 41 00:05:05,66 --> 00:05:09,599 talk about the components of writing an effective proposal. 42 00:05:09,600 --> 00:05:14,166 We first want to talk about what format your proposal should be in. 43 00:05:14,166 --> 00:05:22,99 Many funders are moving to online formats or they might have their own application form—or no specific format at all. 44 00:05:22,100 --> 00:05:27,833 In all cases, you always want to follow their guidelines! 45 00:05:27,833 --> 00:05:33,999 We also recommend putting together a master or “base” proposal using the format we are about to go over. 46 00:05:33,0 --> 00:05:41,266 This is a good way to think through all of the questions a funder might ask regardless of what format you will eventually need to use. 47 00:05:41,266 --> 00:05:50,99 In addition, it is very hard to write and edit your proposal in the limited space and character restrictions most online applications provide, 48 00:05:50,100 --> 00:05:56,600 so it’s helpful to have a basic template from which to cut and paste descriptions and information. 49 00:05:56,600 --> 00:06:03,233 You can start with your base proposal and then tailor each request to meet a specific funder’s guidelines and interests. 50 00:06:03,233 --> 00:06:11,299 Another thing to know about is Common Grant Application forms. This is where groups of funders in different geographic regions 51 00:06:11,300 --> 00:06:17,400 come together to create a common form that will enable you to submit the same application to multiple funders. 52 00:06:17,400 --> 00:06:24,800 We have a directory of common grant forms linked off our web site. Here’s how you find it: 53 00:06:24,800 --> 00:06:31,400 Start on our Grantspace.org web site under Tools to find the Knowledge Base of frequently asked questions. 54 00:06:31,400 --> 00:06:37,200 You can then search the Knowledge Base for “common grant application” 55 00:06:37,200 --> 00:06:41,900 At the top of the list is our FAQ on the topic… 56 00:06:41,900 --> 00:06:50,66 Which will provide links to directories by region. Even if there isn’t a common grant form used in your part of the country, I would recommend 57 00:06:50,66 --> 00:06:56,899 taking a look at some of these. It’s a great way to learn more about the kinds of questions foundations ask— 58 00:06:56,900 --> 00:07:00,66 they are remarkably similar from application to application! 59 00:07:00,66 --> 00:07:09,599 These are the basic elements of a standard proposal. You can use this format to write your base proposal. 60 00:07:09,600 --> 00:07:16,266 The first thing is the executive summary, but that is the last thing we will cover in the presentation. It really is a summary of 61 00:07:16,266 --> 00:07:25,266 the proposal, so we will review the other sections first.The narrative is the longest section of your proposal, describing 62 00:07:25,266 --> 00:07:33,866 the statement of need, the proposed project, your organizational history and background and finally, the conclusion. 63 00:07:33,866 --> 00:07:42,866 You will also need to include a budget along with other supporting materials. For more information on how to prepare a project budget, 64 00:07:42,866 --> 00:07:49,932 I would strongly recommend taking our Proposal Budgeting Basics class as the budget is a very important part of your proposal. 65 00:07:49,933 --> 00:07:56,433 We will cover what to include as supporting materials once we describe the basic elements. So let’s get started with the narrative… 66 00:07:56,433 --> 00:08:05,866 We’re framing our review of the proposal contents around this question “What do funders really want to know?” 67 00:08:05,866 --> 00:08:13,999 In order to write an effective proposal you must be able to make a compelling case for support. A grant is an investment of the funder’s 68 00:08:13,0 --> 00:08:21,766 resources, and they will look for assurances that you will be able to deliver on your promises. With that in mind, here are the questions 69 00:08:21,766 --> 00:08:28,266 funders have about your project: What specific need are you addressing? What are you trying to achieve? 70 00:08:28,266 --> 00:08:37,99 What is your strategy for making this happen? How will you know if you are successful? Why are you the best organization to do this work? 71 00:08:37,100 --> 00:08:44,766 How will this project sustain itself in the long run? We will look at each of these questions individually. 72 00:08:44,766 --> 00:08:51,266 The Needs Statement is the part of the proposal in which you tell the reader WHY this project exists. 73 00:08:51,266 --> 00:08:59,666 What is the problem you would like to solve? What is the issue that you wish to address? Here you’ll need to describe both the issue 74 00:08:59,666 --> 00:09:07,832 and the group of people who are affected. Discuss whether the problem is currently being addressed, and if it is, how and by whom. 75 00:09:07,833 --> 00:09:18,933 It’s not enough simply to state the problem, you will also need to back it up with supporting facts and statistics. Make sure your facts and 76 00:09:18,933 --> 00:09:26,99 statistics are relevant to the specific population and community you are serving and fits the size and scope of your solution. 77 00:09:26,100 --> 00:09:33,33 So let’s say the problem you’re trying to solve is that a high percentage of students in your elementary school district aren’t reading 78 00:09:33,33 --> 00:09:40,799 at grade level and, as a result, aren’t doing well in school overall and won’t be promoted with their peers to the next grade. 79 00:09:40,800 --> 00:09:48,200 To document the need we will be looking to the school district for statistics about test scores, grade promotion, graduation rates and 80 00:09:48,200 --> 00:09:58,366 literacy overall. Talking about the state of the educational system nationwide is NOT relevant and would be out of scale with our local project. 81 00:09:58,366 --> 00:10:07,466 In addition to the “hard facts” and statistics, you may want to draw the reader into the “story” of your problem by sharing the perspective of a 82 00:10:07,466 --> 00:10:16,632 student who can’t keep up with her classmates and is embarrassed that she can’t read. You don’t need to include a whole case history, but 83 00:10:16,633 --> 00:10:24,133 connecting to the people affected by the problem can be a powerful method to illustrate the need…and then go into your statistics and 84 00:10:24,133 --> 00:10:30,133 documentation. The next section of the proposal gets into your SOLUTION to this problem. 85 00:10:30,133 --> 00:10:38,366 The project description will be the longest and most detailed section of your proposal. This is the section in which you will describe 86 00:10:38,366 --> 00:10:47,532 exactly how you plan to address the issue you raised in the needs section with measurable outcomes—your solution. 87 00:10:47,533 --> 00:10:57,533 This section will usually begin with a statement of project goals and objectives. Funders may use these terms differently, but for our purposes 88 00:10:57,533 --> 00:11:05,799 today, we’ll say that goals are broad, general statements of what you plan to accomplish. Objectives flow from the goals and they are 89 00:11:05,800 --> 00:11:14,800 specific and measurable within a realistic timeframe. Some people use the SMART acronym to describe objectives which means 90 00:11:14,800 --> 00:11:21,300 your objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable and Realistic within a defined Time frame. 91 00:11:21,300 --> 00:11:31,866 So our GOAL for a reading program could be to increase literacy levels for local students, improving overall school performance and 92 00:11:31,866 --> 00:11:39,699 ensuring that students are not held back. Objectives would tell us more specifically how many will improve and by how much— 93 00:11:39,700 --> 00:11:45,133 for example, 80% of participants will increase their reading proficiency by one grade level. 94 00:11:45,133 --> 00:11:50,533 The next step is to tell the funder how you would do all this. 95 00:11:50,533 --> 00:11:56,366 Your project description should also detail the particular methods you will use to implement your project. 96 00:11:56,366 --> 00:12:02,99 In other words, what are your specific strategies for accomplishing your goals and objectives? 97 00:12:02,100 --> 00:12:13,33 This section details your plan of action which should clearly explain the who what, where, when and how of your strategy: 98 00:12:13,33 --> 00:12:22,199 how will your plan be implemented including who will do the work, what is going to happen, where will it happen and when will it happen -- 99 00:12:22,200 --> 00:12:33,800 your organizing plan. If appropriate, you may wish to include a timeline showing what will occur in the first quarter, second quarter, and so 100 00:12:33,800 --> 00:12:38,133 on. Another important question is WHO, as in, who will do the work? 101 00:12:38,133 --> 00:12:47,799 You’ll need to spell out your anticipated staffing needs, both paid and volunteer, and highlight the experience and expertise of the key staff. 102 00:12:47,800 --> 00:12:54,33 Also be sure to also emphasize any collaborations or partnerships you may have with other organizations or community groups. 103 00:12:54,33 --> 00:13:02,299 Foundations like to see organizations working together in collective and innovative ways rather than duplicating their efforts. 104 00:13:02,300 --> 00:13:09,33 Another important consideration is how you will measure success—which brings us to evaluation. 105 00:13:09,33 --> 00:13:19,999 How will you evaluate your project is also a very important question that funders have. How will you know if your project is successful? 106 00:13:19,0 --> 00:13:28,66 There are many kinds of evaluation techniques which will depend on different factors. The formative evaluation takes place during the 107 00:13:28,66 --> 00:13:36,266 project, so that you can determine how things are going and make adjustments as necessary. The summative evaluation takes place at the 108 00:13:36,266 --> 00:13:43,199 end of the project, presenting the “report card” of results. Here are some key things to think through… 109 00:13:43,200 --> 00:13:52,266 First, as mentioned earlier under goals and objectives, you must start by specifying your program objectives in measurable terms. 110 00:13:52,266 --> 00:13:59,99 Once you’ve done that you can then identify key indicators of success based on your goals and objectives. 111 00:13:59,100 --> 00:14:06,33 For example, if our goal is to raise the self esteem of teenage girls, how would we go about measuring our success or impact? 112 00:14:06,33 --> 00:14:17,599 Some possibilities are to track things like: decrease in detentions, absences/tardiness, fights, and visits to the office, as well as higher 113 00:14:17,600 --> 00:14:27,533 grades and test scores. You could also collect more qualitative measures such as: quotes from teachers, parents, student journals or 114 00:14:27,533 --> 00:14:34,966 participation in peer discussion groups. Once you’ve defined what you will measure, you can come up with methods on how you will 115 00:14:34,966 --> 00:14:41,866 collect the data and analyze your activities. You should also develop a timeline for monitoring the success of the program on an 116 00:14:41,866 --> 00:14:49,366 ongoing basis, not just at the end of the project, so you can be sure you're on the right track. Essentially the foundation is interested in your 117 00:14:49,366 --> 00:14:57,466 procedures for evaluation: what kind of data you’ll collect, how you’ll do it, how you’ll analyze the information and what you’ll do with it. 118 00:14:57,466 --> 00:15:08,866 We have a good resource for finding tools to help you get started with evaluation…Here we are back at the Tools menu on Grantspace.org. 119 00:15:08,866 --> 00:15:11,799 We’re going to explore More Tools… 120 00:15:11,800 --> 00:15:18,800 Where we’ll find a reference to TRASI: Tools and Resources for Assessing Social Impact 121 00:15:18,800 --> 00:15:28,133 You can search this collection of evaluation measurement tools online for free. Now let's move on to focus on your organization. 122 00:15:30,366 --> 00:15:34,199 At some point in your proposal, you will need to give the reader information about your organization as a whole. 123 00:15:34,200 --> 00:15:40,166 You can do that at the beginning or end of your proposal—I’ve seen funders request it both places. 124 00:15:40,166 --> 00:15:48,899 This is where you talk about your mission and organizational history along with your other programs and services, your leadership, 125 00:15:48,900 --> 00:15:55,666 your accomplishments, your reputation, your visibility in the community and your track record of success. 126 00:15:55,666 --> 00:16:03,899 Funders will also be interested in your organization’s commitment to the project, which is one of the reasons they ask about 127 00:16:03,900 --> 00:16:05,133 sustainability, our next section. 128 00:16:05,133 --> 00:16:15,66 Foundations tend to think in the long term. Before funding your project, they may be concerned about how you will sustain it after the 129 00:16:15,66 --> 00:16:23,399 grant period ends. After all, no foundation is going to fund you forever! You’re also demonstrating to the funder that 130 00:16:23,400 --> 00:16:31,166 your commitment to the project does not depend on getting this one grant. In this section you are presenting your funding plan— 131 00:16:31,166 --> 00:16:39,232 could the project move towards self-sufficiency through earned income (charging fees for service), or will you seek out additional funders? 132 00:16:39,233 --> 00:16:48,899 You may not have a complete answer to that question, and no one expects you to. However, it will be helpful if your proposal demonstrates 133 00:16:48,900 --> 00:16:52,500 that you are aware of this issue, and that you are working to address it. 134 00:16:52,500 --> 00:16:54,166 We’re about ready to wrap up the narrative… 135 00:16:54,166 --> 00:17:04,232 Last but not least is the conclusion. You should end with a compelling conclusion which speaks to why this particular funder should fund 136 00:17:04,233 --> 00:17:14,333 this project. It doesn’t have to be long. A short paragraph or two will do. Your goal here is to answer what I call the “so what” question. 137 00:17:14,333 --> 00:17:22,299 If this project is funded, how will life be better and for whom and why should this particular funder care? 138 00:17:22,300 --> 00:17:26,266 Let’s talk about some other pieces of your proposal package… 139 00:17:26,266 --> 00:17:36,66 As promised we’re back at the executive summary. The executive summary is just that: it’s a summary. It is not an introduction. 140 00:17:36,66 --> 00:17:43,399 This is one of the most important parts of the proposal because the reader will often look at it first to determine if they want to read 141 00:17:43,400 --> 00:17:53,466 the rest of the proposal. If it doesn’t catch the reader's attention right away, he or she may not continue reading. A good summary will also be 142 00:17:53,466 --> 00:18:02,799 helpful to the program officer when the time comes to present your project to the foundation board for consideration. Most people who write 143 00:18:02,800 --> 00:18:10,866 proposals find that it’s easier to write the full proposal first, and then extract the key information to put into the one-page summary. 144 00:18:10,866 --> 00:18:18,299 Your Executive Summary will include your: statement of need; a brief description of your project including the goals and objectives; 145 00:18:18,300 --> 00:18:24,533 Information about your organization as a whole; and how much money you are asking for. 146 00:18:24,533 --> 00:18:32,199 This kind of document will also be helpful when working with foundations that require a letter of inquiry as the initial approach rather than a 147 00:18:32,200 --> 00:18:41,300 full proposal. If you already have a short version of your proposal in the executive summary, turning that into a letter isn’t too difficult. 148 00:18:41,300 --> 00:18:47,633 OK, we’re done with the proposal narrative! Now what about those attachments? 149 00:18:47,633 --> 00:18:57,733 Along with your proposal, you’ll need to send a number of documents as requested by the funder. One is a copy of your letter of 150 00:18:57,733 --> 00:19:07,133 determination from the Internal Revenue Service to prove that you are a legal nonprofit, a 501(c) (3). Foundations are required by the IRS to give 151 00:19:07,133 --> 00:19:15,633 to charitable organizations for charitable purposes and they have to report that information annually, so they can’t give money to 152 00:19:15,633 --> 00:19:24,966 your organization without it. The funder will also want you to send other financial documents along with your proposal budget such as 153 00:19:24,966 --> 00:19:32,799 your organization’s most recent audited financial statements, your 990 and your general operating budget for the current year and 154 00:19:32,800 --> 00:19:41,666 last year’s budget vs. actual. Things like audits can be expensive so if you don’t have something a funder requests, don’t just leave 155 00:19:41,666 --> 00:19:50,566 it out, call and ask if they will accept something else instead. The funder will usually request a list of your Board of Directors. 156 00:19:50,566 --> 00:19:59,566 Be sure to provide names along with professional affiliations. It’s also a good idea to supply brief biographical information of your key 157 00:19:59,566 --> 00:20:08,732 staff members to point out, once again, that the people carrying out your project have sufficient knowledge and experience to ensure its 158 00:20:08,733 --> 00:20:17,566 success. The main thing here is to include everything they ask for and very little of anything else. They typically do not want additional 159 00:20:17,566 --> 00:20:24,332 materials such as brochures, articles or videos. If you have these, you can just refer to them in your cover letter and say you will make them 160 00:20:24,333 --> 00:20:34,833 available upon request. For online applications, it’s ok to add links to additional information where possible, and you will be uploading 161 00:20:34,833 --> 00:20:44,266 attachments as electronic documents. Always, always follow each funder’s guidelines to the “T.” After all, the first indicator of your credibility 162 00:20:44,266 --> 00:20:48,666 is whether or not you can follow directions. 163 00:20:48,666 --> 00:20:48,699 So your proposal is with the funder, and now the waiting begins, which may be the hardest part of the process! 164 00:20:52,700 --> 00:20:56,500 So your proposal is with the funder, and now the waiting begins, which may be the hardest part of the process! 165 00:20:56,500 --> 00:21:04,433 Don’t be the “are we there yet?” kind of nag-- Once you’ve submitted your proposal and done all you can do, you just have to sit back and 166 00:21:04,433 --> 00:21:08,933 let them make the decision. And congratulations… 167 00:21:08,933 --> 00:21:14,433 The answer is yes! You’ll often receive a grant agreement letter from the funder before you receive the actual check. 168 00:21:14,433 --> 00:21:24,699 You will need to review, sign and send it back— make sure you understand all the terms. Of course you also need to send a thank you 169 00:21:24,700 --> 00:21:33,600 letter. The thank-you letter gives you an opportunity to not only express appreciation for the grant, but to tell the funder once again how 170 00:21:33,600 --> 00:21:41,33 the grant is going to make a difference to the people you serve. Receiving a grant isn’t the end of the process. In fact, it’s the beginning of 171 00:21:41,33 --> 00:21:49,99 the relationship. Your funder is your partner now, and during the course of the grant period you will want to keep your program officer 172 00:21:49,100 --> 00:21:59,266 informed about how the project is going. That means sending all required reports, and sending them on time. In addition, if you experience a 173 00:21:59,266 --> 00:22:08,599 significant accomplishment, or some other milestone, by all means send a note or make a phone call to let them know. If you're having 174 00:22:08,600 --> 00:22:15,566 a reception or event, don’t forget to add your program officer to the invitation list. They might not be able to come but it’s a good 175 00:22:15,566 --> 00:22:21,232 practice to invite them. This type of communication, is a good way to build relationships with funders as well as 176 00:22:21,233 --> 00:22:26,466 paving the way for the renewal request. But what if you get bad news? 177 00:22:26,466 --> 00:22:37,399 The hard truth is that the odds are that 1 out of 3 funders will say “yes” (If you’re lucky). The other 2 will say “no” but a “no” doesn’t necessarily 178 00:22:37,400 --> 00:22:48,333 mean “never,” so don’t take it personally and don’t give up too quickly. Find out why if you can but do it graciously. Some funders will not have 179 00:22:48,333 --> 00:22:57,766 a specific reason for why you didn’t get the grant. To solicit feedback you may want to ask “What would make this a stronger request?” or 180 00:22:57,766 --> 00:23:05,166 “What questions did your board have?” but, again, there may not be anything you did wrong. It’s usually because they received many strong 181 00:23:05,166 --> 00:23:13,999 proposals and there’s just not enough funding to go around, so it’s perfectly acceptable to ask whether you can try again in the future. 182 00:23:13,0 --> 00:23:22,433 If the answer is positive, keep the foundation staff informed of your good work and the progress you are making. This shows the 183 00:23:22,433 --> 00:23:29,999 funder that you are committed to your work and mission and are determined to do the work with or without their grant, but keep your 184 00:23:29,0 --> 00:23:38,766 communications strategic and effective. Don’t just put them on your generic mailing list. However, it’s also possible that they will tell you 185 00:23:38,766 --> 00:23:45,999 that for one reason or another—perhaps they’re going to change their giving priorities—applying again wouldn’t be worth your time. 186 00:23:45,0 --> 00:23:50,733 Either way, it will be time to devise a new strategy or move on. 187 00:23:50,733 --> 00:24:00,666 Now it’s time to go over some key takeaways. Do you remember when your English teacher told you that when you write an essay, you 188 00:24:00,666 --> 00:24:06,432 should start with an outline? That’s good advice, because following an outline will help you to organize your material in a way that’s 189 00:24:06,433 --> 00:24:15,99 logical and easy for the reader to follow. At Foundation Center, we often hear grantseekers asking foundation officers what they are looking 190 00:24:15,100 --> 00:24:25,366 for most in a proposal. The answer, in almost all cases, is CLARITY. Your goal is to make it easy for the reader to understand the case you 191 00:24:25,366 --> 00:24:35,866 are making. It’s a good idea to energize your writing with action words—words like “build” and “strengthen.” Some foundation officers have 192 00:24:35,866 --> 00:24:45,432 suggested that you tell them a story. But do avoid jargon and acronyms. You may be trained in a particular field—social work, or education, 193 00:24:45,433 --> 00:24:53,99 or law—but when you write a proposal, remember that the person reading it may well be coming from a different field entirely, so 194 00:24:53,100 --> 00:25:04,600 make sure you’re writing in plain English. Focus on the funders’ interests – not just your own. Do your research. Know who you’re 195 00:25:04,600 --> 00:25:15,600 approaching and why. Follow the funders’ guidelines – Always! And then, of course, give yourself plenty of time to write the proposal. 196 00:25:15,600 --> 00:25:23,933 You may even want to give the proposal to an outside reader to review—someone who is less familiar with your organization than you are, and 197 00:25:23,933 --> 00:25:29,766 who will therefore be likely to ask you the kinds of questions that might be raised by a foundation officer. 198 00:25:29,766 --> 00:25:35,266 Before we close I’d like to talk about other Foundation Center resources to help you in proposal writing. 199 00:25:35,266 --> 00:25:45,599 If you’re looking for additional training opportunities, our Unpack the Winning Proposal webinar is a good place to start. 200 00:25:45,600 --> 00:25:54,433 We review actual sample proposals to illustrate what works. We also have more intermediate & advanced proposal writing courses such as: 201 00:25:54,433 --> 00:26:02,366 The Proposal Writing Workshop and Proposal Writing Boot Camp. The Proposal Writing Workshop is a full-day, in-person course where 202 00:26:02,366 --> 00:26:08,332 you will develop a proposal outline and participate in hands-on writing and peer-review exercises. 203 00:26:08,333 --> 00:26:17,666 Proposal Writing Boot Camp is a three-day, in- person workshop that focuses on proposal writing, budgeting, research and building 204 00:26:17,666 --> 00:26:21,266 relationships with funders. Check out our web site for more information. 205 00:26:21,266 --> 00:26:28,766 Speaking of our web site, here are some other key spots to visit on Grantspace: 206 00:26:28,766 --> 00:26:33,132 The Skills area includes a section on Developing Proposals. 207 00:26:33,133 --> 00:26:39,599 Here you will find videos and transcripts of live chat discussions… 208 00:26:39,600 --> 00:26:44,400 As well as frequently asked questions from our Knowledge Base and Sample documents. 209 00:26:44,400 --> 00:26:49,766 Yes those are sample proposals! 210 00:26:49,766 --> 00:26:55,766 We’ve received these from funders so they include comments as to why they got the grant. – Very informative! 211 00:26:55,766 --> 00:26:59,499 I encourage you to check out these resources and tune in for more training. 212 00:27:00,500 --> 00:27:06,600 Thank you for watching and wishing you success in your proposal writing!
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