Congratulations! You have determined that your organization is eligible to apply for a funding opportunity and that applying is a good strategic decision. Now the fun begins!
Proposals for government funders vary widely in complexity, length and planning and design requirements. Each opportunity is unique and will require a different
level of effort and will have a different timeline. While it is impossible for me to give you detailed instructions on how to write your proposal, what I can offer is a set of generic steps that you can further adapt for your own specific needs.
Step 1: Do your homework!
1.1 Read through the call for proposals or government website in detail.
Does the RFP link to any other background documents, policy frameworks etc.? If so go through these documents as well.
1.2 Do you have everything you need to demonstrate that your organization is eligible for funding? If you don’t have access to all the documents (board charter, financial statements etc.), make a plan for how to get them.
Step 2: Analyze your organization’s qualifications:
2.1 What kind of organization and program is the funder wanting to fund?
What kind of skills, experience?
2.2 List all the characteristics they identify
2.3 List all the qualifications and specific examples your organization has that match this list.
2.4 Organize this list according to how the RFP is structured. This will become a basic outline.
Step 3: Create a work plan
3.1 Identify the submission deadline, and confirm how you will submit your proposal. Will you email it? Will you upload it through a portal? Don’t forget to confirm the time zone if the proposal is due at a particular time.
3.2 Create a work back schedule and a roles & responsibilities chart. A work back schedule can take various forms. You may wish to use a gantt chart to plan out your timelines, or you may wish to use a simple table.
Step 4: Design your program (if you are submitting a new initiative)
4.1 Plan activities: Decide what activities you are going to deliver, who will be responsible for them, and when will they be delivered during the project? When will community members need to be involved? What about partners?
4.2 Identify required resources and inputs for each step. These typically include: staff time, expertise, physical resources, logistics etc.
4.3 Prepare a budget: What will it cost to deliver the program? What staff and office costs should be included? Does the total budget match the available funding?
STEP 5: Review, review, review
Make sure you have included EVERYTHING requested by the donor. Make sure there are no typos! Make sure you are fitting within required word & character limits, and ask a colleague to read it over one last time.
At JN Clarke Consulting, we are happy to support you by conducting this search, analysing the results and presenting it to you in a readable and clear format.
Would you or your team benefit from having our support to improve your government relationships? We offer strategic assessments, monthly support, workshops and training, depending on your needs.