ABC OF NONPROFITS PROJECT PROPOSALS
Many people and organizations have great ideas which they cannot afford to bring to life. Project proposals can offer a solution to funding gaps. A proposal is a formal plan that identifies needs in society and proffer realistic, affordable, acceptable and sustainable solutions. Proposals seek to create new things or improve on old ones. But basically they show problems and suggest solutions.
A proposal is an important marketing document that can help create new relationships between an organization and donors. The proposal clearly sets out step by step plans of implementing the identified project. The proposal gives extensive information about a project:
- what it intends to achieve,
- how it intends to achieve and sustain it and;
- all required to achieve your project.
The proposal is a very important document and requires very great care. This is because proposals usually have one chance to impress the donors and attract support. There are very limited resources and very large numbers of individuals and organizations competing for the funds. As there are great opportunities for funding, it is important to learn the art of proposal writing.
Proposals come in different forms and designs.
Proposal designs are not cast on stone. There is no one-size-fits-all system. The donor to whom you write will determine the style you use. Some organizations have templates that are peculiar to them.
There are very short and concise forms of proposals known as concept notes. Concept notes are often required to test the merit of a project before full proposals are developed. Depending on your background; whether academia, manufacturing, business or the nonprofits sector; proposal writing skills can become very invaluable. Irrespective of the field in which you work, proposals have the same basic principles. It doesn’t matter if there is a standard template or not, the key objective is to convince the donor to fund or support something or a project they may not ordinarily be part of directly.
Solicited and Unsolicited Proposals:
Proposals can also be solicited or unsolicited. Solicited proposals are written in response to official calls for proposals (or Request for Proposals) by prospective donors. They often specify the kinds of grants to be awarded, kinds of organizations or individuals eligible to apply and sums available to be won. Unsolicited proposals are written by at the volition of the grant-seeker. There is no indication that the donor will consider the application. Some donors however accept and fund unsolicited proposals that are in line with their mission and goals.
Project Proposals are prepared in response to needs.
A proposal can be for funding, partnership, contract/consultancy, sponsorship, research etc. This is the really important aspect of writing proposals. There has to be a problem, a need, a gap, a chasm, something that will improve the quality of lives of people. There is a misconception that proposals are written merely to execute projects. This is no good if the project implemented does not make substantial and sustainable impacts in the world. The work done or results or impacts must amount to something that outlive the project. The ideal thing and what I believe to be the real purpose of proposal writing is to bring about positive change in the society and make impact.
Project Proposals provide needed support to achieve goals
A lot of individuals and organizations have very great ideas of things. When implement, these ideas can make the world a better place and improve life outcomes for people and groups especially the poor and vulnerable. Unfortunately, most individuals having great goals cannot afford the resources to actualize these dreams. Proposals convince people or organizations that have the resources to entrust them to you for the sake of the positive change that will result. Note that the prospective donor must be interested in your work area to want to fund it. In a nutshell, a good proposal can help you get the money you need to achieve your dreams.by : Michael Ukwuma