Fundraising Guide (English) June 2014 - Page 23

if you do not receive feedback. Some foundations receive hundreds of LOIs and don’t have enough staff to provide detailed critiques for each denied application.  VISION/PROBLEM STATEMENT: The issue you’re addressing and why it’s important; explain the problem but focus on your solution. WHAT IS IN A PROPOSAL?  DESCRIPTION OF ORGANIZATION: Your mission, how you work, who you are, what you do. Keep this very short and to the point, no more than two or three paragraphs in length. All funders will need the same basic elements. You will use these materials over and over in proposals and conversations about your programs and projects, so develop a general proposal package that you can adapt for different funders and projects.  GOALS, OUTCOMES, AND OBJECTIVES: Goals, outcomes, and objectives are often used in proposal writing. Sometimes they are used interchangeably and it can be difficult to understand the difference.  Narrative Proposal  Budget Goals: What do you hope to achieve in the long term (beyond the grant period)? These are broad statements about what your organization or programs hope to achieve. Ask the question, “What would a better world look like?” Your organization may have one to three big picture goals that guide your overall work. While these numbers are not hard rules, having too many goals in a proposal can make your organization look unfocused and can be confusing to the funder.  Attachments (Legal documents such as nonprofit status, financial statements/audit)  References: Some funders will want to know you are respected in your community – so it’s good to have ready reference letters or contact information for allies who can speak favorably about your group and its work. A reference can be from a professional colleague in your field or another funder. If the funder provides an application form or template, use it! Don’t send along a proposal you’ve written for somebody else if the funder has its own, different proposal guidelines. Outcomes: What do you hope to achieve in the short term (within the grant period)? An acronym that can help you form strong outcomes is SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. For each goal, you may have one to three outcomes. Again this is not a steadfast rule, but a general guide to help you stay focused. Make sure to clearly state how much money you are requesting from the funder, for what purpose and for what time period at the beginning and end of your proposal. Objectives: What do you plan to do in order to achieve the outcomes? These are the specific activities you will undertake to reach your outcomes (and eventually goals). DEVELOPING A NARRATIVE PROPOSAL Another helpful tool to help you understand the pieces needed to achieve a long-term goal is called a Theory of Change. Visit for a more detailed description of Theory of Change, samples of Theory of Change charts, and other logic model tools and frameworks. TYPICAL PROPOSAL SECTIONS  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: This is a short summary of your entire proposal. Although it appears first, it’s best to write this last. It’s usually one paragraph or one page long, depending on the overall length of the proposal. This may be the only part of your proposal that some of the people at the foundation reviewing your application actually read, so make sure it includes key information and concepts, including the amount you’re requesting and the project period. Edit this section so it’s concise and polished. 20