Are you trying to get funded? Let me introduce you to some fundamentals of proposal writing, which eventually would lead to getting your vision funded. Have you come across one of the best grant proposal writing book “Getting Funded: A Complete Guide to Proposal Writing” by Dr Mary Stewart Hall. If not let me take you through it.
First, think about Project Idea:
This book starts at the beginning–with your project idea. Author Mary Stewart Hall insists that you come up with project ideas first–not create ideas to meet the needs of funders. Once you know what your project will do and whom it will benefit, then you can seek someone to fund it.
Second, get your Strategic Plan:
Next, she spends time helping you develop a strategic plan. A good proposal will do more than gain money for your organisation. It will also show how well you’ve done your planning, helping assess your team’s competence for a program; the book provides a series of questions. Checklists assure that you have the necessary support systems to receive and administer a grant and that your organization fits the funder’s criteria. The lists are long but excellent, and may make the book worthwhile to consider.
Third, make your Project Objectives clear:
Hall is very explicit about objectives and lists some applicable rules about when to include process objectives. As she points out, clear objectives clarify the entire program. In fact, evaluation cannot be performed without them. In a crisp, no-nonsense style, Hall lists the major components of a proposal writing before dwelling on each.
Fourth, work on your Project Evaluation:
She spends time explaining that you must decide if any evaluation is warranted, who will design it, and what its purposes will be. She then gives eight steps to placing an evaluation in a proposal—a very well done section. There is an excellent chapter on how to find prospects. Also provided is a list of questions to ask during your follow- up call to funders.
Fifth, let numbers speak in your Project Budget:
When creating a budget, first understand what to do and what not, she emphasise, if indirect costs are allowed? Will one source fund the entire budget? Next, estimate the costs of each activity. Finally, prepare a budget using this information in an appropriate format.
The author is careful to include a final step that is often neglected– following up on proposals if rejected. It’s important to find out why your proposal was turned down. This action can lead to re-submission or to moving on. Either way, it will be a valuable learning experience.
What’ the worth of this Book in real value?
The book’s real value is that it covers the topic so comprehensively. Also, it discusses both private and public grants in one source—a real benefit to those of us who submit grants to both. Particularly useful is the section on assessing organizational capacity and developing project ideas.
Not enough emphasis is on these concepts in most other books, yet they are essential parts of getting a grant. Proposal writing can’t be useful if your organisation isn’t capable of putting your idea into practice. May seem painful for some organizations to grasp, but it shouldn’t be difficult if focused.
If you are interested in exploring some more Grant Writing Books click here.
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