Advice nad Information on Grant Seeking and Proposal Writing
Write a Short but Detailed Mini-Proposal or Project Description
Once you have completed the outline and design processes (including the research mentioned above), you will need to describe the project in 2-4 pages. Include information such as the problem or need the project addresses, previous work undertaken to solve the problem, the proposed solution, required resources (including staff time to prepare the proposal), a timeline for the project, and anticipated outcomes for both the organization and those who will benefit from the project.

It is not necessary to document all expenses associated with the project at this time, but you do need to sketch out the broad outlines of the budget to be sure that the costs are reasonable in comparison to the outcomes you anticipate. If the costs appear prohibitive, even with a large foundation grant, you should then scale back your plans or adjust them to remove the least cost-effective expenditures. Even foundations with extremely deep pockets will be looking for the most effective and efficient ways to spend their money.

Writing this paper will be a lot of work, but it will help you clarify and test your ideas and it will provide you with information necessary to find an APPROPRIATE funder for the project. This document will likely serve as a rough draft for the preliminary/inquiry letter that you will be sending to various funders to determine their interest in the project, and it will make the process of writing the actual grant proposals much easier.

When you begin adapting this document to send to specific foundations and/or corporations, be sure to focus on the broader implications of the proposed project for all parties involved. The donor needs to believe that your project can help them achieve their goals. Consider the donor's perspective. If your project appears to have wide-ranging benefits or it can be easily replicated by other agencies or in other settings (think local, state and national), the donor's investment will be both wise and efficient. Even philanthropic organizations need to consider the issue of return on investment!

Bullet Mini Proposals and Letters of Inquiry

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