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Writing a Funding Proposal

An Alternative to the Project Brief

~ By Duncan Haughey

British coins and notes

If you are already familiar with the ubiquitous project brief and would like to try something new, here's an idea. Why not try writing a funding proposal.

A funding proposal is used to request funds by providing a compelling case for the proposed project. The main difference is the focus on the goals and objectives of the project, feeding into a set of measures for evaluation of project success. The proposal features a full breakdown of project resources and costs in more detail than usually found in a project brief.

The focus on objectives and measures adds some rigour, making the project manager think carefully about specific activities to be done. These must be measurable so project success can be gauged by whether these objectives have been achieved.

In the required resources section, the document covers personnel, facilities, equipment, suppliers and budget. Funding covers much more than just people, and it is important to include office space, furniture, computer equipment, consumables, third-party supplier costs, etc.

It's important to describe exactly how you will decide whether your project has been successful. The evaluation plan describes how you are going to show, at the end of the project, the investment was a good one.

Finally, include a detailed project plan, which shows your timeline and detailed task level information.

The typical content of a funding proposal might look something like this:

  1. Project Outline
  2. Background Information
    • 2.1. Opportunity Statement
    • 2.2. Vision
    • 2.3. Positioning
  3. Project Details
    • 3.1. Goals & Objectives
    • 3.2. Customers
    • 3.3. Methods
    • 3.4. Staff / Administration
  4. Available Resources
  5. Required Resources
    • 5.1. Personnel
    • 5.2. Facilities
    • 5.3. Equipment
    • 5.4. Suppliers
    • 5.5. Budget
  6. Evaluation Plan
    • 6.1. Formative Evaluation
    • 6.2. Summative Evaluation
  7. Appendix 1: Project Plan

Read more about Writing a Funding Proposal


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