"HOW TO WRITE PROJECT PROPOSALS"
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PROJECT PROPOSALS Seminar-Workshop in Planning and Packaging Winning Project Proposals Oct. 27-28, 2007, Camiguin Islands Sponsored by Phil. Assoc. of Water Districts GENERAL TYPES OF PROPOSAL FUNDAMENTAL RESEARCH (returns expected in 25 years, outcome uncertain) APPLIED RESEARCH (returns expected in 15 years, outcome predictable) DEVELOPMENT (returns expected in 5 years, outcome expected) PRACTICAL (returns expected on project completion) PROPOSAL COVERAGE Applied Research, Development Projects and Practical Implementations are usually funded as a contract with delivery obligations Public grants or contracts are reglemented in form and purpose – usually requiring prescribed forms (15-100 pages) Private grants are usually satisfied with shorter letter proposal NOW, THE PRACTICAL PROJECT PROPOSAL An offer to work conveyed in - Active and persuasive verbs - Descriptive manner of what’s to be done - Specific terms - Present tense for general description - Simple future tense for future activities PURPOSE OF PROJECT PROPOSAL To persuade the reader to do something To seek for sponsor to provide funds To write the document to a sponsor To seek public sector/private participation KEY IDEAS IN PROPOSAL Persuasive writing Fulfilling a need Logically organized Cost-efficient TWO GENERAL TYPES UNSOLICITED (in response to a need) SOLICITED (in response to request- for-proposal (RFPs) PERSUASIVE TECHNIQUE Addressing a certain need (beneficial/pathos) Credibility of the proponent (trust/ethos) Logic of the message (logos) PROPOSAL IS FEASIBILITY! Seeks to solve a problem Seeks to investigate a subject/idea Seeks to sell a product/service SKILLS IN WRITING PROJECT PROPOSAL Exploring (collect background, define problem and assess needs/financial factor) Planning (analyzing audience, locus-focus, budget/personnel and time sked) Drafting (graphics/design/layout) Evaluating (know the success criteria/result oriented) Revising (add/modify and assess information to meet criteria) CORE OF PROJECT PROPOSAL Identification of problem Explanation on “plan of attack” to solve it Justification on why you should do it and why problem should be solved Must have a unique selling proposition (USP) SOME QUESTIONS? What is the problem? What do I propose as a solution? How do I propose to achieve the solution? What are my capabilities/capacities? How much will it cost? SOME EXTERNAL FUND SOURCES National grants (DOST, LWUA, DENR) Foreign grants (JICA, ASEAN, IRDC) Industry foundations (NGOs, SMC, IRC) Academic grants (colleges and universities) HOW TO APPLY FOR FUNDING FOR RFPs Write for application forms and guidelines. Call a past grantee for tips. Contact program officer in the announcement. RFPs FORMAT Introduction (state problem and prove your credibility) Problem Statement and Need (focus of project in relation to problem, importance and solution it offers) Objectives Methods Evaluation Budget Abstract EMPHASIS ON PROPOSAL Problem Statement (58%) – importance and manageabiliy of arresting problem Approach (75%) – suited methods Investigator (55%) – sufficient experience and good track record Others (16%) – realistic resource assessment GRANT REFERENCES Annual Register of Grant Support (listing of grant programs) Foundation Directory (listing of more than 43,000 foundations in US granting 8B$ annually from 2.5 M US corporations) Foundation grant index – a compendium of grants Grantsmanship Center News – published 8x/year (located in 1015 West Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles California VARIATIONS IN PROJECT PROPOSAL Proposal to solve a problem (e.g. poor links/alliance among water districts leading to establishment of Water District Network) - Identify and define the problem - Explain a workable solution with clear benefits - Establish the connection between problem and solution - Provide a plan for implementation VARIATIONS IN PROJECT PROPOSAL Proposal to investigate a subject/idea (e.g. potential site for water district as veritable source of clean water for communities) - Identify and define the subject - Justify the importance benefits of the inquiry - Establish the limits of the inquiry - Provide a plan of action for pursuing the inquiry VARIATIONS IN PROJECT PROPOSAL Proposal to sell a service or product (e.g. the use of filtration treatment equipment for water district) - Identify and define the need - Explain a service/product that meets the need - Establish connection between need and product/service - Provide a plan to deliver the product/service ELEMENTS OF PROJECT PROPOSAL Project title Goals/objectives of project Description of project activities Description of expected project results Project implementation plan Beginning of operation ELEMENTS OF PROJECT PROPOSAL Resource allocation Project personnel Detailed project budget (line-item budget) Other technical means (e.g. vehicles) Division of financial sources (own and counterparts, external sources) DO’s and DON’Ts DO’s - Add interesting technology component - Know how to fit into past and current projects - Involve a team - Proofread the document for errors/grammar DO’s and DON’Ts DON’Ts - Say little is known or done - Think you know everything - Confuse objectives with actions - Define objectives you don’t wish to achieve - Use abbreviations - Focus on the “cutting edge” (negative complexities) - Request funding for basic operations