Introduction to Proposal Preparation
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Proposal Writing Tips Contact: Mary Farrington, EMU Grant Writer firstname.lastname@example.org 346-6090 Proposal Planning : Never begin by writing a proposal. Begin by planning the program for which you are seeking funding. : Obtain and read all related proposal materials (application, guidelines, etc.) before you begin. It’s fine to contact the funding agency if you have questions about requirements or restrictions. : Consider who is reading your proposal. Never assume that readers know you, your organization, or your work. Avoid acronyms (initials used in place of a full name) jargon (“insider” language unique to your program, profession, or field) and technical language (words and terms used by expects, not amateurs : Be concise. Say what you mean and get to the point. Your proposal should be as brief as possible. Under no circumstances should you exceed page limitations. Proposal Content Introduction to Program/ Project : Describe who you are, why you exist, and the work that you do. : Who do you serve? (numbers and general audience demographics) : Describe your accomplishments : Stress qualifications and experience of key staff Statement of Problem : Identify the problem you are attempting to solve or impact : Suggest possible cause of the problem and how you plan to address it Statement of Objective : Describe the outcome or result you are attempting to achieve. : Provide anticipated measurable outcomes Method : Describe your plan of action and specific tasks you will undertake : Describe project partners (if applicable) and their role in the project : What is your marketing plan? How will you reach your intended audience? : What is your timeline? Evaluation : How will you know whether, or to what extent, objectives were achieved? Budget : How much money are you requesting and how do you plan to spend it? : What is the total project budget? If the total project budget exceeds the requested grant amount, how will you obtain additional funding? : Identify additional project supporters and clearly describe the value of their support (either cash or inkind). Is additional support already committed? If yes, supply evidence (e-mail, letter, signature, etc.) of that commitment. Packaging your Proposals : Neatness counts. Type your applications and proofread for spelling and grammatical errors. Ask someone else to read your final draft. : Make sure the proposal is logically organized : Use headings and white space to break up dense paragraphs of text : Include a cover letter (unless funder specifies that they don’t want one). The cover letter should be brief (1-2 paragraphs at most), addressed to an individual, with correct spelling and title) and signed by CEO, Department Head, Director, or Board Chair. : Include all required attachments and signatures. Do not add additional information (photos, letters of support, etc.) unless specifically requested. : Meet or beat the submittal deadline.