Three steps towards efficient proposals
Hassan is a very devoted international fundraiser. His work is challenging him to have a structured approach in finding the right donors at the right time. But the haphazard way of working and the unclear involvement of other colleagues is tiring him out. Which tips can we give Hassan?
1. Know yourself
Do not just google donors. You first need to know what you are looking for! And to know what you are looking for you need to know yourself, meaning your organisation’s vision, mission, strategy, expertise and experience, partners and specific project(s) or programs which you want to execute. This means that your organisation has developed a theory of change, a logical framework and a project plan in, preferably, a participatory way. So that you are able to sell your organisation ánd your projects to possible donors.
2. Know the donor
When you know yourself, you know what you are looking for in terms of support and partnership. So you can develop a set of criteria which you will use to identify donors. Maybe your organisation has a donor database, maybe you will be the one starting to make one. This helps in keeping track of the research you have done, the persons you have contacted and any other specific information like dates for calls for proposals. You might want to go to network events where you will present your organisation and your projects. Knowing yourself, therefore, is key!
3. Go no go decision
When you have identified a donor or a call for proposals has come along, you need to carefully check all the requirements! Not only for the writing of the proposal itself, also for the project management once funding is given. Someone or a team has to be appointed to make this decision. And then, when you decide to go for it, only then you start to plan for the writing process.
Nine step approach
These first three steps are part of the nine-step approach that we at MDF use in the proposal writing course. If you want to know more about how to apply the steps in your own situation or for more information on custom-designed options for you, join our training workshop, talk to our trainer and bring it on the table to discuss with other fellow participants.
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