One of the most stressful things for any nonprofit is fundraising and also the most important. An important part of fundraising is writing the proposal for your potential donors.
The fundraising proposal can be stressful if you don’t know where to begin. However, we have set up a few guidelines and tips that will enable you to write a successful proposal. In the following article, we will have a deeper look at the fund-raising proposal and give you a few pointers on how to write one before diving into the brief template.
Important Tips To Consider When Creating A Fundraising Proposal
You will need to understand that the donor will have a few questions and you must keep these in mind. The donor will want to know why you are requesting the fund and what your priorities are. One of the most important things that any donor will want to know is what the funds are being used for, what cause you are supporting, how you plan to reach your goals, etc. They must have complete transparency.
One of the most important things that any donor will want to know is the research that has been conducted. The donor will want to scrutinize every piece of information to ensure you have not missed anything important. It is important to arrive prepared and ensure that the donor does not have any unanswered questions.
Timetable Of The Project
Every donor will want to know how long the project will take and what you will do from your side to ensure you don’t miss deadlines. While this falls under the research of the project, it is important to have clear milestones. It is much easier for someone to give funds once they understand what the funds will be used for and where.
One of the most important things every donor would want to know is what, where & how much impact the project will have. A lot of donors have moved away from ‘feel-good’ philanthropy and want to see data supporting the impact created by a project.
Impact Measurement, and Monitoring & Evaluation
This brings us to our next point, in order to show the clear impact, you need to adopt proper impact measurement, & M&E methodologies & tools. Thinking about this in advance and making it a part of your proposal from the beginning can help you stand out from the competition.
How To Write An Effective Fundraising Proposal Template
We have given you a few tips that can be incorporated into the proposal and will ensure that you get the best value when you present the proposal. If you are still in the dark, the following template will make it much easier. Now, you will understand where to use the proposal and how to set up the structure for the best possible results.
Much like your CV, the cover letter is one of the most important aspects of the process. Once you nail the cover letter, it is much easier to follow with the rest of the content. The cover letter will in many cases decide if the donor team will further pursue your proposal. It should include the identification of the project with an abbreviated solution for easy reading. Even though the saying is ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’, in this case, however, it most certainly is.
Table Of Contents
Much like any decent document, there should be a table of contents that will show the reader where every part of the document is located. It is important to keep this clean and short to allow the donor to skip to any part of the document.
The executive summary is often another basis for rejection and should be slightly more intricate than the cover letter. It should indicate the key points of the issue and the document. Additionally, you can keep the section positive by adding a few important points for the donor that sways the conversation more positive.
The next part is also important and should contain all the documentation and information related to the organization. Here, you can reveal some of the past successful projects and any future endeavors that are in the pipeline. It should give the reader a basic overview of the organization.
Needs Statement (Problem Identified)
Here, you will identify the problem to the reader and allow the donor to get into the meat of the request. The problem should be identified and allow your donor to see what you have been doing to mitigate the issue. This part should be supported with the research & data that we mentioned above. The donors should get the feeling that you have done your due diligence to understand the issue you are trying to solve and that there is actually a need to do that. The needs statement is another point of rejection if not done correctly.
Objectives And Proposal
The objectives section is where you will outline some of the objectives of the organization. You will indicate the issues and how you are trying to mitigate the problem. It is also the section where you can toss in the proposal. The proposal will allow the reader to understand how their contributions can help relieve the issue.
Theory of Change & Impact Measurement
This section can really help you stand out. Include your TOC or logic model to help show the donors how you plan to solve the problem. This is also the section where you can include the metrics & indicators you would be used to measure the impact, the methodology, and tools you plan to use. This will allow the donors to see that you are willing to be more accountable & transparent with them.
It is always important to indicate who will; be responsible for each part of the project and what they need to do. In the accountability section, you can add a few things into the mix. These include the credentials of anyone who has ever worked on a project and how much experience they have to ensure the project is successful.
Budget And Requirements
The budget section is one of the areas that will require full transparency and you must indicate your current state of affairs as well as your requirements. It is important, to be honest, and transparent to reduce the risk of reporting and consequences that could be an issue at a later stage.
Much like any conclusion, you will want to use this section to thank the reader and wish them the best. The conclusion is not for adding a few more points to secure a proposal, but rather a letter of thanks to the donor for taking the time to read the proposal & most importantly adding the call to action for the donors. It is worth noting that a good conclusion can create action for the donor.
Once you are done, you should add the supporting documentation to the request. These documents can include things like the company registration and other successful projects of a similar nature. Various forms of this documentation will ensure you get the best value for your money and have some fun.
Having seen the best way to write a fundraising proposal, it should now be much easier for you to engage in the process. A good fund-raising proposal can ensure that you get better results and individuals will be more likely to donate.