Grant strategies to build nonprofit capacity
- Published: Friday, 13 September 2019 14:15
Author: Jo Garner
The task of writing a grant proposal can be an exciting process. You have the opportunity to turn your organisation's ideas into something real. With a great project plan you're ready to ask for funding. But hang on a minute, where IS the project plan?
Do you find yourself racing against funder deadlines, waiting for the right project information from your service delivery team / project leads?
A very common issue encountered by grant-seeking professionals is having to chase up the depth of information required to write a strong application. This is often because of inadequate project plans.
Robust plans for the projects on your internal funding wish list, will ensure that:
* the project is actually grant ready
* it aligns with your organisation’s mission and strategic plan
* your project leaders understand the depth of information funders expect
* your project evaluation frameworks are embedded into the project design stage.
A collaborative relationship with your project leader is vital to preparing a project plan; commit time to discuss the project, and the funders expectations with the project leader / team before you start the project plan. Working with the project leader from the onset will ensure a diligent project plan is created, containing all of the project details required to draft a strong grant application.
The key information needed in a project plan, to ensure your projects are grant-ready:
Aim – What is the goal of the project?
Project need – Why is it needed? What service gap is it fulfilling? How do you know the need exists?
Differentiating factors – How is the project different from others? Why is your organisation best suited to deliver this project?
Target group – Who is this project helping? How many people will be assisted?
Objectives – What are the project outcomes? How will they be measured to achieve the aim?
Strategies / Methodologies – What tasks will be implemented to achieve the objectives?
Timeframe / Key Milestones – What are the project milestones? When does the project start and finish?
Project risks – What are the project risks? How will those risks be mitigated?
Collaborations – Who is your organisations working with to deliver the project?
Outputs – What are the projects’ immediate deliverable elements?
Outcomes and Impact – What are the direct changes (outcomes)? What will the impact be? (sustained or systemic changes)
Evaluation measures – Who is conducting the evaluation? What measures will be used to evaluate the project?
Budget – What is the total project cost? How much will the project cost your organisation to deliver?
Using the above headings will enable you to collate the project information in a clear and logical order, and be proactive in your grant-seeking.
Having a project plan at the ready means no more chasing up information from your project team, which will lead to you submitting a stronger grant application.
If you need help in preparing a project plan, or educating your project delivery team on the depth of project information and program design planning required to secure large grants – we have a pre-recorded Project Planning webinar for you. Or of course we can help!
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