Grant strategies to build nonprofit capacity

Project Planning – essential for funding success

Jo BNE AuthorJo 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. ProjectPlanning Image2

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?Project PlanningBlog Image1

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