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What Is Proposal Writing?

Proposal writing is one of the most important skills in business and technical writing. Companies write proposals to attract new business, sales clients and projects. Research professionals write proposals to attract funding for further studies. Units of local government and nonprofit organizations write proposals to secure grants for new programs and initiatives. 1. Function

A proposal aims to persuade the intended audience to do something. Business proposals strive to persuade potential customers to purchase a company's products or services. Other proposals try to persuade the intended audience to fund a new project Requests for Proposals

Many people write proposals in response to a Request for Proposals, or RFP. Companies, foundations and other organizations send out RFPs when they want to receive proposals for products and services, or applications for funding. Features

In general, a written proposal should consist of an introduction that summarizes the problem and your proposed solution; a main body that explains the details of what you are proposing; and a conclusion that emphasizes how your solution will benefit your client. Considerations

Be realistic when estimating a project budget and a schedule for completion, as a client will likely hold you to it. Size

Proposals can vary in length depending on the type of project or service being proposed. Some proposals are brief and informal, while others are lengthy and detailed. Proposal Format Guide. Get advice on how to format your proposal. Find out:

What are the rules for formatting a proposal? How important is style? What fonts should you use? What kind of binding is best? How should you approach graphics How important is a good cover? How can you use formatting techniques to help win the proposal? How should you approach your format if your skills are at a beginner, intermediate, or advanced level? How should the evaluation process impact your formatting? What kind of production procedures should you have? How should you handle packaging, labelling, and delivery?

A general format of the proposal consists of the following parts: 1. Problem Statement 2. Rationale or Justification for implementing the Project 3. Project Goal & Objectives 4. Strategy & Activities 5. Results: Outputs and Outcomes 6. Budget This basic format of a proposal has expanded covering many concepts and issues, confronting project funding and project implementation. As new experiences are gathered by donors in project implementation and funding processes, new explanations are sought from the applicant through the proposal. A project proposal is a detailed description of a series of activities aimed at solving a certain problem. The proposal should contain a detailed explanation of the: justification of the project; activities and implementation timeline; methodology; and human, material and financial resources required. The project proposal should be a detailed and directed manifestation of the project design. It is a means of presenting the project to the outside world in a format that is immediately recognised and accepted. The training sessions on project proposal writing aim to create an understanding of: the role of the project proposal and the activities related to each stage; how to deal with projects and project proposals from an organisational perspective; how project proposals fit into project management; and how to structure a good project proposal

The general purpose of any proposal is to persuade the readers to do something, whether it is to persuade a potential customer to purchase goods and/or services, or to persuade your employer to fund a project or to implement a program that you would like to launch. Any proposal offers a plan to fill a need, and your reader will evaluate your plan according to how well your written presentation answers questions about WHAT you are proposing, HOW you plan to do it, WHEN you plan to do it, and HOW MUCH it is going to cost. To do this you must ascertain the level of knowledge that your audience possesses and take the positions of all your readers into account. You must also discern whether your readers will be members of your technical community, of your technical discourse community, or of both, and then use the appropriate materials and language to appeal to both. You might provide, for those outside of your specific area of expertise, an executive summary written in non-technical language, or you might include a glossary of terms that explains technical language use in the body of the proposal and/ or attach appendices that explain technical information in generally understood language. The most basic composition of a proposal, as with any other written document, is simple; it needs a beginning (the Introduction), a middle (the Body of material to be presented) and an end (the Conclusion/Recommendation).

The INTRODUCTION presents and summarizes the problem you intend to solve and your solution to that problem, including the benefits the reader/group will receive from the solution and the cost of that solution.

The BODY of the proposal should explain the complete details of the solution: how the job will be done, broken into separate tasks; what method will be used to do it, including the equipment, material, and personnel that would be required; when the work will begin; and, when the job will be completed. It should also present a detailed cost breakdown for the entire job.

The CONCLUSION should emphasize the benefits that the reader will realize from your solution to the problem and should urge the reader to action. It should be encouraging, confident and assertive in tone.

A proposal is a description of the work you will complete on a project. The details included in a proposal depend on the project's scope and who will read the document. Typically, organizations advertise a need for proposals and consulting engineers respond to the need. However, as an engineer, you may determine that a problem exists, and therefore, propose solutions to an organization. In this case, you must first convince the agency that the problem exists before proposing your solutions.

Proposals are informative and persuasive writing because they attempt to educate the reader and to convince that reader to do something. The goal of the writer is not only to persuade the reader to do what is being requested, but also to make the reader believe that the solution is practical and appropriate. In persuasive proposal writing, the case is built by the demonstration of logic in the approach taken in the solution. Facts must lead logically and inevitably to the conclusion and solution presented. Evidence should be given in descending order of importance, beginning with the most important evidence leading and the least important at the end. Any questions that the reader might pose should be anticipated and answered in a way that reflects the position of your proposal. It is important that the writer, also, considers all sides of the argument---providing other alternative solutions to the problem, but showing how the one chosen is superior to the others.

There are several formats to a proposal, but one that has the greatest flexibility and has achieved the widest acceptance is as follows: Front Matter Letter of transmittal Title Page Project Summary (approx. 200 word abstract) Introduction

Body Project Proposal: (Includes Statement of the Problem, Proposed Solution(s), Program of Implementation, Conclusions/Recommendations) Conclusion/Recommendations Back Matter Bibliography and/or Works Cited Qualifications (of writer(s) and/or project implementers) Budget (Itemization of expenses in the implementation and operation of the proposed plan, and detail of materials, facilities, equipment and personnel) Appendices

The following are a planning sheet and format for presentation of proposals generated for ENG122 Technical Communications telecourse:


Analysis of the Situation Requiring a Proposal:

What is the subject of the proposal?

(This should be based on the thesis of your research.)

For whom is this proposal intended?

How do you intend the proposal to be used?

What is the deadline date for the proposal and for tentative implementation of the proposed solution?

Purpose of the Proposal:

Statement of the Problem:

Proposed Solution(s) or Plan(s), Including the Methods or Procedures:


Additional Information to be used in Explication of the Proposed Solutions:

(This includes: Costs, Personnel and their qualifications, Training, etc.)

Types and Subject Matter of Appendices to be Included in the Proposal:

Works Cited/References used in the Text of the Proposal:

Bibliography of Related Source Information:


Abstract or Summary of the Proposal

(This is a condensed version of the longer work, and it summarizes and highlights the major points of the report. It included: the subject, scope. purpose, methods, and obtained results of the study, as well as any recommendations and conclusions made.)


(Gives the background and states the purpose of the proposal)

Statement of the Problem

Proposed Solutions


Additional Information:

(i.e. Expense Statements, Cost Savings, Profit and Loss Projections, Equipment, Materials and Personnel Needs, Completion Schedules, Efficiency Studies, Writer's Qualifications, etc.)

(Presentation of charts, graphs, illustrations, etc.)

Works Cited/References


A proposal is an essential marketing document that helps cultivate an initial professional relationship between an organization and a donor over a project to be implemented. The proposal outlines the plan of the implementing organization about the project, giving extensive information about the intention, for implementing it, the ways to manage it and the results to be delivered from it.

A proposal is a very important document. In some cases, a concept note precedes a proposal, briefing the basic facts of the project idea. However, the project idea faces a considerable challenge when it has to be presented in a framework. The proposal has a framework that establishes ideas formally for a clear understanding of the project for the donor. Besides, unless the ideas are not documented in writing, they do not exist. Hence, a proposal facilitates appropriate words for the conception of an idea.
Proposals have recently become more sophisticated. This reflects the increased competitiveness and larger resources existing in the NGO sector. The trend of inviting proposals for contracting development programmes began with the allotment of substantial resources for development that triggered off the mushrooming of NGOs around the world. Enormous opportunities existing in the sector have led to the trend of making proposal writing a profession. Proposal writing poses many challenges, especially for small and unskilled NGOs. Here, we discuss some basic and necessary information required for developing a proposal.

Breakdown of the Proposal Writing Format

Gathering Information Before you even begin with your proposal writing, you will need to gather information about your idea, expenses, and donors. It is important that you clearly understand what your concept is and how it will be carried out. Additionally, you will need to have an idea of what the expected results of your idea are. With this information, you will be able to follow a proposal writing format much easier. Then, break down all of the expenses you will have and find documentation to back them up. One crucial step which many people forget is researching donors. A proposal is more likely to succeed if it is written in a way which fits with the philosophy of a donor. Executive Summary The executive summary is the first part of the proposal writing format. This should be about one page and give an overall description of all the key points in your proposal. The executive summary is the most important part of the proposal writing summary. To make a strong statement which is easy to follow, you may consider breaking it down into these sections: The problem The solution to the problem The funds which are needed to implement the solution Your expertise which makes you capable of implementing the solution

Statement of Need This part of the proposal writing format is addresses why your idea is important. It should generally be about two pages long. Generally, the statement of need starts out with a problem and then gives information to back this up. Make sure that all information is followed up with up-to-date and accurate information. Next, make sure that you are giving the reader hope that the problem can be fixed. Make sure that you are not simply stating the absence of the solution as the problem. Additionally, make sure that you are focusing on why your problem is worse than other problems or why your solution makes more sense than other solutions. Project Description This part of the proposal writing format should be about three pages long and will go over all the steps to implement your idea. This should be broken down into various sections such as objectives, methods, staff requirements, evaluating methods, post-project evaluation, and long-term project sustainability. All of these aspects should be dependent on each other. For example, the knowledge of staff required depends on the type of methods used. Budget The budget is one of the most difficult yet most crucial parts of the proposal writing format. Make sure that you have carefully calculated current and future costs for the project.

Organization Information This is the part of the proposal writing format where you will attach your resume. In two pages, you will want to describe your organization in detail about the mission statement, how employees are recruited, the audience you serve, and any other important information. Conclusion It is good to have a conclusion to wrap up the proposal writing format. Generally, two paragraphs are enough to summarize the proposal. Additionally, you may want to mention what you expect for the future after your proposal is completed.

I. Determining the Specific Need for Funding Funding from a grant proposal can provide your organization with one time funding for such projects as developing a new product or service, conducting research or purchasing equipment. Because it is not usually an on-going source of support for general operating expenses or staff salaries, grant seeking should be only one part of your overall fundraising plan. Writing the actual proposal is just one step in the grant seeking process, and it is not the most important step. Far more time should be spent developing the program or project and researching and cultivating appropriate funders than on the actual preparation of a proposal. It is important that you have a good sense of how the project fits into the philosophy and mission of your agency. The need that the proposal is addressing must also be documented. These concepts must be well-articulated in the proposal. Funders want to know that a project reinforces the overall direction of an organization, and they may need to be convinced that the case for the project is compelling. You should collect background data on your organization and on the need to be addressed so that your arguments are well-documented. How to Start Commit your ideas to paper. Thoroughly describe your program. State the goals and objectives of your program. Construct a timeline. Estimate costs for staff, materials, and equipment. Plan for the evaluation of your program. Write job descriptions for your program staff.

III. Preparing the Proposal The proposal should answer the following questions: What is the product or service to be developed? Identify the work. Why is the product or service needed? Justify the work. How will you develop it? Identify and justify methods. Who will develop it? Identify and justify personnel. When will it be developed and delivered? Identify and justify phases of work. Where will it take place? Identify and justify available and necessary resources. How much will it cost? Identify and justify costs in the budget.

A. Proposal Types unsolicited a response to a specific program a response to a Request for Proposals (RFP) The unsolicited proposal is developed around general agency guidelines; within a subject field, the scope of the project is not limited by specific program guidelines. You may submit an unsolicited proposal at any time, although there may be target submission dates set to meet particular review panel meetings. A proposal submitted to a specific agency program should be written to the program guidelines issued by the agency. These programs have recurring deadlines which you must meet to have your proposal considered. To respond to an RFP, your proposed project would have to fit the needs described in the specific work statement developed by the funding agency. An RFP has a specific deadline; if the proposal arrives late, it normally will not be considered. Also, most RFPs are onetime solicitations to fit a specific need which is not expected to recur. When responding to an RFP, the agency should have a form or detailed guidelines about how to submit your proposal. Its important that you follow the guidelines and deadlines exactly as stated. Although the prescribed format of any of these proposals will vary, all three should be prepared in the same general manner.

B. Components of a Proposal There are eight basic elements that most funders expect to see in a proposal: 1. Summaryclearly and concisely summarizes the request. 2. Introductiondescribes the agencys qualifications or credibility. 3. Statement of Need documents the needs to be met or the problems to be solved. 4. Objectives establishes the benefits of the project in measurable terms. 5. Methods describes the activities to achieve the desired results. 6. Evaluation presents a plan to determine the degree to which objectives were met and procedures were followed. 7. Future funding describes a plan for continuation beyond the grant period and/or availability of other resources. 8. Budget clearly delineates costs to be met by the grant.

1. Executive Summary Although this is the first page of the proposal, it is the most important section of the entire document and should be written last. Here you will provide the reader with a snapshot of what is to follow. Specifically, it summarizes all of the key information and is a sales document designed to convince the reader that this project should be considered for support. Be certain to include: Organization and its expertise a brief statement of the name, history, purpose, and activities of your agency, emphasizing its capacity to carry out this proposal (one paragraph); Problema brief statement of the problem or need your agency has recognized and is prepared to address (one or two paragraphs); Solutiona short description of the project, including what will take place and how many people will benefit from the program, how and where it will operate, for how long, and who will staff it (one or two paragraphs); and

Funding requirementsan explanation of the amount of grant money required for the project and what your plans are for funding it in the future (one paragraph).

2. Introduction In this section you will introduce your organization and its ability to complete the proposed project. Potential funding sources should be selected based on their possible interest in your type of organization or program. The introduction allows you to reinforce the connection between your organizations interests and those of the funding source. Items to include in this section are: How you got started Why you got started (organizations goals) How long youve been around Anything unique about your organizations beginning Some of your most significant accomplishments as an organization, or if you are newly developed, some of the significant accomplishments of your Board or staff in previous roles. What support you have received from other organizations and prominent individuals (as letter of endorsement which may be attached in an appendix). 3. Statement of Need If the funder reads beyond the executive summary, you have successfully piqued his or her interest. Your next task is to build on this initial interest in your project by enabling the funder to understand the problem that the project will remedy. The statement of need will enable the reader to learn more about the issues. It presents the facts and evidence that support the need for the project and establishes that your nonprofit understands the problems and therefore can reasonably address them. The information used to support the case can come from authorities in the field, as well as from your agencys own experience. You want the need section to be succinct, yet persuasive. Like a good debater, you must assemble all the arguments. Then present them in a logical sequence that will readily convince the reader of their importance. As you marshal your arguments, consider the following six points. First, decide which facts or statistics best support the project. Be sure the data you present are accurate. There are few things more embarrassing than to have the funder tell you that your information is out of date or incorrect. Information that is too generic or broad will not help you develop a winning argument for your project. Information that does not relate to your organization or the project you are presenting will cause the funder to question the entire

proposal. There also should be a balance between the information presented and the scale of the program. Second, give the reader hope. The picture you paint should not be so grim that the solution appears hopeless. The funder will wonder whether an investment in a solution will be worthwhile. Heres an example of a solid statement of need: Breast cancer kills. But statistics prove that regular check-ups catch most breast cancer in the early stages, reducing the likelihood of death. Hence, a program to encourage preventive check-ups will reduce the risk of death due to breast cancer. Avoid overstatement and overly emotional appeals. Third, decide if you want to put your project forward as a model. This could expand the base of potential funders, but serving as a model works only for certain types of projects. Dont try to make this argument if it doesnt really fit. Funders may well expect your agency to follow through with a replication plan if you present your project as a model. If the decision about a model is affirmative, you should document how the problem you are addressing occurs in other communities. Be sure to explain how your solution could be a solution for others as well. Fourth, determine whether it is reasonable to portray the need as acute. You are asking the funder to pay more attention to your proposal because either the problem you address is worse than others or the solution you propose makes more sense than others. Here is an example of a balanced but weighty statement: Drug abuse is a national problem. Each day, children all over the country die from drug overdose. In the South Bronx the problem is worse. More children die here than any place else. It is an epidemic. Hence, our drug prevention program is needed more in the South Bronx than in any other part of the city. Fifth, decide whether you can demonstrate that your program addresses the need differently or better than other projects that preceded it. It is often difficult to describe the need for your project without being critical of the competition. But you must be careful not to do so. Being critical of other nonprofits will not be well received by the funder. It may cause the funder to look more carefully at your own project to see why you felt you had to build your case by demeaning others. The funder may have invested in these other projects or may begin to consider them, now that you have brought them to their attention. If possible, you should make it clear that you are cognizant of, and on good terms with, others doing work in your field. Keep in mind that todays funders are very interested in collaboration. They may even ask why you are not collaborating with those you view as key competitors. So at the least you need to describe how your work complements, but does not duplicate, the work of others. Sixth, avoid circular reasoning. In circular reasoning, you present the absence of your solution as the actual problem. Then your solution is offered as the way to solve the problem. For example, the circular reasoning for building a community swimming pool might go like this: The problem is that we have no pool in our community. Building a pool will solve the problem. A more persuasive case would cite what a pool has meant to a neighboring community, permitting it to offer recreation, exercise, and physical therapy programs. The statement might refer to a survey that underscores the target audiences planned usage of the facility and conclude with the connection between the proposed usage and potential benefits to enhance life in the community.

The statement of need does not have to be long and involved. Short, concise information captures the readers attention 4. Objectives An objective is a specific, measurable outcome of your program. Once youve clearly defined a problem or statement of need, your objective should be to solve or reduce the problem. If the problem is the number of homeless people with mental illness in your community, then an objective of your program should be the reduction of the incidence of homelessness among people with mental illness in your community. Be careful about stating a specific number simply to make your objective more measurable. If your objective is to decreasing homelessness among people with mental illness in your community by 10% (or any specific amount) make sure its a realistic number based on your organizations ability, the project being designed, other similar programs, etc.

5. Methods By now your proposal has covered who you are, the problem you want to work on and your objectives, so now you need to tell how you will bring about those results. You will describe the activities you will conduct to accomplish your objective. The funder will want to know why you have selected the method you state. Its important that you be familiar with other similar programs and the methods used and how they are successful. Your credibility is enhanced when you indicate your knowledge of alternative methods but have chosen a particular one for your project.

6. Evaluation Evaluation can serve two purposes. You can evaluate your program to determine how effective it is in reaching the objectives you have established solving the problems you are dealing with. Evaluation can also be used as a tool to provide information necessary to make appropriate changes and adjustments in your program as it proceeds. If you have specific objectives, you should be able to evaluate your progress toward reaching them.Your project evaluation needs to be objective to have the most merit. Subjective evaluations are opinions or how people feel about a program. To get an objective evaluation, it may be possible to get an outside organization to evaluation your program. Other non-profit agencies, colleges and universities in your community might be able to help. Its essential to build evaluation into your project and to implement your evaluation at the same time you start your program or before. You have to measure the initial problem to be able to determine success in reducing or eliminating it. 7. Future Funding Funding sources want to know how you will continue your program when their grant runs out. For one-time only grants such as for equipment, this doesnt apply. However, if youre proposing a program, service or on-going activity, then you need to explain how it will continue. One possibility is to gain support from a local institution, government agency or business. If this is the case, get it in writing and include it with your proposal. A better plan is to generate funds through the project itself such as fees for service.

8. Budget As with proposals themselves, funding source requirements for budgets differ, with foundations requiring less extensive budgets than federal agencies. The following budget design will satisfy most funding sources that allow you to design your own budget and, with minor changes that the sources will tell you about, can be adapted to fit most federal agency requirements. The budget is determined by what you have said in the narrative description and is divided into different categories for project expenses. Direct Costs. These costs can be directly identified with your project and include: Personnel. List each person who will work on the project by name or job type and indicate the amount of time that person will devote to the project. By using a persons current salary rate and allowing for estimated salary increases, you can determine the salary figure to include in your budget. Fringe Benefits. For each dollar paid as salary or wage to an employee, the employer incurs an associated cost for fringe benefits. These benefits may include F.I.C.A., workmens compensation, unemployment compensation, retirement, and life, dental, and health insurance. For grants, the benefits are estimated as an average percentage of salaries and wages. Equipment. List each piece of permanent equipment not already available that is needed to conduct the project. Be as specific as possible in your description including model numbers and types. Supplies and Materials. Itemize the expendable supplies needed for your project. Travel. Travel costs include travel necessary to conduct the project, consultant travel, and travel to professional meetings. Be specific and list costs for transportation (based on coach airfares) and per diem separately and include the number of people. Mileage reimbursement in privately owned automobile cannot exceed the amount of coach airfare to the same destination. If your are requesting support to attend a professional meeting, indicate the professional organization involved, and the site, if known. Travel reimbursement will be at actual, reasonable, and necessary costs if the contract/grant has been approved for such. Communications. Include telephone and postage expenses related to your project. Printing. Include costs for any copying or printing necessary to your project whether these are completed in-house or at an outside source. Subcontracts. If your project requires the services of outside organizations, those expenses should be included as a subcontract in the proposed budget. The total subcontract cost should appear as a line item in your proposal budget, and a separate budget breakdown for subcontract costs should follow the proposal budget. In addition to the detailed subcontract budget, you should include with your proposal a statement of work for the subcontract and a letter signed by the individual authorized to contractually commit the subcontracting organization which indicates his/her knowledge of the project and the organizations willingness to participate. Indirect Costs. Indirect costs are a part of your project expenses and need to be included in the project budget when allowable. In fact, indirect costs can be so expensive that they can make or break a project. They include building space, utilities, and related administrative services.

CHECKLIST - BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER WRITING Dos Allow adequate time to write the proposal Check submission deadlines well in advance Consult Regional and Country offices if the proposal includes activities at the country level Follow instructions given by the donor meticulously Keep in mind who will be reading the proposal and write for that audience Assume that the donor is uninformed about the subject of the project, but infinitely intelligent Add graphs/photos that illustrate the problem, where relevant Have the proposal and particularly the Budget section cleared by your Budget and Finance officer Ensure that budget figures have the currency clearly indicated Make writing concise and clear Avoid abbreviations Double-check all facts and figures Run a spell check Read the proposal aloud to identify "long-winded" sentences and unclear explanations Have a colleague, or several, critique a draft Number the pages Consider the aesthetic qualities of the proposal: leave space between paragraphs, use an easyto-read font Provide a reference number on the cover page that the donor can use to identify the proposal in any future communication Have your proposals cleared and signed by your ExD and/or Director Contact the donor to find out the exact name of the person to whom the proposal should be sent Check the address to which the proposal should be sent Enter your proposal into Pro Track Make sure RMB gets a copy of the final proposal Other points to remember Don't shy away from stating the obvious - educate the person reading the proposal

(A) Introduction Proposal writing is often considered a "task" rather than an integral and essential part of any project or activity for which additional funding is needed. The following principles for setting up a proposal, along with clearly defined workplans, can help make creating a successful proposal a straightforward and well-ordered process. This document outlines the major components of any basic project proposal and provides additional information on what each section should contain. Examples and suggestions to follow are also included. (B) Writing a proposal Getting started A proposal must be based on an existing workplan for the given project or activity, with clearly defined objectives, milestones, and outcomes. As a first step, collect all relevant data and information needed to begin writing the proposal. Some points to consider while carrying out the data collection include: Identify the shortfall based on the workplan budget Identify the activity the shortfall relates to Justify why the funds are needed and when State the implications of the shortfall not being met Research Research is essential in order to identify the most relevant potential donors for your project and to assess a donor's particular interests. Your project should match the donor's current priorities, focus, and funding areas. For donors who have given to WHO in the past, this information might already be widely known. If the proposal is targeted at a potential new donor, additional research must be done to verify that areas of mutual interest exist. Sources of information regarding any particular donor include: The external relations officer or senior staff in WHO Clusters, Regions or Countries- Department of Resource Mobilization's PRO-TRACK system. This system provides various research possibilities for identifying potential donors. Department of Resource Mobilization's intranet, with multiple links to major donor websites Department of Resource Mobilization staff Proposal headings A proposal may already exist for your project, but it may not be in a format acceptable to the new potential donor. Re-work your proposal to ensure that the major headings and content clearly match the potential donor's preferred method of presentation. The following headings are among the most commonly used in proposal writing, and could be considered as the cornerstones of any standard proposal. Headings may need to be added or deleted, depending on the requirements of the donor. The cover page should provide a "snapshot" of the proposal. The person reviewing the proposal will not want to spend hours figuring out what the project is about. A busy executive at a foundation, for example, will want to know right away what problem the project will solve, with how much money and within what time frame. If the cover page

catches their interest, they will read further. Cover page (see Annex 1): 1. Project title including: contact details of person submitting the proposal a reference number that the donor can use to identify the proposal 2. Summary Following pages: 3. Introduction 4. Challenge 5. Strategy 6. Evaluation 7. Budget 8. Conclusion The number of pages written for each section will depend on the requirements of the donor. If they have a set format, be sure to follow it. It may help to make a detailed outline of the proposal before actually beginning to write. Be certain to include anyappendices such as references, cited works, organization structure or detailed budget breakdowns, where appropriate and when requested by the donor. See Annex 2 for a Checklist of important points to consider before, during and after writing. (1) Project Title The title is your project in a nutshell. It should be short, crisp, and appealing. A good title summarises the entire proposal in a few words. The words used must be clear and unambiguous. The title should express the overall goals of the project and drive home the message and aims, preferably, in a single sentence. If the initial sentence is too long, use a subtitle. Give priority to words that carry the most importance, i.e. those that concisely reflect the purpose of the project. The key words of the title that are to be emphasised should come first. Plan to repeat the key words and concepts in the title throughout the proposal to reinforce the message. Avoiding unnecessary words will ensure a clear picture of the key ideas and provide a direct reference to the outcome of the project. Geographic focus and year of implementation can be critical to include in a project title especially if the donor has geographic priorities and funding is needed for a particular year. Be sure to add these details to your title where relevant. EXAMPLE The following titles use the same words except in a different order: (a) AIDS orphans and their peculiar nutritional requirements (b) The peculiar nutritional requirements of AIDS orphans (i) is focused on AIDS orphans (ii) is focused on nutritional requirements. It is important to be clear which part of the project you want to emphasize in your title. EXAMPLE (a) The Developments of a Reference Manual to Guide Social Workers (b) A reference Manual for Social Workers

Title (a) has too many words and (b) is just as clear but with fewer words.(2) Summary The proposal summary is the most important section of the entire document. In fact, it may be the only part of the proposal that some reviewers read. The summary should give the donor a clear idea of what is contained in the proposal. It should provide the reader with a complete picture of what will follow without leaving them puzzled or confused. It should summarize all of the important information and in particular address the following questions: (1) What do you intend to do? What problem(s) do you intend to solve? (2) Why is the work important? (3) How are you going to do the work? How will you solve the problem? (4) How long will it take? (5) How much funding is needed? The summary must be specific, short, and concise, saving in-depth treatment for the other sections. (3) Introduction This section should consist of a brief but thorough introduction to your organization (WHO, cluster, department, programme, project) and its work. Points to cover include: overall goals of your organization how the project serves to further the goals of the organization Important tip: It is recommended that the summary be written after the proposal has been completed. The summary should include a brief statement of the problem; a short description of the project and the method to be used to carry out the project, as well as the time frame and reference to the amount needed to complete the project. EXAMPLE Eradication of Polio in Angola by the year 2000 why the organization is best placed to carry out the project (i.e. comparative advantage). (4) Challenge This section defines the problem the project aims to solve. The challenge should be presented in a logical and easily understandable way. The statement of the problem should demonstrate urgency and justify the immediate need for funding. At the same time, be realistic about what can be accomplished within the duration of the grant and within the requested budget. The upcoming Strategy section should be able to refer back to the aims identified in the Challenge section, in order to show how the proposed solutions will respond to these needs. The data presented in this section must be accurate and directly relevant to the problem statement. An error or irrelevant information will cause the reader to question the whole project and jeopardize the possibility of receiving funding. Present the problem in a manner that allows for a possible solution and not as a circular argument,

which uses the absence of a solution as the actual problem. Reinforce the urgency of the problem and the need for a solution. (5) Strategy This section of the proposal should start with a basic but thorough introduction to the substance of the project. Do not assume that the reader will be an expert in your field. Outline the project's ultimate goal, objectives, and the strategy for achieving them. Include a tentative sequence or timetable for the project, indicating how and when objectives will be met. If the project is part of a larger on-going initiative - indicate progress that has been made to date and how this project contributes to reaching the ultimate goal. EXAMPLE The circular argument for building a Youth Centre in Lagos is that there is no Youth Centre in Lagos. Building a Youth Centre would therefore be the logical solution to the problem but not a convincing argument. A more persuasive argument would be to cite studies showing the positive correlation found between the presence of Youth Centres and diminished levels of crime and drug addiction among young adults.Bearing in mind that most donors are in the business of funding solutions, it is important that your proposal demonstrate the ability of your solution to make a real difference. Well-articulated objectives are crucial to the success of a proposal. It might be worthwhile to consider using numbers, bullets, or indentations to denote the objectives in the text of the proposal for easy reading. Setting realistic objectives is the key to success. (6) Evaluation Your proposal should include a built-in evaluation plan to assess whether or not the project has met the objectives outlined in the Strategy section, within the given time frame and budget. An evaluation plan should measure the "outcomes" or "products" of your project. If your project proposal is based on milestones and objectives as outlined in your department/programme's workplan, it should be fairly easy to evaluate the results of your project. Some other tips: Key words Any number of words can be used to define the results a strategy will ultimately achieve. Words such as: goal, objective, milestone, and outcome are often used arbitrarily, although they each have special meaning. The first two are interchangeable. A goal - the end toward which effort is directed EXAMPLE Elimination of Malaria in Nigeria by 2005 OR

An objective something toward which effort is directed: an aim, goal, or end of action EXAMPLE Promoting use of bednets to combat Malaria A milestone a significant point in development; an intermediary target reached on the way to the goal EXAMPLE To ensure that 80 percent of the children in Malaria affected areas have bednets. (where the final goal is getting ALL children to have them within one year) An outcome something that follows as a result or consequence EXAMPLE Elimination of Malaria in low-lying areas: A bednet in every home Design an evaluation plan that fits the scale of your project. Indicate how you plan to collect and analyze data on the project's impact. Indicate how you will disseminate information on the success and content of your project to the appropriate audience. (7) Budget The projects budget must be realistic and within the range of funding at which the potential donor generally gives. The budget should show the donor that you understand the resources needed to carry out the proposed project. It is possible to request a donor to fund a specific activity that is part of a larger proposal. This will require demonstrating how a donors contribution to an activity will contribute to the success of the project as a whole. If it is possible for the funding of the project to be received over a period of years, rather than as a lump sum disbursement, this is worth mentioning. You should be sure to leave adequate time to pass the proposal by your Budget and Finance Officer. They have a crucial role to play in the preparation and clearance of funding proposals and can assist with: (a) Making cost estimates (b) Checking that the agreements are consistent with WHO Financial Rules and Regulations and WHO Manual (c) Monitoring reporting requirements. (d) Preparing the financial reports (in some cases) See also Clearance for Funding Proposals in Annex 3, which highlights key points to consider when preparing the proposal budget. (8) Conclusion Every proposal should have a concluding paragraph. This is the place to make a final appeal for the project. In one sentence, briefly reiterate what the project seeks to achieve and why it is important. Underscore why the organization is in the best position to carry out the project, focusing on the comparative advantage of WHO. You may wish to include the names of other partners who currently support, (or who will be approached to support) the project financially, or with whom you are planning to collaborate in other ways to carry out the work. The conclusion is also a good place to call attention to the future. If appropriate, outline some of the follow-up activities that might be undertaken to ensure sustainability

of the project. This will prepare the donor for additional funding requests you may send in the future.