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What is a Funding Proposal?

By Josie Myers
Updated Jan 27, 2024
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A funding proposal is a request for money to complete a project. Such projects are usually humanitarian or community-minded in nature. A well formulated proposal will tell a potential donor every necessary detail about the proposed project, ranging from a general overview, to the exact budget and long-term prognosis. Sometimes these proposals are used to lure private donors, while other times they are part of a grant request.

Many non-profit organizations use a funding proposal to find donors for their cause. This approach is generally used when a large sum of money is being requested from several potential donors. The funding proposal is presented to businesses and philanthropists in the hopes of gaining their support. It needs to be laid out in an organized and professional manner in order to be taken seriously by these potential donors.

A proposal usually begins with a title page that lists the name of the project, and important details such as the organization running it, and the dates that it will begin and end if applicable. The first part of the proposal is a narrative that explains the background of the project. It should tell how the plan began, the vision for where it will go, and demonstrate a proven need for the project.

Next, the exact details of the plan are laid out. The overall goal must be outlined, showing how the plan will solve the problem explained during the background. The proposed remedy needs to be proven from a scientific perspective with facts to back up claims. It should also clearly explain who the clientele are, where they live, and what their current situation is. The proposed staffing and location of the project also need to be detailed.

After defining the problem and the proposed resolution, it is time for the funding proposal to tell the donors what resources are at hand to complete the project, and which ones are still needed. Numbers must be exacting, and the writer should not shy away from being up front about all the costs. The list of costs should include the staff, available facilities, equipment and supplies, and the overall budget.

A funding proposal should also include a section explaining how the project will be evaluated while in progress. It should explain how it will be monitored, how often the results will be reported, and how it will be expected to evolve in the future. As with any business, the potential investors will want to know that the project will adapt to unforeseen complications, and that their investment will be well protected.

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Discussion Comments
By SteamLouis — On Apr 30, 2014

I'm preparing a funding proposal fir the first time and it's quite difficult. There are many things to include so I think it's going to be very long. Is there a length limitation to funding proposals? Will length of the the propsal have a negative impact on the donors?

By ysmina — On Apr 29, 2014

@burcinc-- That NGO must not be very good with funding proposals. Or the projects might not be very promising, or they may just be reaching out to the wrong people.

Although there are many philanthropists and businesses out there ready to invest their money, they want to make sure that the money is going to a good cause and they want to see results. If they can't see results or if they feel that the money is not going to make a change, they won't fund a project.

So it's important for organizations to be completely clear about their project and what they intend to achieve. The proposal should not leave any doubts about the project and it should have clear measurements about the results. Results that are not measurable or too many unanswered questions will push donors away.

By burcinc — On Apr 29, 2014

Funding from donors is the main income for most non-governmental organizations. They have to constantly prepare funding proposals and reach out to individuals and organizations for funding for projects.

My friend is working for an NGO that is experiencing difficulty getting funding. They haven't even been able to pay their employees their salary this month. It's very difficult for some small NGOs to stay afloat if they don't have proper funding.

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