How to Write a Funding Proposal
A funding proposal is necessary when securing investment money, whether it be for a charity project, research or a new business. Your proposal will be the document that helps funding organizations evaluate the viability of the project and the chances of its success, and it is often the only chance you get to make your appeal. As you write the proposal, consider how you can best target the interests and biases of the lender to make your argument as compelling and persuasive as possible.
Follow the directions in the request for proposals. Look up the requirements on the website of the funding organization and set up your proposal accordingly; you may need to stray from traditional formats or add sections. Often, proposals that do not follow the required format are thrown out immediately, no matter how strong their content is.
Start with an executive summary. In this section, provide a brief overview of each part of the proposal. Open with an attention-grabbing lead sentence to draw readers in, and include only the most important facts. Pare down the executive summary until you have removed all small details and minutiae so that what is left is a concise overview of the project or business. Use bulleted list items when possible to make the summary easier to read.
Describe the background of the project. Explain to the funding organization why your proposal is important and why it is needed based on the current situation in the market. Provide data from your research, using hard numbers to impress upon readers the importance of finding a solution to the problem at hand. Choose examples and information that are relevant to the interests of the lender to make the section more powerful.
Let potential investors know exactly what type of business, research, or project you are proposing. Describe the products or services you will offer, and explain the end goals or objectives. Go into detail about the methods you will use to carry out the project, the facilities, staff, and resources. Talk about production scheduling and available resources. Explain how you will evaluate the success of the project.
Lay out a schedule and budget. Make a simple calendar that explains the various milestones of the project, including the expected completion date. Include a line-item budget that covers the major expense categories for the project, and don't forget to place the total at the bottom of the budget sheet.