A school or community health fair is an excellent way to disseminate life-saving information to a large number of people in a short amount of time. Organizing such a fair takes money, though; you might need to rent a venue, tables and chairs, and you'll need to advertise the event and pay staff for their time. Perhaps you have identified possible sources of grant funding for your event and now need to write a formal grant proposal that will grab the attention of potential sponsors.
Write your organization's full contact information, including its name, mailing address, email address, website, fax number, phone number and your own name at the top of the page. Then include a name and slogan for your project, such as "Good Health and Giggles: Teaching Lifelong Health Habits to Boston's Children" or "Midwood Medical Initiative: Preventive Health Education for a Stronger Community."
Describe the need. Explain what health problems are most serious in your community and why a health fair is important. Examples of facts to include (depending on the nature of your community): the numbers of people who lack primary care; the rise in incidence of particular illnesses; reference to research showing that ignorance about those diseases increases mortality rates; and the lack of health education in local schools.
Explain how your health fair will fill the need. Potential donors want to believe that their money is supporting projects that help a great number of people in deeply important ways. Describe the sort of information that will be distributed at your fair and how. What will people learn at your fair, and how will that information help them improve their health?
List specific, measurable objectives for the fair. Potential donors will want to know exactly what the fair will accomplish. List the venues where you will advertise the fair and how many people you expect to attend. List the number of tables or activities that will be provided and what sort of materials they will distribute and in what medical fields. Identify a target location and number of hours the fair will take place.
Write a detailed evaluation plan. Potential donors will ask, "How can we know if the fair meets its objectives?" Let them know how you plan to follow up. Tell them that you will ask participants to fill out contact forms when they enter and evaluation sheets when they leave. Perhaps a certain percentage of participants can answer health questions before and after the fair to demonstrate how much they have learned. You can also say that you will follow up with the participating health centers or nurses to find out whether they have seen a rise in preventive care or patient compliance or that you will send a questionnaire to participants a month after the fair to get their feedback.
Attach a budget. Make a chart showing exactly how much money you need to run the fair and why. First, list all your expenses, including venue rental, office costs, advertising, prizes and materials. Then list any source of income you already have, such as committed donors, funds from co-sponsors and estimated admission income if you plan to charge people to participate. If your own organization will absorb the office costs, write that. Then calculate the difference between your expenses and your income: This is the amount of money that you still need.
Don't exaggerate or promise anything that you can't deliver.
Keep your proposal to two to three pages at most so as not to overwhelm your reader.
Allow at least several weeks for potential donors to get back to you.
Apply to several potential donors at the same time.
- Keep your proposal to two to three pages at most so as not to overwhelm your reader.
- Allow at least several weeks for potential donors to get back to you.
- Apply to several potential donors at the same time.
- Don't exaggerate or promise anything that you can't deliver.
Sarah Bronson received her Master of Arts in journalism from New York University in 2002. Since then her clients have included "The New York Times," "Glamour," "Executive Travel," "Fodor's," "The Jerusalem Report," "ESPN—The Magazine," the "Washington Times" and "Figure" magazine. Her areas of expertise include biotechnology, health, education, travel, Judaism and fashion.