How to Write a Proposal for a Social Service Program

by Dee Dee Smith

There is a problem in your community and you believe you have the solution. But you lack the financial backing and support to implement your program. Many agencies and organizations offer funding for projects such as yours; however, to qualify for the funds, most often you will need to present a proposal or request. This proposal should be well-organized and concise, and clearly communicate the problem as well as how your program can improve the situation or resolve the concern.

Funding Agencies

Locate agencies, other organizations and philanthropists that offer funding in your community and/or fund the type of service you plan to provide.

Study the agency's guidelines for submitting proposals. Before going any further, be sure you meet the basic requirements of this funding agency.

Draft a proposal checklist. This will aid you in ensuring that you have included all the data and information required by the agency. Deviating from the guidelines or excluding needed information could result in your proposal being denied.

Compile information. Before beginning to write your proposal, go through your checklist to make sure you have all the data you will need.

Writing the Proposal

Draft your cover or title page. This will form the agency's first impression of you so be sure to take great care in putting this page together. It should include a proposal title along with the signature(s) of the submitter(s).

State the problem or concern your program will address. You will also want to expound on how this issue adversely affects your community.

Put together a summary or overview of your program. In a very clear and concise way, communicate its goals and objectives. How will your program address the stated problem or concern? What is the anticipated or expected outcome? Be optimistic but realistic.

State your funding needs. Be clear about how the funds will be allocated. You may want to use a spreadsheet, graph, chart or other applications to present your financial projections.

Include resources or support documentation for your program. This can be statistical data confirming the problem, or references from respected leaders in your community.

Edit your proposal. Go through your checklist again to make sure you have included all of the required data and information. Check for misspelled words and typos. It may be a good idea to have another person review and proofread your proposal before you submit it.

About the Author

Dee Dee (Ford) Smith has been a writer for more than a decade. Her writing specialties include food, travel, golf and career stories, along with marketing literature and product descriptions. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in organizational psychology from Wilberforce University in Ohio.

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