How to write a proposal for an NGO

Writing a proposal can be intimidating for NGOs because of the enormous information that goes into it. There are various formats in which a proposal can be presented, however the crux of the message remains the same.

In simple words, you are marketing your organization to a prospective donor audience about how a project is planned, implemented, managed & the result that is expected to be delivered.

Proposal writing. A person writing with a pen.

Concept Note

A concept note is sent prior to submitting the proposal. It carries a brief on the project idea along with basic facts, more like a preview of what they can expect to see in the proposal.

Why is a proposal important?

  • A written document brings in confidence about the NGO for the donor.Without which, there is no understanding of what, how & when the project will be implemented.
  • Proposal provides guideline to the NGO about planning activities and making budgets.

Challenges in proposal writing

Organizations big and small face difficulties in writing a proposal. Listed here are common problems faced by organizations while writing a proposal:

Things to remember before writing a proposal

  • Do your Pre-proposal research. In some cases, the Donor organization sponsors for the pre-proposal research, check if your Donor is willing to sponsor.
  • All the key stakeholders must be involved in the proposal writing process. Key stakeholders here are – The organization, Community who would benefit from the project & the Donor organization.
  • Know about your donor organization. Collect details about their past projects, their priorities concerning the aid & proposal guideline if any. 
  • Make sure you have all the information about your organization. Some key details could be missed or outdated if this information is copied from a previously submitted proposal.

The Proposal

A general format of the proposal consists of the following parts:

Problem Statement: A detailed analysis of the issue backed by well-researched literature with relevant data. This has to be brief yet provide all the information pertaining to the problem.

Project Goals and Objectives: This helps to identify the ultimate goal the project aims to achieve. The Objectives act as a guideline to achieving the goal. The objectives should be SMART(specific, measurable, achievable, realistic & timebound)

Strategies planned: This helps the donor organization to understand how the activities are planned based on the goals & objectives.  

Results:  The Impact that the project aims to achieve, the outcomes & outputs at the end of the project are detailed in this part.

Budget: The budget needs to be itemized and presented in the required format. It should be in line with the strategies & activities planned. It’s advantageous to include funds from other sources such as the community or other donors.

Proposal Presentation

The way you present the proposal is as important as the content that you submit. Here is a list of important details that should accompany your proposal,

Cover letter

Project title, name & logo of the donor agency and the NGO.

Table of Contents

Attach appendices, if necessary

Give Bibliography and references.

The proposal should be signed and sealed.

Chrysalis Services assists NGOs in Proposal writing. Reach out to us know more about this.

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