Crafting a grant proposal requires detailed knowledge about the donor organization, their interests in social activities, the mission of the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) seeking grants for their projects and the size of the project involved. Grants for international projects necessitate proposals that contain statistics taken from major surveys in addition to data-driven information that supports the grant making proposal. With so many grant proposals making their way to the tables of big donor organizations, national or international, it requires considerable skill to prepare proposals that inspire the latter to open their purse strings in favor of humanitarian projects and social development.
A close look at how some of the significant NGOs seek grants enable one to understand and list five major practices that they follow to ensure the success of their grant proposals. They may be detailed as:
Understand what your grant proposal is about: Unless one is clear about the purpose for which grants are being sought, it is impossible to elucidate the same to your donors. It is necessary to ensure that the needs of your NGO generate the impact required to impress donor organizations. It would be worthwhile to have a detailed understanding of the needs first. If you can highlight that the programs designed and executed by your NGO are aimed at community development or in aiding some particular section of our society that needs our attention, the chances that your proposal would stand out among the rest are high.
Ensure that your grant proposal reaches relevant donor organizations: Most donor organizations have a separate section assigned to look after corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects and decide on the nature, quantum and frequency of grants to be made. Though the CSR funders examine all project proposals laid at their table, they are more inclined to make donations towards those proposals that align with their company’s mission and are in sync with their focus area in addition to viewing the financial and technical elements of the grant proposal.
Do not ignore medium-sized business donors and funding agencies: Big donors are always flooded with request for grants and donations. In the race to seek their attention, many NGOs tend to miss out on the opportunity of seeking funds from medium-sized donors willing to make grants to boost their public image. In addition, the mission of your NGO should be in sync with large donors aims, thus, increasing the chances of getting grants from them.
Highlight the mission of your NGO and the purpose of seeking grants: In your grant proposal, accurately emphasize what your NGO does and the projects it has been involved in the past. It would be best if you can list the projects that have been successfully completed in the past or gained acclamation for their impact. This is because every donor, big or small, would like to know what they are donating towards and how the money spent will benefit the community it is targeted towards.
Explain your financial sources, monitoring and evaluation processes in grant proposals: There is a huge financial responsibility involved while accepting grants for international projects. Also, it requires considerable monitoring and evaluation coupled with detailed reporting to convince donors about the feasibility and authenticity of the projects they are paying for. While NGOs function on a non-profit basis, their return on investment is generally judged by the extent of impact on families and communities they work with.