Your proposal is the main source of information for the people who evaluate requests on behalf of the funding agency. Always remember that your proposal gets considered faster when you make the evaluator's job easier. If your proposal addresses every point, the evaluator doesn't have to do any additional research.
By doing your homework, you will emphasize to the evaluator that your organization is capable of completing the tasks you propose. If you include all relevant information, you make the evaluator's job that much easier, because the evaluator will not have to hunt down additional information in order to make his or her recommendation. If the evaluator has to do a lot of detective work, this may not reflect favorably on your proposal.
The introduction should inform the evaluator about the gist of your proposal, touching only briefly on the points raised there.
The Coalition for Community Involvement has been active in the community since 1975. Our volunteer members have come up with a solution to the problem of teen skateboarding and would like the Acme Funding Agency to sponsor our innovative program.
In order to make your introduction most effective, avoid including too much information. Save that for the balance of your proposal. Some organizations now ignore the “introduction” entirely, instead submitting an “executive summary” at the beginning of the proposal.
The needs statement identifies the needs of your organization. In it, you simply characterize the problem you are trying to address, showing the problem as it exists. Then, in your analysis, you can offer solutions to the problem.
You also need to demonstrate how your needs will be addressed by the actions your group plans to undertake.
In a needs analysis, you should show how your needs will be fulfilled by the activities put forth within your proposal. While you don't need to make a separate “needs analysis” section, somewhere within your proposal you do have to show how your needs will be met by implementing the goals you propose.
The needs analysis provides you with a very effective technique: addressing how your goals will be achieved. This operates on two levels:
It shows that you have put the foresight into identifying how your needs will be met, so it gives an indication of the dedication and thought your group has put into the project.
It also provides the evaluator with a concrete example of how particular goals will be met. It shows the evaluator that your plan is concrete and is capable of evaluation.
Even after your proposal has been completed, its effects will live on. Ideally, you will achieve all of the goals you suggest. When evaluating a proposal, an evaluator must be able to determine ways to establish whether or not your proposal is succeeding. Including your goals in the proposal gives the evaluator an identifiable means of evaluating the success of a particular provision.