How to write a fundraising proposal

Resource type: Article

Extracts from the Worldwide Fundraisers Handbook 2nd edition (2003) by Michael Norton in association with The Resource Alliance

Writing a proposal is probably one of the most important skills in the fundraiser's repertoire. For many smaller organisations, the difference between a good and a bad proposal will be the difference between success and failure. The fundraising proposal communicates the needs of the organisation to its potential supporters. And it is largely on the basis of the written proposal that many funders will decide whether or not to make a grant.

What follows should not be regarded as a blueprint which will guarantee success. What it aims to do is to identify the key points to enable you to produce a proposal which matches the requirements of a potential funder. The same basic approach applies when approaching any grant-making body, whether central government, a local authority, a trust or a company. Where differences do exist, these are identified in the text.

This document covers the following areas: 

  • Planning your approach
  • Targeting your proposal
  • Content of the proposal
  • Deciding how much to ask for?
  • Writing the proposal
  • Get in touch

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