Sunday, 15 February 2015

Recipe for Writing a Winning Funding Proposal

Recipe for Writing a Winning Funding Proposal

Dr. Annapoorna Ravichander

Bhawna Welturkar
Graphic Designer, CSTEP

  • Strong idea- is required to ensure that you are in a position to convince the funder and also to showcase your expertise in the area
  • Evidence-based information-funders ideally like to look at information that is factual and not fictional
  • Feasible activities-ensure that the activities are completed and not just making commitments which may not be possible to achieve/complete
  • Knowing and understanding the audience-study your donor/funder expectations well, since most of them have a well-planned agenda on who, what and why to support
  • Effective graphics-numerical data, photographs, sometimes Tables can be introduced as additional information to further explain concepts 
Now that you have your ingredients in place, you need to start putting them together. A well-thought out idea will help you ideate and focus on the key facts and bring out an effective and winning proposal.

  1. Identify a strong requirement of your organisation-choose information carefully 
  2. Identify a probable/right donor or donors- do not write to each and every funding agency
  3. Understand their requirements and start writing-personalise and customise the proposal
  4. Plan graphics/images
  5. Write an introductory letter to capture the essence of what you are applying for
  6. Prepare a Concept Note to 
  • Highlight the main ideas in a nutshell
  • Convey a specific message or idea
  • Educate and influence a donor
Note: A Concept Paper is often considered as a better tool than a detailed project proposal for marketing. 

Types of Proposals: Broadly speaking there are three types of proposals:

Importance of Graphics

Proposals can include graphics as additional information or included in the format. Often a donor has very little time to look at a proposal, hence a good presentation not only make document easy to understand but also gives an impression of quality. 

The three important factors that proposal writing needs to bring quality are Graphics, Images & Colour. Graphics in the form of tables & flow charts helps to make statistical data more understandable and catch attention. They are also useful whenever there is page limitation and the data is tremendous to share. Use of simple graphs and flowcharts can simplify complex data. The example below illustrates the comparison and rate of increase in publications.
A proposal with a combination of text and strong visual design increases reading probability.
Today technology has potential that these graphics can easily be found or created.
If you follow most of the points/ingredients mentioned in the method, you are bound to have a winning proposal.


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