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A checklist is a useful tool for writing proposals that will win competitive grants. This is the second half of a basic checklist.

 

Capacity:

  • Demonstrate your organization’s capacity for undertaking projects similar to what it now proposes.
  • Give evidence of financial commitment to pursue similar or related initiatives after the new grant period ends.
  • Describe past or current collaborations or partnerships with other organizations.

 

Commitment:

  • Provide compelling evidence of strong organizational support for the project being proposed.
  • Identify sources and types of internal and external support for the project, as appropriate.
  • Present the local organizational context for the project.
  • Present how the project reflects or advances other existing plans in your organization.
  • Provide a plan to continue core project tasks or strategies after the grant period ends.
  • Obtain uniquely worded letters of commitment from each project partner.
  • Use each partner’s organizational letterhead for all letters of commitment.
  • Describe specific and measurable commitments, not generic ones.

 

Staff: 

  • Offer evidence that proposed staff will be able to do the work required.
  • Connect staff experience to the project’s objectives and activities.
  • Present details in staff resumés that reflect specific project roles and tasks.
  • Describe the specific roles of all key project staff.
  • Provide basic demographic data about backgrounds of all key project staff.
  • Identify the specific time commitments of all key project staff.

 

Budgets: 

  • Use a budget narrative to defend and explain every line item.
  • Provide for broad sharing with key audiences of significant project processes, products, and outcomes.
  • Present a plan to share costs with partner organizations, if appropriate.
  • Link the budget to the project’s goals and objectives.
  • Itemize the budget in detail whenever possible and appropriate.
  • Include only eligible or allowed items in the budget request.
  • Ensure that the budget is realistic, appropriate, and well justified.

 

Evaluation: 

  • Align evaluation measures with the objectives.
  • Propose instruments appropriate for measuring attainment of each objective.
  • Seek and obtain third party evaluation whenever possible.
  • Provide for making midcourse corrections as well as for interim and final evaluation of results.
  • Describe the roles of monitoring or process evaluation in guiding the project.
  • Describe a plan for collecting, analyzing, and reporting performance data.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to be accountable for results.
  • Enumerate potential local and broader benefits of completing the proposed project.

 

Marketing: 

  • Describe a plan for reaching and informing key audiences about the project.
  • Explain how the marketing plan will use established and emerging social media.
  • Identify any tangible or electronic products the project will develop and deliver.
  • Describe a plan for ensuring high quality in creating and delivering project-developed products.
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