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Here are some notes from our class lectures.

You might find them useful.



Categories of financial needs of non-profits

Operating: rent, utilities, and other daily expenses

Program: Program or special project funding

Capacity building: Funding to expand the reach of existing programs

Capital or equipment: Usually for the purchase of equipment, renovation, or land

Endowments: A large sum of money, the principal of which is usually kept as a long-term investment that generates income through dividends


Major proposal components

Cover Letter


Problem/Need Statement

Background (Organization)

Project Overview (Your book calls this "goals and objectives")






Problem Statements
  • Need to be easily digestible

  • Needs to prove that the problem exists and is significant (quantifiable and concrete evidence from credible sources)

  • Need to focus on the target population rather than the organization

  • Need to have a clear relationship to the organizations' (non-profit and funder) missions and purposes


Solution Statements: Mission/Goals/Objectives

Mission is the reason any organization exists, non-profits and funders alike. A mission is the Big Picture goal--like alleviating poverty, protecting the environment, or improving health outcomes for children, for example.


Goals are broad statements associated with particular projects. For example, a goal might be to improve the nutritional quality of school lunches in order to improve the overall health for children (see mission above).


Objectives are the more specific, realistic steps that this project will need to take to achieve its goals: (SMART) Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound.



Methods are even more specific steps that organizations need to take as parts of the project. Think of these as activities on a timeline.



This is how you will measure the effectiveness of your program. As with all evaluation, it compares outcomes to purpose and goals. Some of these will be more specific than others--questionnaires, aggregating longitudinal data, CDC numbers. The rhetorical purpose here is to demonstrate your non-profit's commitment to making sure its programs are working.



This means how your organization plans to keep this program going (if it's not a one-time thing like buying a building) in the future. Are other funders committed to long-term funding? Will you be asking them to make an annual gift? What resources are already in place to support your project as part of an ongoing effort?



The obvious definition is that this is an itemized breakdown of the cost of the project for which you are requesting funding by item and quantity, including personnel costs. Budgets are typically presented as tables. The rhetorical angle that should be employed throughout the proposal is that the cost is an investment in the fulfillment of the funders' missions.





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