Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Craigslist Foundation Networking and Grant Proposal Tips

I just attended a great networking event last night organized by the Craigslist Foundation. The guest speaker at this event was Susan Fox author of Grant Proposal Makeover. Susan shared her "10 Flaws That Doom Most Proposals to Failure." These flaws are:
  1. Proposals that don't fit the funders priorities.
    Do thorough research about their grant requirements and show that your program is a good fit to one of their funding priorities.
  2. The proposal does not follow logical order.
    Example order:
    -Introduce organization
    -What you are doing to address the need
    -Methods to reach goals and objectives (include line item budget)
    -How you will evaluate your activities
  3. Does not show the need.
    Although foundations may know the need out there, they still want to see how much you know about the need.
  4. Overwhelms with too many statistics.
    Use statistics in moderation.
  5. Relies too much on client stories and testimonials.
    Use a couple of stories that can show impact.
  6. Poor objectives or evaluation process.
    Some funders want to see formal evaluations.
  7. Includes a bad budget
    Double check numbers!
  8. Proposals written by committee where specific sections contradict one another.
  9. Uses overblown language.
    Be descriptive but don't overdo it. All organizations are unique and innovative.
  10. Uses vague abstract language.
    Be specific in proposal
This is a great list, even for those of us who do a lot of grant writing!

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