Letter of Transmittal/Cover
|States your request for
funds, brief description of proposed project, the contents of your
proposal package, offers to provide additional information, offers
to meet/discuss further (if applicable)
||Highlight features of
your institution and your proposal that fit well with the criteria
and interests of the potential funder. Be direct and respectful.
|States the title of the project, your
institution's name, address, phone, contact person, plus the name
of person/organization to whom you are submitting the proposal
||Neatness and first impressions count!
The cover (as well as the entire proposal) should be attractive and
professional in appearance.
Table of contents
|Identifies the sections and their
locations in your proposal in outline form
||Show a logical and organized path
from one section to the next.
|In one or two sentences each, it identifies
you/your institution, the need/problem, your objectives, proposed
activities to address the need, total cost, and "the ask"
- the summary is usually no more than one page in length.
||The Executive Summary is the first
glimpse a potential funder will have of your proposal. It is the point
at which the first "cuts" are made in the screening process
for fundable proposals. It appears first in the proposal but should
be written last. Be clear, concise, and be interesting (so they will
want to read the rest of the proposal!).
|Describes you/your institution's capability,
expertise, and qualifications as an applicant for funding
||Demonstrate that your institution's
qualifications and expertise will be well suited to address the need/problem
in your proposal.
|Tells why you are seeking funding
- are you seeking to address an existing condition or state of being,
or to solve a problem by addressing a specific situation?
||Avoid circular reasoning! For example,
the lack of a new playground is not reason enough to fund a playground
project. Demonstrate the need for a playground with statistical evidence
on population groups, survey responses, citing expert statements,
|State measurable levels
of accomplishment within a specified time frame as a result of the
proposed activities to address the need/problem - outcomes
||Set realistic, credible
objectives. State your anticipated outcomes - don't explain your activities
here. For example, "As a result of the summer college prep program,
retention levels for incoming freshmen will increase 65% over the
previous 4 years.
|Describes the activities you plan
to undertake to achieve your stated objectives to address the stated
need/problem; the population to be served and why; the timeline; the
implementation plan; specific duties of involved personnel and time
to be spent on project (job descriptions); management of project
||Avoid "insider" jargon or
slang. Be clear and logical. Don't assume that the potential funder
knows all - or even anything - about the problem you seek to address
or your field of expertise.
Qualifications of Personnel
|States the qualifications and relevant
expertise of the project staff, citing any professional licenses,
certifications, or other credentials of proposed project staff members
(resumes or vitae can be included as attachments)
||Demonstrate why your institution and
its personnel are uniquely qualified to successfully carry out this
|Describes how you will measure the
success of the proposed activities - formative and summative evaluations
- and why, who will serve as evaluator and why, and how the results
will be used and disseminated
||Funders expect to see clearly measurable
improvements and quantitative accountability. More and more funders
also look for the project's potential for replication and/or impact
on public awareness/policy on regional or national levels.
|Demonstrates a commitment
to the proposed project by the proposing institution to sustain its
operation beyond the life of the grant
||Discuss plans for future
funding and maintenance. Potential funders look for reassurance that
a project they invest in will not disappear at the end of the grant
period. Seeking new grant funding at the end of one grant period is
not an effective sustainability plan.
|Shows all specific costs involved
to implement and operate the proposed project by spending category:
personnel; fringe benefits; travel; supplies; equipment; printing/postage;
||Be as accurate and specific as possible.
Careful budgeting will work to ensure a smoothly running project as
well as reflect on your credibility should the need occur to request
any modifications to the budget. Explain the more significant costs
in a separate statement (Budget Narrative) to be included with the