The LinkedIn group The Non Profit Network - Moja Link featured a great dscussion a while back about the most important part of any grant proposal. Opinions varied, from the importance of budgeting (read our budgeting tips here) to ensuring that the funder had a clear picture of what you planned to accomplish (we gave similar advice in our Objectives post). But one consultant, Hamutal Gouri of Consult4Good provided some insider knowledge regarding reviewer preferences, and it was too good not to share.
Gouri listed six elements that she looks for when she reviews a grant proposal:
- The organization has a strong vision and mission statement.
- The organization's plans are based on evidence and fact. It's clear that the organization is aware of the realities of it's surroundings, it's clientele, and current best practices in the field.
- The organization is innovative and passionate. It approaches challenges with creative responses and fosters commitment among its clientele, staff, and other funders.
- The organization "walks the walk." In particular, Gouri said that she was most interested in organizations that work their goals and values into their organizational structure, models of work and interventions, and participatory mechanisms.
- The organization is professional, and inspires confidence in the reviewer.
- The organization uses a sustainable model and is focused on community building.
Gouri makes some strong points - organizations can't forget that when you are writing a grant proposal, you are essentially pitching to a buyer - the reviewer. Your case for funding is much more than just your project plan - it should also convince the reviewer of your ability to achieve and deliver results. (Photo Credit).