In Part II of this series, I talked about the importance of using numbers to support the need for your project and the impact it will have. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of numbers to quantify all the good that will result from your project. But to expand beyond that point, I’ll suggest some ways you can go beyond the numbers themselves to tell a convincing story about the importance of your project.
Demonstrated Impact. One important way to demonstrate impact is to outline the outcomes your organization has already achieved. History is a good predictor. Showing existing success builds confidence that you can deliver on what you propose.
|Insider Tip: Demonstrate impact in two areas:
1) the impact your organization has already had
2) the additional impact the proposed project will have
Next are some different populations to consider when discussing demonstrated and future impact.
Impacts to Individuals. Statistics tend to be faceless and cold. You can increase the personal appeal of your proposal with references to individuals whose lives you have made better. Occasional testimonials and quotes can pull in a reviewer and put a human perspective on the data. If the proposal format allows, pictures of those benefitting from your organization are worth the proverbial thousand words. Of course, any quotes have to be relevant to the goals of your project and your organization.
Impacts to Society in General. Most projects serve specific populations and in doing so improve society in general. If you’re feeding hungry people, in most cases you’re also reducing crime. If you’re providing mentoring programs for at-risk youth, you’re also increasing diversity at the college level, since more at-risk youth will be able to attend. You’re also providing meaningful civic and personal engagement for mentors, often retired individuals. Where possible, provide numbers to support impact, but if statistics aren’t available, describe the impact in text.
Impacts to the Funder. This is so obvious it’s often overlooked. Funders benefit from your ability to meet their goals, which I often point out. But many foundations also crave publicity, banks and railroads being prime examples. Consider ways your project can put their name in front of lots of people in a positive light. Make sure to mention that in the proposal. Refer to our blogs on stewardship and thanking funders for ideas of ways to recognize funders.
Not a target population, but Assessments from Authorities can carry a lot of weight as well--the “don’t take our word for it…” approach. Think of any governing bodies, respected individuals, or other organizations whose assessment you could include in a proposal. Get a quote from them and place it in your proposal. Many times you can move the process along by drafting a version of the text and presenting it for edits, revision, and approval.
We can suggest more ways to strengthen your case for more dollars. Feel free to contact us at no charge for initial ideas and approaches you can use.
Photo Credit: Grant Source