Alima Ahmad

About Alima Ahmad

Alima Ahmed is a development professional having masters degree in Social Work from Jamia Millia Islamia (New Delhi, India) and possessing more than five years of experience in development sector. She has worked with government entities like Delhi Disaster Management Authority as well as with NGOs like CRY, Action Aid India, Manas Foundation and others. Her expertise includes project management & implementation and fundraising and possesses efficient skills of documentation, communication, advocacy, networking and partnership.

Proposal Writing Guidebook for Grassroots-based NGOs/CBOs/CSOs

Characteristics of successful proposal writing A good proposal must convince the donor/funding agencies about the following aspects of the project going to be proposed by the organization: - The issue going to be addressed matches with the objectives/target area of the donor agency. - The problem going to be addressed is of significant magnitude in the proposed area amongst the target population. - A need assessment/baseline survey has already been done to assess the gravity of the … [Read more...]

Few tips for proposal writing

[...continued from the main page] Write as per donor/funding agency’s guidelines A proposal must be written as per the format & guidelines provided by the donor/funding agencies. Most of the multilateral, bilateral, CSRs have their own format, which the organization must follow. This you can access at their website & can ask your queries on their given email ids. Many donor agencies just ask for a brief concept note instead of a solicited project proposal, which they usually ask in … [Read more...]

Cover Letter, Cover Page and Project Summary

[...continued from the main page] The format for foreign donors & local donors might vary but most of them follow the same format based on Logical Framework Analysis model, which consist of the following topics: Cover letter- one should always write the cover letter on the letter head of the organization signed by the competent authority. The cover letter ideally should not be more than one page. It should be addressed to the concerned person with his/her name, designation & … [Read more...]

Problem Statement

[...continued from the main page] Firstly one should give an overview of the problem at the national & universal level followed by its magnitude in the proposed state & the geographical region to be covered. We should try to justify it by statistics from research data, press articles, references from concerned govt. agencies etc. We can also give references of other NGOs or Govt. intervention about the same problem. - We should try to establish a link between “Cause & Effect of the … [Read more...]

Goals, Objectives and Methodology

[...continued from the main page] Goals & Objectives The project goal is the long term objective of the project which is different from the objectives of the proposal. Goals can be the vision of the organization to foresee the impact of the activities to encounter the problem. The goal cannot be achieved by the organization in isolation & other govt./private/non govt. players are required to achieve it, on the other hand objectives need to be achieved by the organization alone. The … [Read more...]

Activities to be carried out

[...continued from the main page] This section describe the activities going to be conducted to achieve the desired objectives. It should give details about the activities in a sequence with the time line & also indicating the reason for choosing that very activity. It should also have separate tables for staffing/personnel plan, equipment plan, number of interventions per activity (work plan). Reporting structure of the staff can also be given at the end. The basic formats that can guide … [Read more...]

Monitoring & Evaluation

[...continued from the main page] A good monitoring & evaluation plan targets the activities in the following manner & will include: - Assess the impact of the activities undertaken - To measure the project’s success & effects - To monitor the project's performance on an ongoing basis - Tools used for monitoring & evaluation - List of indicators to gauge the success of the activities There are two kinds of monitoring and evaluation system. One is internal M&E, … [Read more...]

Project Sustainability

[...continued from the main page] This is one of the crucial aspects of a proposal, which funders/donors give emphasis on. This gives a vision to them to foresee your future plan to sustain the project after the budget is exhausted & project period is over. In this part one should be able to give relevant & tangible plan of actions which will be taken by the organization. Funders also give importance on the replicability of the model. We should be able to convince them that the … [Read more...]


[...continued from the main page] Most of the projects are influenced by various external factors/risks, which are beyond the direct control of the implementing agency. Thus, it is very important to identify those risks & the measures to be taken to address those risks. These risks could be because of the vital role & changing pattern of different stakeholders of the project, such as unstable environment because of sudden change in Govt. schemes/policies, behavioral change amongst the … [Read more...]

Expected Outcomes in a Proposal

[...continued from the main page] The outcomes are the changes or results that the organization expects to be achieved after the successful completion of the project. The outcomes could be quantitative or qualitative or both. We should try to make the outcomes quantitative as much as we can as the donor agencies always give an eye to it. These outcomes could be three, four and maximum five in numbers, in line with the objectives & goals of the project. For example- if a project is on … [Read more...]


[...continued from the main page] The budget of any project is its USP. The budget should be in line with the proposed activities and the quoted cost of each item/particulars should be as per the current market norms of the implementing area. The administrative cost (communication cost & salary of the project implementation team) should never exceed more than 15% of the total budget. We should also include the amount of money received or seek from other sources (community/individual donor) … [Read more...]

Profile of the organization

[...continued from the main page] This  section  describes  the  applicant  organization  and  its  credentials  for  funding and establishes its credibility. It should be brief and to the point, giving an overview about its profile to the donor agency. It should include the below mentioned information and annual reports, brochures, news paper clips etc could be attached as annexure. - Rationale behind the establishment of the organization - Vision & mission - Target area & … [Read more...]

Checklist: What goes with a Proposal

[...continued from the main page] Mainly the following documents are attached with a project proposal: - Registration certificates - Tax clearance certificates & other legal approvals (if any) - Names, affiliation and qualifications of officers and Board of Directors - Audited financial statements for last completed fiscal year - Need assessment/baseline survey report - List of other current funding sources - CVs of key personnel - Layout plan of building (if funding is … [Read more...]

Important Do’s before sending your Proposal

[...continued from the main page] Following things should be cross checked before sending the project proposal: - Table of contents is added - List of acronyms used is added - Page numbering, header & footer and watermark are complete - Cover letter is signed & attached - Spelling check & proof reading before sending … [Read more...]