Proposal writing is a time consuming process. You need to carry out proper research, collect information from various sources, read through the proposal format and fill in appropriate details. All these tasks are also required to be undertaken in a stipulated time because most proposal submissions have deadlines which you need to follow carefully.
In such a situation, how can you develop a quality proposal? One of the best ways is to pre-identify some of the common questions donor agencies ask from NGOs in their proposal formats. Although proposal formats vary from one donor agency to another, there are still some questions which appear to be common in all these formats. If you prepare yourself in advance for these questions, then you are saving yourself some time for working on the remaining part of the proposal.
A master template would be useful in this regard. You develop a list of all these questions that seem to appear in all proposals and write down their answers in a template and call it a master template. When you are required to write a proposal, you only need to copy the information from this master template and paste it in the proposal application form.
For example, many donor agencies ask about the monitoring and evaluation plan for the proposed project. Instead of re-conceptualizing the entire process, you can just copy the plan from the master template which you have developed previously. Of course, some monitoring and evaluation plans can be custom-oriented for different projects, but in small proposal application forms, they remain the same.
So what are the commonly asked questions in proposals for which NGOs can prepare in advance? Here we are discussing them below:
- Introduction to your NGO
- Objectives and Mission of the NGO
- Project Background or Rationale
- Monitoring and Evaluation Plan
- Sustainability Plan
- Crosscutting Themes