General guidelines for writing project proposals apply for youth project proposals, although, in this case, the strength of your proposal will be assessed against your ability to make a case for the importance of investing in youth in your community. Whether you are applying for an award that is specifically tailored for youth organisations or whether you are answering to a more general call, which emphasizes the necessity of involving young people in the proposed projects, you should stress the reasons why it is of utmost importance to give preference to young generations in your specific case.
- Start by reading relevant reports and official documents drafted by the UN concerning youth. You will find this material arranged by topics, which will facilitate your search. For instance, if your NGO is proposing a programme to train young people in your community, make sure to read the reports written about youth unemployment and write down facts (which could further support your case) and also concepts and ideas emphasised in these reports in order to make your proposal stronger.
- Organise a focus group with young people in your community. Ask them to present their problems and to explain why reported issued are of importance for the community. Record the session and use quotes from the group discussion to provide evidence of the need for your initiative when writing the rationale of the project.
- Access local statistical offices to retrieve information about youth, and in line with the scopes of your project. Add stories and use examples gathered from everyday life in your community to make the statistics meaningful. Remember that members of selection committees might not be familiar with the social, political, or economic situation of your country and region. Strong proposals are able to picture the real needs of your community and to give evidence of the needs of such projects also by providing concrete examples of how the issues at stake affect everyday life.
- Remember to highlight the importance of working with young people in your community as a way to educate future generations of leaders and also to help young people in becoming active citizens (knowing their duties, but also their rights and ways of developing their own ideas).
- If your NGO does not primarily work with young people, but you want to widen your audience or designing projects that could also benefit the youth, you could start by visiting schools and universities in your area to present your organisation’s main projects. Take this as an opportunity to ask how young people assess what your organisation does and whether they are interested in what you have been doing. Prompt their participation in future activities by gathering ideas on how your NGO could design new projects that are appealing to younger generations. For instance, if your NGO is concerned with agricultural projects, you could ask about what activities could make young people more familiar with the issue, and develop tailored initiatives in collaboration with them.