How to Write a Fundable Program Proposal

This is what the map looks like
when you first start. …. But it
will get better.
READ for
 Eligibility
▪ Are you an individual, 501c3, faith-based,
community-based, local governing body, IHE, etc.
READ for
Match – inkind or cash – more on that later
Institutional commitment
Submission procedures
Contact information
The GOAL of the program – often found in the
legislation cited in the RFP
Who are you?
Why are you applying for funds? – Include
verifiable data to support your statement.
What do you want to accomplish?
How are you going to accomplish what you
stated you wanted to accomplish?
Why should you be granted and trusted with
money? –can statistics or others back you up?
How much do you want? When?
Be concise – no more than 2 pages usually.
Bad is good.
Shock, amaze, or at least wake up your proposal
reviewer with interesting facts (expressed in
numbers or with anecdotal statements.)
State what is “too high” or what is “too low”.
Example: the percentage of freshmen students
who fail four courses is too high. When you state
the problem this way, the objectives become
obvious. “To decrease the percentage of
freshmen students who fail four courses from 42
% to 30 %.”
Avoid problem statements that declare the
"the lack of " or "the need for" the solution
you are proposing for funding.
Example: "the problem with our academic
programs is a lack of (or need for) student
services outside the classroom. We propose
an activity to establish those student
Is the problem really academic services?
How would the provision of student services
improve academic services?
Give back the RFP
Use their headings
Where RFP gives the purpose of the
solicitation, quote it.
Where do you want to be when grant
funding ends?
How do you get there? (steps)
Congratulations – you’ve just written
Goals and Objectives.
Make sure each objective addresses each
problem identified in your Needs
Objectives lead to outcomes.
Ex. By July 1, 2012, the rate of students who
successfully complete (with “C” or better)
Intermediate Algebra will increase by 20%
compared to 2009 baseline data.
Objectives are not methods.
Ex. More students will successfully complete
college algebra by utilizing specialized
tutoring services.
Don’t be afraid. Create measureable numbers
and percentages.
Example (not measureable):
Increase successful completion rates for
students taking remedial math.
Example (measureable)
By January 2011, increase the number and
percentage of students who take Intermediate
Algebra ( last DE math course before college
level math course) by a minimum of 10%
compared to fall 2009 baseline data.
How you reach your objectives.
1. Select first cohort by end of summer 2010
2. Purchase 50% of computer lab equipment and
software by August 2010.
3. Develop pilot curriculum by January 30, 2010
for review by academic advisory committee.
4. Advisory Committee reviews curriculum and
makes recommendations by June 30, 2010.
5. Pilot curriculum with fall 2010 cohort.
6. Evaluate the pilot, (formatively, summatively,
quantitatively, and qualitatively) at least once before
semester’s end and at end of semester.
7. Modify the curriculum based upon evaluation,
during course (formative) and after course
8. Implement changes based on evaluation findings
before end of fall semester and before the next fall
9. Compare pilot data with successful completion
rates for individual and group success, January 2010.
We NO longer work in silos (rarely can afford
Solicit partnership from the partner’s
◦ How will this project benefit their department or
their organization?
◦ Be specific in your request for support from your
partner. Time? Money? (What’s the difference?)
More on this in on Day Three.
All expenses have to be justified and related to
the objectives.
Every budget item must be explained, down to
how many reams of paper you will buy with
THEIR money, and why you need to buy the
Make your budget auditable – While you don’t want
to pad the budget, you DO want to leave yourself
enough room for price increases (cited with
reliable cost indexes, etc.)
Explain where your numbers come from. Use
5 students to attend 2 national conferences
 x $600 plane fair
 x 150/night hotel
 x once per year
 = 5*2*(400+150) -- $5,500**
 **This does not include teacher or local
(presentation this afternoon by Krista Schumacher)
Pre and Post surveys are only a small part.
Formative and Summative
Qualitative and Quantitative
Progress charted from Baseline Data
Explain to your proposal reviewer you know what this
evaluation jargon means, and that you know how to
use it to effectively evaluate your program.
Electronic—Make sure you have fulfilled all your
responsibilities at least two weeks before the
deadline. All federal agencies require some
proposals to be submitted online. – Including
checking for your president’s availability for
signature (or, whatever your process is at your
Submit early, electronically or not. Deadlines are
posted at least 30 days in advance. If you wait
until the deadline date, you might miss it.
Convert your proposal to PDF so your tables and
charts don’t run off the page.
Check off the components of your proposal as
they are completed.
Make sure your font, margins, type size are
within required parameters.
Resist the urge to change a major component at
the last minute. Your carefully constructed
tapestry will fall apart if you pull a thread to
change the pattern.
Presentations adapted from Dr. Penny Coggins and Dr. Belinda Biscoe.