In this application, you are a non-profit organization seeking a grant from New Horizons Foundation for a worthwhile philanthropic project. As part of this project, you have been asked to write a proposal to the foundation.
Here are the underlying assumptions and ground rules for this application:
1. You have been part of an established nonprofit group for five years and have one or more successful projects or activities that you can briefly describe to the NHF as you make your case.
2. You have already rasied $28,000 for your current proposal to the NHF.
3. You can request up to $100,000 from the NHF, meaning that you could have a total of $128,000 to pursue your philanthropic goals.
4. You must be able to show NHF how you will develop and sustain your proposed project over at least three years after receiving funding.
Contents of the Grant Proposal
Cover Letter (1 page)
Sometimes called a “transmittal letter,” this document uses a standard letter format, with the recipient’s name and title and the foundation address. The cover letter states, succintly, why your proposal meets the goals of the New Horizons Foundation.
The letter also briefly defines your nonproject project and the amount of funding you are requesting. You should electronically sign the letter and provide contact information for your organization.
Executive Summary (1 page)
The Executive Summary provides a short overview of your organization’s history and successes, the goals of your current nonprofit project, the methods you will use to address the identified problem or issue, and the basics of the budget needed for the project to be successful.
Problem or Needs Statement (1 pages)
This section must be especially high in supporting research. With the aid of available data, expert testimony, and anecdotes, define the project or need you are addressing.
What exactly is the problem, need, or shortfall that your project will address?
If you are, for example, planning to help a certain group of people, specify such demographic details as their ages and ethnicities, where they live, their interests, their socioeconomic standing.
Program of Project Description (1 pages)
This section, too, will require a good deal of research, along with a lot of creative and logistical thinking. In other words, how would you actually make “X” happen if you had the funds you are requesting?
Means of Evaluating Project’s Success (1 page)
A grant organization wants to know what measure(s) you will use to demonstrate that your program is actually working. You should inlcude a projected timeline for reporting results, perhaps in defined increments at the end of each year for a three-year period.
Budget with Narrative Explanation (1 page)
To construct a realistic budget, don’t just guess about costs; rather do some research on the costs of facilities, advertising, supplies, services, staff salaries.
You might quickly find that the $128,000 you asked for won’t stretch as far as you expected. If that’s the case, then adjust the budget to cover your program proposal. It’s better to devote sufficient resources to a more limited program than to obtain mediocre results with a large, underfunded program.
This is the reason why most start-up nonprofict projects begin with a “pilot” in order to determine if what they are seeking to complete is actually achievable with the amount of resources they have on hand.
Another important part of the budget narrative is your projection of future fundings. Most philanthropic foundations hope your non-profit will become sustainable at some point and not rely on their funds forever.
The Purpose (choose of these)
Your purpose in writing this grant proposal is twofold: first, to demonstrate your creative thinking and research skills as you invent a worthwhile and feasible nonprofit project; second, to use your reasoning and reasearch capabilities to devise a plan of action that will persuase the NHF to fund your project.
To simulate your thinking, here are some possible non-profit project ideas for you to consider. You may develop one of these ideas or move entirely in your own direction.
1. Computers on wheels: an info-technology bus for school neighborhoods after school
2. Free, after-school online tutoring for junior-high and high school students offered by college students.
3. Literacy project for adults, especially linked with jobs and careers.
1. Solar-energy advising for homeowners and small businesses
1. Pet-care assistance and infomratino on pet care for the elderly.
2. Pet-care of adoption services for pets stranded after storms or other disasters.
1. A service that allows individuals to borrow original works of art, and reproductions, for temporary display in their homes or offices.
1. After-school healthy eating workshops, and nutritious food prep, for junior-high students.
1. Job-search counseling for the unemployed and underemployed.
2. University-based workshops for students regarding personal budgeting, savings and investment, use of credit cards and loans, and other personal financial issues.
1. Weekly reading and discussion groups concerning the United States and the world
1. Free, or low cost, handy-person and painting services for the elderly or disabled.