The Project Title
Continuing, she added that applicants tend to downplay the importance of the project title, which is the first element of the proposal that donors notice. “The project title must be specific, catchy, edgy and demonstrating the purpose of the project in about ten to fifteen words. The title is what gets a lot of projects read, so it’s a strong selling point for your project and a lot of persons aren’t able to coin a captivating project title even though the project is brilliant,” she said.
Have a Qualified Team/Partner
Mrs. Taylor Stone also advises that persons should seek assistance with proposal writing. “Do not try to write a proposal on your own. It’s not a one man initiative so ensure you have a solid team with an established track record of success in the area in which you are applying for the grant, as well as a proof reader. Donors will be interested in looking at the persons who will be managing the project,” she added.
Cost Counterpart Resources
Costing your counterpart resources is also critical. “Some applicants only view counterpart as cash, not realizing that it also includes sweat equity in terms of (1) their time and (2) the equipment that will be used; these need to be valued and reflected as counterpart. In this way, you’re going to the donor with something; don’t go empty-handed because donors always want to know that you’re contributing some amount of value to the project,” she pointed out. The applicant should aim for a value that is equivalent to between 10% and 30% of the amount being requested.
Applicants are also being urged to register with local and international donor entities to keep abreast of new opportunities for funding. Mrs. Taylor-Stone is the developer of the JBDC’s ‘Tapping into Donor Funds’ Proposal Writing Workshop implemented in 2013. Since then, more than 200 persons have participated, with several benefiting from grant funding amounting to JMD$76 million in grant funding from donor entities. Participants are also able to access the JBDC’s funding registry. The next workshop is scheduled for May 17 – 19, 2016.