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Guide to Proposal Writing


Guide to Proposal Writing GECAC * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * General Tips Be Creative, Positive, Realistic, and Specific Avoid jargon. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Guide to Proposal Writing

Guide to Proposal Writing

General Tips
  • Be Creative, Positive, Realistic, and Specific
  • Avoid jargon.
  • Research funding source.
  • Watch due date

Example Instructions
Standard Format
  • Cover Letter
  • Table of Contents
  • Summary
  • Introduction
  • Need
  • Objectives
  • Method
  • Evaluation
  • Budget
  • Letters of Support
  • Appendix

Cover Letter
  • On agency letterhead
  • Address to specific person and office
  • Brief description, include money needed and
    people who will be helped
  • Name, number and email of contact

Table of Contents
  • Include if proposal is 7 pages
  • List section plus page numbers by Roman Numeral
  • VII Method21
  • Number pages front to back, including appendices

  • Include if proposal is 10 pages
  • Should be no more than 1 page
  • Similar to a news release
  • What will sell the project?

  • Why should your agency get the money?
  • Examples
  • Designated by another agency for funding
  • Long-time program
  • Have run similar programs
  • Strong Board of Directors
  • Largest provider in area

Example Introduction
Over forty years ago, the Greater Erie
Community Action Committee (GECAC) was
established to combat poverty in Erie County,
Pennsylvania. Starting with one staff member and
a budget of approximately 60,000, GECAC has
grown to employ over 400 staff members with a
budget that has exceeded 35 million since 2001.
Agency programming has evolved over the years
from the original programs focusing on Head Start
and neighborhood development to the current
agency structure of five main operating divisions
providing over 65 programs through the Area
Agency on Aging Child Development Division Drug
and Alcohol Services Network Employment,
Training and Community Services Division and
Workforce Development Services. Housing
programming was established early in GECACs
history when the first utility, crisis
intervention services were offered in 1979. As
programming has changed over the years, one thing
has remained the same GECACs mission to
provide services directed toward elimination of
poverty or causes of poverty in the Greater Erie
Area. This HUD Local Housing
Counseling Agency (LHCA) grant will allow GECAC
to expand our housing counseling program to
provide default delinquency counseling to
households seeking to improve their rental
situations and to those who are behind in their
mortgage payments (as early as one month behind)
and further advance our efforts to provide Erie
County residents the opportunity to live in
decency and dignity.
  • Show that there is unmet need in community for
    service you are proposing
  • Should be QUANTIFIED get good stats
  • Impact statement
  • How does need relate to objectives

Need continued
  • Sources for statistics
  • Census
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Penn State Data Center http//
  • PA Department of Education
  • Police records http//
  • Erie County Department of Health
  • Other agencies
  • Surveys (Scientific or Non-scientific)

Example Need Instructions
Example Need
Erie County is located in Northwestern
Pennsylvania on the south shore of Lake Erie.
The state of New York is its eastern boundary and
the state of Ohio is its western boundary,
Crawford County, Pennsylvania lies to the south.
The county has a total land area of 802.6 square
miles. Forestland constitutes 36.5 percent of
the land area with crop and pastureland composing
26.8 and 7.7 percent respectively. As estimated
by the US Bureau of Census, Population Estimates
Program (PEP) in 2004 Erie Countys population is
282,355. This is an increase of 1,512, or one
percent (1), from the 2000 Census population of
280,843. Approximately three-fourths of the
area's population is urban, residing chiefly in
and around the city of Erie and a small urban
cohort (6,384) in the city of Corry in
southeastern Erie County. The latest Census
Bureau population estimate for the city of Erie
(as of July 2003) is 103,981, approximately 37
of the county population. According to the 2004
US Bureau of Census American Community Survey
(2004 ACS), 17.9 of Erie Countys population
five years of age and older and 41.4 of the
population over 65 had a disability. For the
population under the age of five, early
intervention services are provided by two MAWA
agencies. The two agencies reported that 1,030
children received services during the 2004-2005
school year. The Pennsylvania Department of
Education (PDE) reported that 6,902 school age
children from the thirteen Erie County school
districts received special education services
during the same school year. (http//ed.hbg.psu.ed
  • Answer the question What do you hope to
  • Stated in terms of the beneficiaries
  • Who will change?
  • What behavior will change?
  • In what direction will the behavior change?
  • How much change is desired?
  • By when will the change occur?

Objectives continued
  • MUST be SMART!
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time-referenced

Objectives continued
  • Two Types
  • Output or process objectives have to do with the
    number of people in your program
  • Example
  • Problem Students are fighting with each other.
  • Objective To provide 6 training sessions in
    conflict management to 10 faculty members during
    the school year.

Objectives continued
  • Two Types
  • Impact or outcome objectives address how the need
    changed because of your program.
  • Example
  • Problem 6th graders are reading at or below a
    4th grade reading level.
  • Objective Within 6 months, 100 of the 200 sixth
    graders who now read at or below 4th grade will
    advance a minimum of one grade level in their
    reading comprehension.

Example Objective Instructions
Example Objectives
As shown on the logic model, the following
outcomes are expected from this project Ø Of the
80 households seeking and receiving one-on-one
counseling to resolve or prevent mortgage
delinquency or default, 50 will have their
mortgage modified, refinanced or otherwise
assisted to avoid foreclosure. Ø Of the 80
households seeking and receiving one-on-one
counseling to resolve or prevent mortgage
delinquency or default, 45 will successfully
avoid foreclosure. Ø  30 new clients will be
found as a result of marketing and outreach. Ø 
Of the 400 clients seeking and receiving
one-on-one counseling to locate, secure, or
maintain residence in rental housing, 350 will
find alternative rental housing.
Method 5 Ws
  • Who
  • Is Staff?
  • Is Client?
  • What
  • Are you doing?
  • Are you offering?
  • Where
  • Location
  • When
  • Are the services provided?
  • Are you going to start?
  • With Whom?
  • Will you collaborate?
  • Will you refer

Example Method Instructions
Example Methods
The one, full time housing counselor that GECAC
will hire through this grant will address these
two gaps by providing the following activities to
residents of Erie County Pennsylvania Ø This
counselor will provide one-on-one housing
counseling to approximately 520 individuals
during the 2006-2007 program year. The majority
of this counseling will focus on default
delinquency. The counselor will use the tools in
GECACs new Home Counselor Online system provided
by Fannie Mae to pull the clients credit reports
and work with them on alleviating their current
delinquency problems, debt management and
budgeting. Ø      Of the 520 clients that this
counselor will see for one-on-one counseling,
approximately 80 will have a need related to
mortgage delinquency, 400 will have a need
related to rental housing, and the remaining 40
will be homeless. Ø      The counselor will
provide materials to each client including Energy
Star, utility assistance and Family Saving
Account information. In addition, clients will
receive referrals to any other housing or related
program that fits their needs.
  • Evaluation of the 4 main sections (need,
    objectives, method, budget)
  • What is success?
  • Who will conduct evaluation?
  • When will it be conducted?
  • What tools will be used?

Example Evaluation Instructions
Example Evaluation
GECACs housing program has a locally developed,
Access database that is used to track all client
data. This networked database allows all housing
counselors, the housing supervisor and IFSS
director to access the information on any client
that has received service through any housing
related program. This common database serves two
major purposes. First, any housing staff member
can pickup a client record at any time and no
what has been done and what needs to be done for
the client. In this way, clients are provided
more prompt and cohesive service. Second, the
IFSS director has the ability to run regular
reports on housing activities and is able to
verify that program numbers are being met. If the
IFSS director, notices a concern with lower than
expected numbers she can discuss the concern with
the housing counselors and find a solution.
  • Two parts budget detail and budget narrative
  • Budget Detail
  • Spreadsheet format
  • Itemized costs
  • Budget Narrative
  • Narrative description
  • Why was item included

Budget Continued
  • CHECK your math
  • Be as accurate as possible
  • Include in-kind/ match

Example Budget Detail
Example Budget Narrative
The amount budgeted for staff travel costs are
reasonable due to the close vicinity of the
target schools that the program will serve. For
instance, the target school with the most
distance is only approximately 40 miles one way
from the GECAC Central office. Academic
Counselors will efficiently be assigned to target
schools that are close to one another for the
purposes of accessibility to students served,
time management and budgetary concerns. This
will allow the counselors to focus the majority
of their time on working within their schools and
very minimal time on travel.
  • Don't put anything in appendix that you want
  • An Audited Financial Statement
  • IRS letter confirming 501(c) 3 status
  • Organizational Budget
  • Board List
  • Any other thing the funding source requests

Sources for grant funding
  • Federal Register http//
  • Foundation Center http//
  • The Grantsmanship Center, Inc.
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