Preparing and Coordinating Submissions
There are a number of things to consider before you begin to write your proposal:
Have you contacted CFR to avoid competing proposals? Submission of proposals, particularly to local agencies and organizations, are planned well in advance of deadlines. In order to give the project the best chance of success, competing proposals should be avoided. Institutional priorities are developed and strategized in coordination with administration. Unauthorized proposals could jeopardize the likelihood of funding.
Do you have the latest information about the funder, their guidelines and deadlines?
What projects have they funded recently? Deadlines and guidelines change. Make sure that you have up-to-date information on submission requirements. The Internet has changed the way we communicate. Information is disseminated instantly. The applicant is responsible for obtaining the latest information.
Do you have the necessary departmental and organization approvals? Your project should have the approval of your department head and any other departments which would be called on to support the endeavor. Is there additional space required and would that be available for your use? Will there be adequate personnel to assure the success of the project? Private foundations typically do not provide funds for overhead (heat, lights, communications, fringe benefits, and basic equipment and services such as copying and clerical help). Support must be provided by the department. The question of whether this will create a burden on departmental resources and budgets must be answered.
Will you need letters of support from the institution? Hectic daily schedules and travel plans can limit the ability to acquire the appropriate materials on time. CFR staff can help coordinate submission of these requirements.
Will you need organizational information such as budgets and financials? Do not assume that a funder knows about our organization. CFR will help obtain financial statements, IRS forms, lists of trustees and other standard institutional background information for your proposal. Make certain you understand the requirements.
Do you have a good idea of what the project will cost? The careful construction of the budget cannot be underestimated. Detailed cost estimates and realistic figures will help make your case. A funder will look for a concise and clear budget and a plan for sustainability. Asking another foundation for support is not acceptable. How will you continue to provide resources for your project once funding is discontinued? Will you need organizational information such as budgets and financials?