A fundraising proposal does not stand on its own. It is part of a process of research, cultivation and solicitation. A proposal seeks to crease a partnership between your organisation and a particular prospect. It is a written reflection of this relationship.

Ideally a proposal should not be the first contact between your NPO and a prospect. There are some prospects who don’t want to build relationships and then you have no choice but to try by sending a proposal. But your chances of raising funds without a relationship with a prospect are quite slim.

What is a statement of need?
If you have drawn up your case for support, you should be able to take out the information you need for your funding proposal. How do you use your proposal to convince the prospect to support your work? The key to this is having a strong statement of need paragraph.

  • Your statement of need should outline the problem you are addressing and can include some statistics to make the point.
  • Your statement of need shows you are passionate about this issue – write the paragraph in a way that will attract attention and even pull at the heart strings of the reader.
  • Do not invent statistics for effect – rather describe the problem accurately and show that you are sincere about what you are doing.
  • The statement of need should start your proposal – starting with the history of your organisation is not nearly as interesting as the problem your NPO is trying to address.
Example statement of need from the Tanzamani Feeding Scheme:
“According to the Department of Social Development, there are 3000 homeless street children under the age of 12 in Cape Town, many of whom are suffering from malnutrition, scurvy, rickets and scabies. The Tanzamani Feeding Scheme plans to create a new project that will provide 500 hot, nutritious meals a day to the Hlalapanzi Shelter in Roeland Street, Cape Town, to ensure that these children have the best possible chance of recovery.”

The key components of a funding proposal are:

  • A cover page
  • A table of contents – if it is a long proposal
  • An executive summary
  • The main body of the proposal
  • A budget
  • Relevant attachments required by the prospect, such as your NPO registration or your constitution