How to Write a Charity Proposal

Written by carola finch
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How to Write a Charity Proposal
Be organised and focused. (computer working image by NiDerLander from

Certain government departments and foundations offer grants for projects, but to obtain them, you have to write a proposal for your charity. The application process starts with developing an idea, having a clear concept of how it can be accomplished and the cost. Then you can research funding sources and match your organisation's ideas with their criteria. To make sure that the organisation isn't already supporting a project in your area similar to yours, conduct a careful investigation of government agencies and other private foundations. After these steps are completed, you're ready to write a charity proposal.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Make sure that your proposal follows the format required by the funding source and has the supporting documents that the source has requested. Some private foundations may have a funding inquiry form that you need to submit for consideration before a formal proposal can be made.

  2. 2

    Start with a proposal summary that clearly explains the goals of the project. This can be presented as a cover letter or separate page and should be no more than two or three paragraphs.

  3. 3

    Create an introduction to your charity. Describe your organisation's mission, success stories and track record with other funding granters in a way that establishes your credibility. Include a brief biography of your organisation's board members and key employees.

  4. 4

    State the problem or needs that your organisation will address with as much hard evidence as possible as a "problem statement" or "Needs Assessment." Explain how your organisation came to recognise the need and what is currently being done about the problem. Clearly identify who or what will benefit from your project, the resources needed and your solutions.

  5. 5

    Explain the objectives of your project. Outline the staff and resources like facilities and transportation needed to run the project. Use visual aids such as flow charts or diagrams to show how the program elements interrelate to each other.

Tips and warnings

  • Gather as much information as you can about your project before you write your proposal, including its cost and demographics on who will benefit from it. Seek help from the contact person at the funding agency. Be prepared to provide measurable, detailed results that can be expected from your project. Conduct a needs assessment to backup your proposal. Get support from the community and attach letters of support to your proposal. Attend a workshop or information session that may be offered by the government agency or related foundation.
  • Plan ahead so that you have enough time to complete the proposal before the deadline. Funding sources may have strict deadlines.

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