Ready to put all your passion and energy in paper? This is the moment for it! To be standing at this point means that you already have a shaped project idea, you have completed the partners selection process to help you bring it to life and have decided to apply for financing by some donor. Wondering who this would be? Don’t rush! This is to be explained later on in this Toolkit! For the moment…let’s stick with your project proposal preparation!
Assuming that you have found your donor and you decided to apply for funding, it is more than important to dive deep into their call and focus on the details. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it sounds. In this moment you just need to go through the call for funding and:
- Explore the general rules and instructions: every donor has their own perception of things and their own goal when deciding to fund a new idea. Make sure you follow the river and get along with their point of view!
- Check the priorities: donors always describe the facts and conditions regarded or to be treated as the most important to them and you need to make sure that your idea matches them at a certain -at least satisfying- level!
- Go through the requirements: what specific elements of projects, characteristics of applicants or procedural steps has the donor set? For example, is a detailed agenda of your youth exchange required in advance? Does the donor seek for the gender dimension to be included in your applicants? Make sure your project idea and your organization match the donor’s eligibility criteria, and you strictly follow the donor’s process!
- Decide whether your project idea falls in line: you may successfully have worked through all previous steps but what about your own set of priorities, restrictions and plans? Does your topic match the donor’s field of interest? Is your methodology adequate in regards to the donor’s general perspective? Does your budget fit the one offered by the donor?
You are not alone in this! Go through the application form in cooperation with your partners and define all other details that you may have missed! Besides…as C.S. Lewis stated “Two heads are better than one, not because either is infallible, but because they are unlikely to go wrong in the same direction.”
The moment you elaborate enough on the previous steps, you need to pass to the next level, analyse your plan once again and define the details in cooperation with your project partners. Though blurry and confusing this might seem, let’s make it look like fun!
- GOALS – Review your main goal, redefine the specific objectives and desired outcomes of your project.
- PARTICIPANTS – define their profile, decide on the final number of participants, choose the most suitable communication channels you will use to invite them and set the minimum selection criteria.
- LOCATION – it is quite important to be as specific as possible, as this information is more than crucial for your final budgeting. The least you need to do is define the country and city where your project activities should take place.
- ACTIVITIES – do their implementation lead to achieving your objectives and the final goal? Don’t hesitate to make any changes to their form, sequence or time schedule, if need be!
- TASKS – it is necessary to assign roles and responsibilities among you and your partners: from activities to administrative procedures, it is important that everyone knows their position in the team, in order for your work to be well-coordinated and run smoothly.
- RISKS – are there any hidden traps along your way towards the realization of your project? Are there any hidden hazards that might negatively impact its implementation (for instance, what if the number of applicants to your project is smaller than planned)? Answer these questions, analyse all aspects and prepare a general strategy of reaction in case they occur, so that you avoid any unpleasant surprises (in our example, have you thought of an extension of the application deadline and intensifying the efforts to motivate potential applicants?)!
- BUDGET – “no money, no honey!” We are all more than familiar with that! Is your initial budget plan sufficient to realize your project? Does it need any additions, limitations or other alteration in order to fit your needs and ensure the successful implementation of the project?
- EVALUATION – how are you going to measure how satisfied you are by what you achieved and how will you measure your level of success after the curtains fall? Develop a detailed evaluation plan and define procedures of its implementation.
- VISIBILITY & SUSTAINABILITY – redefine the methods of promotion for your project and its outcomes. How are you going to offer visibility and what steps should you take in order to ensure sustainability of these results?
Deeply explore your donor’s scoring method – if any! Carefully go through this chapter and dig out all important information about the parts of the application that you should pay special attention to in order to increase your chances of winning the grant!
And here we reach the point that you have completed the analysis of your project and have determined all details.
Time to fill in the application form!
Yes, you were the ones to give birth to the project idea…
Yes, you are the leading applicant…
Yes, you pull the strings and make the calls…
Now, put your leading role aside and jump into teamwork!
Filling in the application form needs to be a collaborative task, in order to ensure not inly quality of the final presentation of the project, but also strengthen your partnerships through the process
Pick one of the plenty online tools that provide the space for collaborative work, so that the entire project team can follow the progress in real time, complement the text, ask questions or make comments during this process. It doesn;t need to be anything complicated – what about common Google Docs?
IT’S WATCH O’CLOCK!