Foundations vary in size, grant-making priorities, and available assets.  All want to be assured that their “investment” in your project will achieve the stated goals and have a meaningful impact.  Increase your chances of receiving funding by reviewing your proposal through the eyes of a foundation officer by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Does the project fall within the foundation’s interests and geographical area?
  2. What is the significance of your project to your filed of study and to the community in general?
  3. Does the project have realistic goals and time frames?  Can you really do what you propose to do?  What evidence do you provide to support your ability to complete the project and achieve stated outcomes?
  4. What are the hoped-for outcomes of the project? Who are the beneficiaries? What are the “ripple” effects?
  5. In what ways is your organization committed to the project (cost-sharing, in-kind support)?
  6. Who will oversee the project?  What is the management structure that supports this work?
  7. Does the project duplicate existing research, programs or services?  Fill in gaps in knowledge or services?
  8. Can the project/research be used as a model for duplication elsewhere?  Asked another way, will the foundation’s investment be magnified beyond the borders of your specific project?
  9. Who will oversee grant expenditures and what are their qualifications?
  10. How does the project justify the cost?  Can the project be segmented for partial funding?
  11. What other sources of funding are available and have they been pursued?  Can the project be sustained after the grant funds ends?   How can the requested funding provide leverage for other funders to participate in the future?
  12. How can the proposed project be considered a good investment for the foundation?