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There are different forms and formats for full funding proposals. Every funder has different guidelines and priorities, deadlines and timetables. Some funders accept a Common Application Form (CAF), a single proposal accepted by a number of grantmakers to help grantseekers save time and streamline the grant application process.

Always follow the exact specifications of the grantmakers in their grant applications, Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and guidelines. Full Proposals are generally a maximum of 15 pages (single-spaced) and include a Cover Letter, Cover Sheet, Narrative, Budget, Qualifications, Conclusion and Appendices, as follows (See Components):

  • Cover Sheet - a case statement and proposal summary;
  • Needs Assessment - a concise demonstration of the specific situation, opportunity, problem, issue, need, and the community your proposal addresses;
  • Program Goals and Objectives - a succinct description of the proposed project/program's outcome and accomplishments in measurable terms, and how it matches the funder's interests;
  • Methodology - a rational, direct, chronological description of the proposed project and the process used to achieve the outcome and accomplishments;
  • Evaluation - the plan for meeting performance and producing the program/project;
  • Budget/Funding Requirements - a realistic budget with a detailed explanation of the funding request, committed matching funds, evidence of sound fiscal management, and long term funding plan;
  • Qualifications - your organization's background, its funding history, board involvement and staff qualifications, and its capacity to carry out your proposal;
  • Conclusion - a brief, concise summary of your proposal;
  • Appendices - additional attachments required by the funder, such as proof of tax-exempt status, organizational and financial documents, staff/board lists, support/commitment letters.

Present your full proposal neatly, professionally, and in an organized package. Type and single-space all proposals. Write, organize and present your proposal in the order listed in the application and guidelines. Only include the information and materials specifically requested by the grantmaker. The proposal is judged on content and presentation, not weight. (See Guidelines).

Unless required, do not include an index or table of contents, or bind the proposal, and be sure to sign it and submit the number of copies requested by the grantmaker.
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