Step One: Vision. The passionate mission of a nonprofit organization leads
to a concrete program to enrich the human condition or trigger social change. Every proposal, no matter how isolated
the goals or modest the grant amount requested, should reflect an ambitious vision.
Step Two: Philanthropy. The organization must identify a grantmaking institution that
shares this vision and has the resources to become a funding partner.
Step Three: Language. The vision must be translated into concrete terms with clear goals,
measurable objectives, and specific outcomes.
Step Four: Submission. In the spirit of partnership, the proposal should be submitted for
evaluation by the grantmaking institution.
Step Five: Continuation. If the proposal is funded, future charitable activities should grow
out of this initial success and the philanthropic institution should be cultivated for future partnership. If the proposal
is denied, the language becomes the building block for future submissions.
The Foundation of Your Proposal
Every successful grant proposal starts with a clearly defined vision
statement and a justifiable statement of need. Remember, you are competing for a limited pool of dollars, and your vision
and needs statement needs to do two things: set your organization apart from others requesting funding, and persuade
the funder that your project is meeting a vital need in your community.
Develop a Needs Statement-Vision Statement
The Needs Statement and the Vision Statement are very important components
of the grant proposal. The Needs Statement is very important because it discusses the need or needs that the project or program
will address with the funds received through the grant. A Vision Statement is basically one or two sentences that highlight
an organization's vision for meeting the needs addressed in the Needs Statement.
Answering several key questions creates the Needs Statement:
1. What is the problem that requires a solution?
will happen if this need is not addressed?
3. What evidence is available to document this need?
4. What is the desired
state of things?
5. Why must this problem be addressed now?
6. What unique qualities does your organization possess
that will enable you to address this need?
Non-Profit Development Specialist
PO Box 56
Marshfield, Wisconsin 54449