Bidding for funding can be a bit of a minefield for those new to the industry. Whereas conventional bids are usually undertaken at the request of the customer, many fundraising requests are unsolicited, placing the requestor in the difficult position of encroaching on their potential benefactor, and removing the mutual process of bidding and evaluating bids.
Bid writers who are requesting funding have a different set of issues to contend with than those responding to ITTs. The criteria usually mark a significant deviation from conventional bid requests, and there are a different set of rules which need to be followed in order for the proposal writer to effect a successful decision when the bid is submitted.
Despite this, much of the best practice for bid writing in a fundraising situation remains the same. The document still needs to be easy to read, and simple for assessors to evaluate. If the bid writers are following a set process determined by the finding provider, it makes it simpler to write within the specified guidelines.
The following tips are designed to support the bid writer to produce an effective and compliant document…
Demonstrate a real requirement for the funding
Many charities and volunteer organisations develop a series of bids as a routine attempt to secure more funding. Even organisations which have a significant amount of cash in reserve still often request further grants when the opportunity arises. By setting your company apart from the rest and demonstrating real hard evidence of your need to secure cash, the proposal writer can make their document stand out as a genuine case for the evaluators. The best way to do this is to demonstrate exactly what your financial shortfall may be through the proposal writing, what plans you have in place for the funding, and how exactly it will be spent in order to deliver real, tangible benefits.
For bids which are provided through invitation, it’s extremely important to follow the criteria given by the authority providing the funding. Any deviation from the requested structure or information can mean that the proposal writer’s document is discounted at the first stage of assessment. Even unsolicited bids can be discounted if tender writers don’t manage to show a genuine understanding of the assessors’ ethos and outlook.
Be realistic about what is being requested
Proposal writers need to ensure that they strike the right balance between requesting modest amounts of support and being overly demanding. Any research in to the evaluator is an ideal way of establishing what the budget may be, and how much you can realistically expect to be offered by the provider. Beware of asking for money for the sake of it, even if it appears that there is a large pot available.
The proposal writer who demands too much risks being thrown in to the slush pile simply for not justifying how they will spend their allocated funds.
Grant Writing FAQs
Bidding for funding can be a bit of a minefield for those new to the industry. Whereas conventional bids are usually undertaken at the request of the customer, many fundraising requests are unsolicited, placing the requestor in the difficult position of encroaching on their potential benefactor, and removing the mutual process of bidding and evaluating bids.Read More >>
A growing number of organisations request that potential grant recipients send through an enquiry letter prior to receiving an invitation to submit a full proposal. For proposal writers who are unfamiliar with this process, it can be difficult to know exactly what is expected of them, and how to go about drafting a compelling and engaging letter which will lead to an invitation for proposal submittal.Read More >>