Proposal/Grant Writing Workshop Day 1 November 6, 2006 Bren School of Environmental Science and Management Kate Kokosinski
My Experience • Proposal Writer – Clipper Windpower Development • Writing Consultant – Bren Writing Center (now Bren Communications Center)
Day 1 Overview • Types of proposal prompts • Group exercise • Document preparation • Group exercise • Idea development
What is a proposal? • Request for support to perform work • Includes: • Why the work needs to be done • What will be done • How it will be done • Why you specifically should do it • How much it will cost
Known? Unknown? Needs to be known? How will you do it? Why you? Cost? Big picture?
Types of Proposals • Funding proposals • Concept proposals
Funding Proposals Funding agency: • issues RFP (request for proposals) • requests information in specific format • awards money to recipient to complete scope of work
Funding Proposals Examples: • Fellowship prompts • RFP from federal government or utilities • RFI (request for information) • Conference funding request
Concept Proposals • Request for idea or concept • Reviewing body approves/endorses idea without necessarily providing funding
Concept Proposals Examples: • Group project proposal
Proposal Elements • Although examples structured differently, all typically request similar information • Sometimes convoluted • Pay attention to detail • Must address everything, including formatting
Group Exercise • Split into groups of five • Read prompt and use highlighters to identify elements you think are important Answer following questions: • What is your prompt requesting? • What are your first reactions after thumbing through the document? • Are expectations clearly outlined? • What are important elements/what did you highlight?
Discussion • Description of the program • What/whom does it exclude? • Available funds • Page length • Deadlines • Contacts/resources • Review and award criteria
Group Exercise • Now switch prompts with a group sitting next to you. • Take some time to read the new document and highlight important points. Answer the following questions: • What is the prompt requesting? • How is this prompt different from the first? • Are there any similar elements?
Executive Summary • Who’s eligible • Background Information about Company • Project Descripton • Timeline/Project schedule • Budget/Budget justification • Organization’s Prior experience • Legal constraints • Deliverables • Rights • Contact Information • Methodology/Approach
Discussion • Typically come to a point where all proposal elements are summarized • Important to familiarize with document – will refer back to RFP numerous times • Do background research – look up terms • When reviewing RFP, think about if you should respond
Pre-proposal Activities • If you decide to apply there may be some pre-proposal activities to complete • Notice of Intent to Bid form • Pre-bid conference • RFI/pre-proposal submission
Working and Writing Together • Collaborative effort • Track down information from others • Need #s and data as supporting evidence • Time management • Set targets
Document Preparation • Make a checklist • When working with others make an action item chart • Create preliminary word document with placeholders
Document Preparation • Be aware of your audience! • Consider your reader’s needs • Provide appropriate background information
Group Exercise • Get into your same groups and think about the audience for your prompt. • If you have a laptop, feel free to research the organization. Answer the following questions: • Who is your audience? • What does the organization do/what is its #1 concern? • What types of questions would you ask when researching the organization? • How does this information help you write your response to the proposal?
Discussion • Do a quick internet search • Call the organization and talk to someone • Look at recent projects or programs the organization has initiated • Look at examples of projects that have recently been funded • Read its mission or vision statement • Read press materials
Idea Development • Big picture – selling an idea or product • Evidence is key! • Assume the role of your reviewer • Address the problem • Issue-oriented
Example Fellowship application • Agency is concerned with conservation of critical habitat • Asks about future career goals Self: I would like to conduct field work with an environmental NGO, because I have always had a passion for the outdoors. Issue: I envision myself pursuing a position with an NGO similar to the Sierra Club, enacting change via local participation in habitat restoration projects like those undertaken in the Santa Ynez Valley.
Summary • Understand what RFP is asking • Do research and audience analysis to set the stage • Get organized • Enlist others • Prepare document • Develop ideas
Next Time • Going to look at examples of effective proposals • Using what is known about organization/audience, writer constructed a convincing issue-oriented argument • Please read GP proposal RFP
Contact Kate Kokosinski firstname.lastname@example.org