The "Project Profile/Planning Worksheet" is designed to help you develop and keep track of good ideas for fundable projects, even before you begin your funding research. In effect, you create an "inventory" of fundable project ideas. This inventory serves three important purposes:
- First, it helps you target your funding research more effectively by allowing you to plan in advance what kinds of projects you'll be researching for funding.
- Second, if done properly, it can give you a head start on actually developing a final proposal by providing important basic information about the project idea.
- Finally, project profiles can serve as mini-proposals for potential funders who would like to "shop" for a project to fund with your agency. (It does happen, really!
Using the Worksheet:
Think through each section, and complete the requested information as concisely and clearly as possible. For example, you should be able to describe your project (question 1) in one sentence of no more than 50 words. You may need to do a little homework for some of the sections. Be sure to think through and list "Resources Required" as well as your best-guess estimate of the funding that will be necessary. Remember, this is preliminary information; complete details will be filled in later, when you're developing a full proposal plan.
This section is designed especially to get you thinking very early on about how a partnership structure could enhance your project. More and more funders are requiring that proposals reflect an interagency collaboration; even if partnership isn't an out-and-out requirement, it often wins your proposal extra points in the evaluation.
Ideally, the "Project Profile/Planning Worksheet" will be completed and submitted by the person in the organization who came up with the project idea in the first place. Larger organizations especially will often have one staff person assigned as "development director" or "grants coordinator," and many, many program people who are constantly coming up with great ideas for new projects or services for which funding is necessary. The next time one of your colleagues comes to you with a great idea, hand him or her a copy of the "Project Profile/Planning Worksheet" and say: "Sounds terrific! Can you flesh that idea out a little bit, so I can do some funding research for you?"