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How to write a funding proposal

Words: Vicki Wundersitz | Photo: Robyn May

So you have a natural resource management project in mind and you have found an opportunity to apply for funding - how exciting!

Before you start, carefully read the guidelines which outline exactly what will (and won’t) be funded. The format of funding applications can vary - but there are some basic guiding principles that should be considered when developing your proposal. The following tips will help to pull together a concise and compelling application for funding your project.

Why do you want to do this project?

Outline why your project is needed. Describe why the area/plant/animal is important, and if there are particular threats to the area/species. Include any relevant background information which helps to explain how the proposal came about. Identify the project’s alignment to community, NRM or regional plans, and outline how the project will provide other cultural, social or environmental outcomes.

What do you want to do?

Clearly describe what you are planning to achieve. Note measures such as hectares of weed control, kilometres of fencing, or number of people engaged or trained in the project activities – and include the location of activities by address, GPS points or a map with the work area highlighted.

Consultation - are there partners in your project?

It is important that all stakeholders impacted by your project activities are consulted in your project planning process. You should also consider any relevant approvals or permits that may be needed for your project, if you need to gather specialist information from others, and if the people involved are qualified to do the work. Compile a list of people and/or organisations that you have contacted and how they will be involved.

How much will it cost, how long will it take and what are the risks?

Prepare a budget for the entire project with a breakdown of costs for materials, equipment, labour etc., and including your in-kind and cash contributions. State when the project will start, break down your work activities and outline what you expect to achieve by certain dates. Consider how the wet season might impact your project, and include that in the project plan. Think about the risks to the project and what controls can be put in place to reduce these risks, including workplace health and safety considerations.

How will you measure the success of your project?

It is important to show the impact of your project. Consider how you will promote your project and how the benefits from the project will be maintained into the future. Project activities can be measured in many ways, including surveys, photos, GPS or fulcrum data, maps and reports, to show the impact that the project has had.

Once complete, well done!

Allow time to comfortably hit the send or submit button before the closing date and time. Keep a copy of the application and of the confirmation of submission so that you have evidence that your hard work in developing an application has been received successfully. By following these simple guidelines your funding application will be clear, concise and well thought out.

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