Writing a proposal? Here's a checklist to guide you

By Jennifer Ehidiamen, Matthew Wolf 30 January 2017

What do you need to know when writing a proposal? Photo by: Unsplash

This story was updated on Feb. 13.

Writing a proposal is the first step toward cultivating a partnership. It is a competitive process that goes well beyond stringing words together to convince a donor or foundation to trust your organization with funding to implement a project, provide goods, or deliver services.

The process of writing a winning proposal involves planning, research, writing, reviewing, and follow-up, according to a webinar on proposal writing presented by Caroline Herbert, instructional design manager at United Nations Foundation Center. Even minor errors can result in a proposal’s disqualification.

Devex talked with two business development managers about best practices for proposal teams. We also drew from our own internal expertise. Here are our seven key takeaways.

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About the authors

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Jennifer Ehidiamendisgeneration

Jennifer Ehidiamen is a Nigerian writer who is passionate about communications and journalism. She has worked as a reporter and communications consultant for different organizations in Nigeria and overseas. She has an undergraduate degree in mass communication from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, and M.A. in business and economics from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, New York. In 2014, she founded Rural Reporters (www.ruralreporters.com) with the goal of amplifying underreported news and issues affecting rural communities.


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Matthew Wolf

Matthew Wolf works with Devex's Development Data team in Barcelona, helping improve our coverage of and insight into development work and funding around the world. He draws on work experience with Thomson Reuters in Africa, MENA and Latin America, where he helped uncover, pursue and win opportunities with local governments and donor agencies. He is interested in data-driven solutions to development challenges.


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