It’s 2019, and you cannot wait to begin working on that noble cause that will make a difference in your community. You promised yourself that you are going to do what it takes this year to get the funding you need. Well, you are in luck because Foundation Center is ready to help you deliver on your resolution!

This year, we will be offering our Proposal Writing Boot Camp year around in multiple cities across the country, including in New York, NY; Cleveland, OH; San Francisco, CA; Atlanta, GA; and Washington, DC. This three-day project-based immersion course focuses on the essential knowledge and skills fundraisers need to develop effective foundation proposals. Participants will become familiar with the key components of a competitive grant proposal to a foundation and learn best practices for developing a well-organized budget and a targeted list of foundation funding prospects. Participants will be encouraged to approach their proposal from the funder's perspective and to think critically about what makes a compelling pitch.

To accommodate diversity in learning styles, the three days are grounded in project-based learning and include individual writing time, small group discussions and activities, peer review, and lectures.

Already excited? Wait till you get a glimpse of the magic! Read on…!

Course at-a-glance

Day 1: Start the day with the basics. Learn the structure of a grant proposal, develop a need statement, and get an overview of the logic model framework to craft a project description and an evaluation plan. Once you have the building blocks in place, we set sail on the letter of inquiry.

Day 2: You will continue to gain familiarity and practice with the components of a full proposal and letter of inquiry. You will draft and submit a one page letter of inquiry for day three’s peer-review exercise -- that’s right! Foundation Center staff, peers, and other fundraising experts will be reviewing your letter of inquiry on day three and provide feedback! During the latter part of the day, you will learn how to prioritize fundraising for your organization and receive intense training on developing a project budget.

Day 3: Kick off the day learning how to research, approach, and cultivate relationships with funders. In the afternoon, you will engage in expert and peer review of your submitted letter of inquiry, the favorite part of the day for many of our previous participants!

As with all of our classes, we make sure that what you learn is based on real-world experience. Prior to coming to class, we encourage you to prepare by identifying a project you would like to fund. The workshop will include opportunities to draft a logic model and a peer-reviewed letter of inquiry that you can use to pursue funding for this project. Doesn’t get more exciting than that!

So, let’s review what can you expect to walk away with after three days. You will gain the skills to to the following:

  • Develop selected elements of a proposal and letter of inquiry and to improve online applications
  • Use a logic model framework to craft key elements of a proposal
  • Craft a budget that conveys an accurate picture of your project’s needs and value
  • Explain what grantmakers look for in a proposal and how they approach the proposal review process
  • Analyze and evaluate prospects using Foundation Directory Online (FDO) Professional to determine a potential funding fit

That’s not all! All participants also receive:

  • A comprehensive workbook and templates for all sections of the proposal
  • A booklet of sample letters of inquiry and sample proposals for use as models
  • Two weeks of complimentary access to FDO Professional (a $100 value!)
  • A certificate of attendance/CFRE documentation

There’s more! If you are on track to become a CFRE Fundraiser, guess what? This course qualifies for 18 CFRE points! So we are really helping you achieve two new year’s resolutions!

This course is recommended to anyone who:

  • Wants a thorough and practical introduction to the grant proposal writing experience
  • Has one to three years of fundraising experience and wants to hone their foundation proposal writing skills
  • Wants to shift to a career in fundraising or as a grant writer
  • Wants to expand their consultant services to include proposal development
  • Has government proposal development experience and wants to add foundation fundraising to their organizational funding mix

If that sounds like you, we sure hope to see you at one of our Proposal Writing Boot Camps offered this year! If you still have questions, please get in touch! You can email us at [email protected].


See you in the classroom!

About the Author(s)

Julieta Mendez Senior Director of Network Engagement, Candid

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