Lately, we have found ourselves having to generate funding proposals for the national riverine community legal center we run. That task, of generating funding proposals, has mostly ended up on my desk. This, I think, is because I have a proven track record of writing successful funding proposals. It could also be because the task of generating funding proposals is a tedious one, and my colleagues at the legal center would rather have someone else do the donkey work. Either way, it is a task I enjoy.
The process of generating funding proposals for this sort of organization usually starts with identification of potential donors. Contrary to what some people think, we don’t have a funding proposal template for use with all donors. On the contrary, for each individual potential donor, we have to create a unique proposal. In the proposal, we seek to convince the donor how the objectives of our legal advocacy center tie up with the donor’s objectives.
Before the funding proposals can be sent to the potential donors, the board members of the national riverine community legal advocacy center have to go through them. We post the draft proposals on an online platform, where the board members and other stakeholders can see them and edit them, before submission to potential donors. The online platforms is only accessible to people within the national riverine community legal center. To access the platform, one has to go through a login page (which is designed in the same way as the CVS learnet login page). Upon logging in, one is able to access various resources, including the funding proposals.
Once the funding proposals get a green light from the national riverine community legal center board members (and other internal stakeholders), they are submitted to the potential donors. Normally, we network with the potential donors in person and canvass aggressively, soliciting for funding. So, in the final analysis, the submission of the written funding proposals is usually just a formality.