- Scout that opportunity - FundsforNGos not only infroms on available grants and tenders per sector, country and type of tender, it also has plenty of interesting resources such as proposal writing tips, sample proposals and budgeting sample templates.
- Planning together - between spotting a funding opportunity and deciding on Go/No-Go, and from the Go decision to actually submitting the proposal, there are so many steps. Most proposals are designed and written by a team of people. Online planningtools like NTask or Toggl allow the proposal team to identify the tasks and keep track of who is doing what and when.
- Mind Mapping - making a mind map is a great way to streamline your thoughts on how to structure your proposal, specify a section or even a paragraph. Coggle lets you map online, alone or simultaneously with your colleagues.
- Find a funky name - we tend to give our proposals and project wordy titles. Organising COVID-19 support to strengthen resilience and food security in the Eastern Highlands, for example! An acronym generator can help you find a pronounceable name for your project in seconds.
- Grammar checks - writing in convincing yet simple and strong language is an art that every proposal writer should master. Not everyone enjoys this, and it can indeed be a daunting task. Online grammer checkers such as Scribens or Hemmingway assess the readability of your drafts and give many useful tips. For example, how to avoid comma oversue, or write in active language. Just paste in your paragraphs and it shows you which sentences are hard to read. It even suggests simpler alternatives.
- Sharpen your writing skills - My personal favourite is the Elevate brain training app. It has great writing quizzes and mini-exercises to help improve brevity, clarity, punctuation, spelling, adjectives, Vocabulary and word transitions. It tests your ability to quickly spot mistakes and typos that a normal spell-check will not catch.
Finally yet importantly, another great resource on proposal writing is an earlier MDF blog titled "Six Key Learnings on Proposal Writing" which you can access here.
For more information on proposal writing, please feel free to contact the author of this blog, Susanne van Lieshout, for a free consultation.