Lecture 1. How should we prepare ourselves to write a good project proposal?
My name is Magda Krasowska-Igras. I am a proposal writing and budgeting coach, working on a daily basis at the Information Society Development Foundation in Warsaw, Poland. I have been writing project proposals for more than 12 years. And I’m going to share with you a couple of tips from my experience in this particular subject.

A few reasons why it’s worth doing:

  • Usually preparing a project proposal means that you are applying for money to implement a certain project. Therefore, a successful proposal means that you will get the opportunity to realize your professional ideas & dreams.

  • Most of the project proposals you are going to elaborate will include a partnership component. Therefore, you have to extend the quantity and quality of your institution’s external relations. You will develop a network of contacts, gain recognition and prestige.

  • The project proposal is not only the sum of all your genius concepts. If it does include the element of collaboration, it has to be the result of joint work & in-depth analysis of the situation/environment & priorities of each participating country/organization. For that reason the project you will be working on will be more comprehensive, more innovative, more adjusted to your recipients’ needs.


How should we prepare ourselves to write a good project proposal?

I would like to show you a few stages of the process: 


A diagnosis of your professional environment, which will help you to identify real needs, experience so far and expectations for future.

So, I’d like to encourage you to answer the following questions:

  1. What do you have at your disposal?

  2. What is visibly missing?

  3. What could potentially create a problem?

  4. What would be a potential to capitalize on?

With regard to your institution and its employees, your close partners and….., main beneficiaries & target audience.


You need to establish a good partnership relation, which makes your project stable, efficient & attractive. Think about the potential threats and advantages coming that would result from collaborating with representatives from different sectors: public, private & NGOs.

Consider the intercultural aspect of your project and its impact on your environment.

So, what do you need to analyse to find a good partner:

  • Profile, previous experience & current activities – information about content

  • Size, infrastructure, financial capacity – information about capacity

  • Staff competencies – information about the level of professionalism

  • Partnerships & contacts – information about the collaboration ability

  • PR & opinions – information about the quality of actions undertaken

And it would be good if we also take into account the following factors, which may be very country-specific:

  • Culture of work

  • Management style: hierarchy, bureaucracy & formalization

  • Trust or no trust?

  • Openness & flexibility 


Let’s assume that we have already found a partner institution. How should we proceed:

  • A nice draft showing the experience and scale of our initiatives, our know-how. A few sentences should be dedicated to presenting the project idea and funding opportunities.

If they say yes, we should:

  • organize as many meetings & conversations as possible;

  • pay special attention to sharing the same values and strategic priorities;

  • secure their involvement in drafting the proposal drafting;

  • sign a contract regulating tasks & duties during and after the application phase.

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