Demonstrating Your Organisation’s Strengths

Your application must document your organisation's:

  • Capacity
  • Resources
  • Expertise
  • Experience in delivering similar proposals
  • Ability to achieve positive outcomes.

Tell the funder:

  • About the key personnel involved
  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • The ways in which your organisation is different or unique.

Although the evaluation criteria used by funding bodies to determine the awarding of funding may vary, generally it will specifically require you to demonstrate the:

  • Capability of the key personnel
  • Extent to which your organisation's resources can support the proposed program/service. 

Provide all essential information so the funder is able to make an informed decision about your organisation's capacity to fulfil the proposal requirements.

Select the most relevant information from the service and staff information developed and saved in Your Organisation's Track Record and Your Board, Staff, and Volunteers.

The detail you can provide about your organisation may be constrained by the space allocated in the funding application. If so, select the most relevant detail applicable to this proposal.Tell the funding body relevant details about your organisation and staff in the body of the proposal. Include additional information in the appendices.

To provide further information about your agency, attach a brochure or other prepared statements (e.g., annual report, strategic plan) as a web link.

Alternatively, inform the funding body where the information can be found on your website or that it can be provided to them on request. You may also include some of the information below as appendices:

  • Governance structure
  • Risk management policies and procedures
  • Financial statements.

FAQS

Why would a funder give your organisation money?

Having a great idea or providing a great service is not enough. This does not answer what the funding body is looking for. A funding body may invest in your organisation if they are convinced that your:

  • Proposal is acceptable, feasible and credible
  • Organisation is able to deliver the proposal on time, on budget, and with quality outcomes better than your competitors.

The Unique Qualities of Your Organisation

Tell the funding body about the unique qualities of your organisation by providing a detailed outline of:

  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • What makes you different or unique from other organisations.

It's easy to make the assumption that funders already know who you are and what you do, especially if you have been in receipt of regular funding from a given body. However, this can be a fatal error.

It is essential to provide the funder with an overview of your organisation or service. You will need to:

  • Provide brief details about the establishment of your organisation and its mission
  • Demonstrate how the proposal fits within or extends the organisation's mission
  • Describe the organisation's:
    • Governance structure
    • Staffing and employment levels
    • Programs
    • Leadership
    • Special skills/features.
  • Reiterate your organisation's expertise, especially as it relates to the subject of your proposal and the specfics of the deliverables you have identified and/or the service model you propose to use
  • Inform the funder about your consumers, including:
    • Any special or unusual needs they may have
    • Why they rely on your organisation
    • Details (e.g., statistics) about the number of people who are or will be reached through your programs.

Provide all essential information to give the reader a clear picture of what your organisation does and what it currently offers that is unique, acceptable, credible, and feasible.


Your Previous Programs and Services

Emphasise your success in delivering services and programs and achieving outcomes.

Document how current services are delivered, demonstrate the potential for a different approach, or highlight why your service will meet the funder's requirements and expectations better than other applicants. Include brief details of:

  • Past funding received 
  • The activities undertaken and processes involved to meet identified community needs
  • The outcomes achieved or lessons learned
  • The evaluation methods employed
  • The long-term benefits to the community
  • Collaborations with other organisations or community groups
  • How the previous example relates to the current funding application.

If your organisation is new or starting up, consider adding details about any organisations you may have collaborated with to-date.


Your Proposal Team

The funding body will want evidence that the key personnel involved in the proposal have the relevant qualifications and experience.

Provide:

  • Details about who will take the project leadership role
  • Short biographies for each proposed team member, noting their experience and expertise
  • Details of team members' roles and responsibilities, including how much time they will contribute.

This information helps the funder to understand that the proposed project staff are competent and have the capacity to successfully undertake the project. They also want to be assured that the duties of the proposed staff are clearly defined. 

Do not include a long detailed description. When compiling short biographies, focus on the work experience of participants that is most relevant to your proposal. If necessary, longer resumes may be included in the appendices. 

Demonstrate that your organisation is "ready to go" and has the skills and resources to successfully complete the project.

If you need to recruit new staff or train existing staff to deliver aspects of the proposal, make sure that this is:

  • Clearly indicated with appropriate recruitment/training time allocated
  • Recorded as a risk in the risk management section of your proposal (see Identifying Risk)
  • Detailed in the budget section of your application (see Your  Budget).

If you are recruiting new staff or training existing staff, explain how this is necessary to deliver the expected outcomes.


Referees

Many applications require you to submit referee details. 

When selecting your referees, ensure that they understand your organisational capacity and what is expected from the funder so they can advocate on your behalf.

The selection of referees may vary with different projects and proposals. Ensure that your nominated referees are the best choice to support a particular proposal. Think about your options and select them carefully.

Prior to submitting your proposal, contact and check your nominated referee's availability, and inform them about:

  • Your project's aims and objectives
  • The funder's priorities.

Letters of support and media articles can also document your success and your partnerships with other organisations. Include these as examples of your organisational capacity.


TIPS: Demonstrating Your Organisation's Strengths

  • Assume that the reviewer of your funding application knows nothing about your organisation.
  • Provide sufficient detail about who you are and what you do to ensure that the reader gets a clear picture of your organisation and its unique roles and functions.
  • Provide brief details about the establishment of your organisation and its mission. Demonstrate how the proposal fits within or extends your organisation’s mission.
  • Describe your organisation's governance structure, staffing and employment levels, programs, leadership, and special skills and expertise.

References & Resources


Activities

Complete the activities below by en​tering text into the fields provided and/or completing the attached documents. If you download and complete an attached document, you will have to save this to your personal file.

You may also:

  • Export these answers: You may export your answers to the activities to a word document without saving to Your Funding Portfolio. Responses can then be saved in your personal files
  • Print this page: Users may print the page
  • Save and continue to next step: Users may save their responses to a secure server before continuing to another section of the resource. Users may then export and print all their saved responses from Your Funding Portfolio
  • Save progress: Users may save their responses as they work on the page.

Activity 8.5.1 Sell Your Organisation

The funding body is “buying’”what your organisation is providing. Convince the funder that your organisation has the experience, capacity, and ability to deliver results. Tell the funder about:
1. The unique qualities of your organisation
2. The successes and benefits produced by previous programs and services
3. The qualifications and expertise of the team involved in delivering your proposal.

Pick referees who are able to substantiate your claims and speak positively about their previous experience collaborating and/or working with your organisation.

8.5.1.pdf (150 KB)

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Activity 8.5.2 Develop an Organisational Template

Organisational templates save time when writing funding applications and create a corporate memory that can be passed on.

8.5.2.pdf (110 KB)

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