Proposal Writing & Mentoring

What makes a grant proposal succeed?

Whether a proposal to reconstruct houses, strengthen local government, provide psychosocial support or prevent habitat loss, the four main reasons I see are:

  1. It responds to the donor's needs and objectives.
  2. It presents a convincing problem based on analysis.
  3. It presents a viable solution to that problem.
  4. It is well-written.

In other words, it offers value.

Dedicated to helping your proposal win

Drawing on my 15 years' experience with UN agencies and NGOs, track record of producing project proposals that get funded or approved, and ability to create logical frameworks that make sense, I can step in at any stage of your proposal writing process. I am also available to mentor staff in writing proposals.

UN NGO Proposal Writing Mentoring

Mentoring

1-to-1 guidance · Analysis · Planning
Project design · Results frameworks

UN NGO Proposal Writing Research

Research

Compliance · Current practices
Subject matter

UN NGO Proposal Writing Drafting

Drafting

Structure · Original copy
Diagrams · Revision

 
UN NGO Proposal Writing Reviewing

Reviewing

Objectives · Compliance · Clarity
Conviction · Feedback

Editing Grant Proposals

Editing

Style · Flow
Consistency · Language

Proofreading Grant Proposals

Polishing

Proofreading · Accuracy
Formatting

 

Credentials

I have worked on more than 40 proposals ranging from €30k to €75m for UN agencies, consulting firms and NGOs. Since 2018 as a freelancer, I have been achieving a 60% funding success rate for the project/technical proposals I have written or edited. In 2020 I topped up my training in the latest project planning, logical framework and proposal writing techniques (ELD Training). I am also a certified Professional Technical Communicator (tekom Europe e.V.) and well-versed in all stages of the project cycle and monitoring & evaluation. In other words, I write your language!

Themes I often work with

Arts & Culture
Civil Society Strengthening
Community Development
Conservation
Energy
Governance
Human Rights & Protection
Humanitarian Assistance
International Development
Livelihoods
Post-conflict Recovery & Reconstruction
Youth

Documents I usually write or co-write

Budgets
Curriculum vitae (CVs)
Flow charts
Grant applications
Implementation plans
Logical/Results frameworks
Problem trees
Project proposals
Risk matrices
Technical proposals
Terms of reference
Work plans

Some recent donor experience

BIOPAMA
Dutch Research Council (NWO)
Government of Finland
National Geographic
Nationale Postcode Loterij
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO)

 

Need to deliver a successful proposal?

The outputs are consistently of high quality, and Sally has taken several initiatives that were extremely constructive. Add to this flexibility and a great disposition, she is a true pleasure to work with.

United Nations Resident Coordinator's Office, Somalia

Sally not only coped with our last minute rush, but she also added very constructive suggestions for content and format. The result was a proposal that's easy to read, bang on message and right on time.

International NGO, Netherlands

Her innovative ideas, writing skills, brainstorming sessions and guidance helped the team to accomplish the tasks.

International consulting firm, Czech Republic

My top proposal writing tips

  • Provide a solid analysis of the problem. Vague, verbose and outdated descriptions of the problem will put off any reader. Be relevant, be authentic and be clear. To grab your reader's attention, put your conclusions first and back them up with evidence.

  • Don't leave the executive summary until last. It's your hook for getting attention. Try snappy and fresh but still professional and on target. The NOSE structure works well: Needs, Outcomes, Solutions, Evidence.

  • Pay attention to the small things, not only the funding requirements but also the style, terminology and your knowledge of the funder. Doing this shows respect and keeps your reader in a positive mindset.

  • Less is sometimes more. It's easy to get carried away with sections like the context, implementation approach and methodology. If the proposal template doesn't provide word limits, use headings and bullet lists to keep your content structured and to the point.

  • Follow a project planning and writing process. The more you practise this, the easier, quicker and smarter each proposal will become. 

Stumped by objectives, outcomes and outputs?
Need help making your proposal focused and readable?

Company information

Company name: Omnia Writing Services
Reg. no.: 68494718 (The Netherlands)

Get in touch

Email: contact@omniawritingservices.com
Phone: +31 30 237 8017
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