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Write the Proposal

Develop Ideas for the Proposal

The first step in planning a proposal is to develop a clear, concise description of the proposed project. The project must fit into OJP’s philosophy and mission, and the need you are addressing must be well documented and clearly articulated. Typically, OJP’s funding agencies will want to know that a proposed activity or project reinforces its overall mission and that the project is important to meeting the needs of the community.

To make a compelling case, include the following in your proposal—

  • The nature of the project and its goals, needs, and anticipated outcomes.
  • How the project will be conducted.
  • A list of proposed deliverables.
  • A timetable for completion.
  • How best to evaluate the results (performance measures).
  • Staffing needs, including the use of existing staff and new hires or volunteers.
  • A preliminary budget, covering expenses and financial requirements, to determine what funding levels to seek.

Determine whether your idea has already been considered locally or in the state. Thoroughly check with state legislators, local governments, and related public and private agencies that may currently have grant awards or contracts to do similar work. If a similar program already exists, reconsider submitting an application, particularly if there is duplication of effort. However, if you can clearly establish significant differences or improvements in your project’s goals, it may be worthwhile to submit a proposal for federal assistance.