Discussion Question 4: If you were the agency which received CASP's funding proposal, what further information would you request from CASP and why? What suggestions could you make to the new Committee on how it might prepare its next funding proposal?
(a) Further Information that might be requested:
- What sort of organisation is CASP? How many staff and volunteers does it have? When was CASP established? Does CASP have a proper accounting system? Is CASP registered as an NGO?
- What previous experience has CASP had in project implementation? What other sources of financial income does CASP have? How will the proposed activities be continued after the project funding ceases?
- What specific activities does CASP intend to implement under this proposed project? Are these activities justified and why?
-How were the budget costs calculated? How much money will be allocated to each activity or item?
- How will the project activities be monitored? What plans does CASP have for evaluating the effectiveness of the activities?
(b) Suggestions for the next funding proposal:
- If the funding agency had had no previous dealings with CASP, then the proposal should contain details of the organisation, including its staffing, its experience and its previous and current programmes. In addition, details of previous funding agencies and the achievements of its programs should be given. This information helps to convince the funding agency that it is dealing with a bona fide and experienced organisation.
- Other sources of support to CASP should be detailed, including member contributions in cash and in-kind, fund raising activities, donations from local sources, etc. This helps to show the potential funder that the NGO'S activities and existence would not be entirely reliant on its support.
- Details of how the project was conceived, including background information that led the organisation to design the project and details of what other organisations (if any) are doing to help the problem.
- A description of the aims and objectives of the project and the detailed activities that will be carried out, by whom and when. This is essential for the funding agency to understand the proposal and to evaluate its likelihood of success. A donor cannot be expected to provide support unless it knows the details of how the funds are going to be used.
- An explanation of how the project activities might be continued after the end of the funding period. Funding agencies are often unwilling to initiate a project which appears to represent a long-term commitment on their part.
- A detailed budget for the project including: unit prices where applicable; a breakdown of the costs for each component activity or item to be procured; a breakdown by year for each line item; and details of any foreign currency items required (such as imported items, foreign consultants, etc.) If inflation is included in the costs, the level of the increment assumed. This helps the funding agency to confirm that the funding requirements have been carefully planned, that the items and activities to be funded meet their own internal regulations and controls, and provides a base against which project expenditures can subsequently be monitored.
- The proposal budget should include sufficient detail for the funding agency to identify the proposed cash flow as this relates to the proposed activities.
- The proposal should include details of how CASP intends to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed activities and programmes. This might forestall the funding agency from imposing its own monitoring and evaluation protocols and would also help the applicant itself to build in adequate time and support for these important activities.
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