In these days of cost/benefit and accountability, to have any realistic chance of funding, a project must be more than just a good idea.
Even in the initial stages, thought needs to be given to researching material that will support both the need for the project and its potential for success.
Identify individuals who will be committed to the project and consider forming a project committee. If your group is small this may not be practical, but you will need to have at least one designated person who is prepared to accept the responsibility for driving and coordinating the project. Look around for other groups, agencies or institutions that may work with you in partnership. Funding bodies often support projects that demonstrate a collaborative and cooperative style.
When developing a project idea, consider:
- What is the group trying to achieve?
- What does the group hope to change?
- Who needs to be involved?
- What capacity, skills and resources can the group offer?
- Is this the most cost-effective way of achieving the desired outcome?
Once there appears to be enough interest in the idea, either call a special project development meeting or add an agenda item at an existing meeting to turn the idea into a skeleton project proposal.
Items to discuss include:
- What will the project achieve?
- Community need – is there a high priority for the project and is it a good use of resources?
- Would the project duplicate an existing project?
- Could there be additional economic, environmental, social or research/scientific elements that could add to the value of the project?
- Is the project in line with the group’s mission and ethics?
- Does the group have the capacity to undertake the project? Consider abilities within the group and commitment to the process.
- What are the chances of success for the project?
- What are the technical requirements of the project in terms of costs, labour and equipment?
- What communication requirements will the project require?
- Who else can contribute to the project or lend support?
- What project research is required? Facts, letters of support, quotes, plans, media coverage and photos may need to be collated.
- Are there funding bodies that will support the project?
- Can the project be achieved within the limits placed by funding guidelines and criteria?
Many funding sources require a group to be incorporated or auspiced by an incorporated body.