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Proposal Elements

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  1. Summary

    Write this last. Include key statements from most of the other elements. Length should be 1 paragraph to 1 page.

  2. Need Statement

    Research this. Include statistics, tables, "felt" needs assessments, windshield surveys, program data, biological studies, senior project findings, quotes of experts, or whatever builds the case for your project. Be creative; a strong needs statement paves the way for your project. Length -- 1 page to 20 pages.

  3. Goal

    A broad statement but short, this should give your philosophic end point. It should bridge the need statement with the objectives. Length -- 1 sentence.

  4. Objectives

    List the accomplishments, in measurable terms, that you will achieve. The best tactic is to time sequence these, so that the logical flow of your program can be envisioned through the objectives. Try to see objectives as landmarks, not as total measures of program success; taken together the achievement or surpassing of all objectives should suggest goal attainment and need reduction. Length -- try 5 statements in objective form.

  5. Methodology

    This is the meat of your proposal -- the "how" of your project. Many find it hardest to write. Try a walkthrough, stating what happens first as a person is introduced to your program, what happens next, then so on. If it breaks naturally into phases or stages, describe each. You might try a newspaper tactic...answer the questions who, where, when, what, why. Length -- 2 to 20 pages.

  6. Evaluation

    Sometimes left out, this section can establish that you will hold the project accountable. At minimum, note that you will provide a written assessment of the degree the objectives were attained for the funding source. You may include multiple measures; visitor/participant evaluations, impact assessment, peer review, outside consultant report.

  7. Budget

    Say in figures all you have previously said in words. The costs should be reasonable, believable and never ambiguous. Length -- 1 page.

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