Develop Project Idea
Before starting a search for funding opportunities, clarify your project. Draft a brief statement (a 2 – 3 page outline) of the project using the outline below. It does not require a detailed description, and can be used to more effectively search for funding opportunities. Engage Pacific's grant officers and discuss your preliminary plans with potential co-investigators, collaborators, dean or director and department chair.
Problems, Needs, Knowledge
Identify a problem, need or gap in services for a project you want to accomplish. Funders most often offer support for projects that best match their organizational interests and priorities. The problem presented in your project indicates why this project is essential.
- Goals. A vision of what will be accomplished by this project in terms of what you have identified as the problem, need or gap.
- Objectives. The essential steps you will take to achieve your goal(s). Objectives start with words such as "To increase…" "To decrease…" and "To reduce..." Objectives should be specific and measurable, serving as the basis for an evaluation of a project’s success.
- Approach & Methodology. Activities that you will undertake to achieve each of your objectives. Remember, just as objectives flow naturally from the problem statement, so do methods follow from the objectives. Again, for purposes of your outline, keep it simple.
- Product(s) and Impact. The outcome(s) of the project in terms of a specific product(s) or impact. Examples include a product and/or process, book, play or painting; implementation of a new program, course or activity; publication of findings in a professional journal; conducting a conference with publication of proceedings and results. How will the results of your project or product be disseminated?
- Resources Available/Needed. Funders often restrict the type of support, e.g., personnel, equipment, travel, etc., and the total amount that is available for any project. What resources (people or expertise, partners, equipment, etc.) do you need to accomplish the objectives(s) of your proposed project? What resources are already available to you? The difference is what will need to be requested from a funder(s). How much will you need, $1,000, $50,000 or $500,000?
- Time Frame. How much time will it take to complete the project objectives? Sponsors often limit the length of time they will offer funding for a given project. Do you need 3 months, 1 year, 5 years? If you need a longer time frame than is allowed by a funder, can your project or program be phased?
- Keywords. One of the most efficient ways to search for funding is through electronic databases which depend on the selection of keywords that best reflect your interests. To assist in searching for funding opportunities, select general (Category) and specific terms (Keywords) that best match with the concept you have developed.