The Virtual Foundation - Your Donation Makes it Happen
Additional recommendations for writing a proposal which will be appealing
to donors on the Internet:
- Be honest. Describe simply and directly what you need and what you
- Start small and be practical. Most donors have been successful managing
businesses and their own personal finances. They can quickly determine
if your plans are realistic and your budget is appropriate. Overly ambitious
projects with no clear and concrete purpose will look like a bad risk
- Look at the Virtual Foundation website and see what has been funded.
Study the format of successful proposals.
- Visit the Virtual Foundation website, or other websites, and see what
type of presentation and wording attracts your attention. Apply this
to your proposal.
- Think carefully about a title. It is the first impression of your
project. It should be brief, creative and emphasize an easily understandable
outcome or need.
- Your proposal's first sentences should clearly tell the reader what
will be the benefit of your project. While donors are interested in
your organization and its background, they first want to know if your
work and their donation will make a real difference, improve the world,
- Avoid being highly technical or writing a proposal as if it were a
scientific paper. Most Virtual Foundation donors are not highly trained
- Explain your budget carefully. Each budget item should contribute
to the goal of the project. Unclear budget items will create skepticism.
- Visuals, visuals, visuals!!! In cross cultural communications, photographs,
maps and drawings are most effective. Visuals should be very clear,
with good contrast, and not too much fine detail. The best visual materials
show people's faces in the context of the problem that you are addressing
or with an example of the success that you are hoping to replicate.
This creates a very human dimension.
- Ask Virtual Foundation staff for recommendations or comments on the
draft of your proposal.