When organizations do not plan their projects well enough in advance, they often find either that they cannot deliver what they have promised – or that they have promised a project that meets the interests of the donor more than the interests of the organization.
Your organization’s senior staff should be able to identify your station’s top priority programs/projects. These may already be outlined in a strategic plan. For more information, see What to Know About Your Station. Once you have information on what the projects are, you need to ask and answer a series of questions about how they will be implemented and what their impact will be. The answers to these questions should come from your station’s senior management and/or program staff. It is the job of the development staff to present the programs to donors in compelling ways – but not to plan the programs themselves.
Questions About Projects
Project Description/Need for Project
- In one sentence, what is the program or project?
- How does the program/project help us fulfill our mission? Does it in any way shift our mission or drift away from it?
- What is the need or opportunity that is driving this program/project? Is there external data to support this?
- Is this program/project part of a long-range plan?
- In what way does the program/project expand upon or grow out of our current activities?
- Is the program/project new or is it part of our ongoing activities? If it is ongoing, why are we deciding to seek grant funding at this point in time?
- How will this program/project be implemented?
- What are the specific goals and outcomes identified for this project? How did we arrive at these?
- What is the timeline for implementation? Do we have a work plan and benchmarks for accomplishing our goals?
- What are the plans for staffing this project? What are the qualifications of the key staff responsible for implementation?
- What has already been accomplished toward this program/project? (If it is an ongoing project, what have its successes been to date?)
- What are the major challenges to success in implementing this project? How will these challenges be addressed?
- Has our organization been successful in the past in launching/implementing similar projects?
- What benefits will this program/project bring to the community that our station serves? What will be different because of this activity?
- Could this project serve as a model for others?
- In what ways is this project innovative?
- How will we determine if the program/project is successful? What measurements will we use to evaluate it? Who will conduct the evaluation? At what point(s) will the project be evaluated?
- How will we use the results of our evaluation?
Funding and Sustainability
- What is the estimated cost for the project?
- Where will funding come from? Is any of the funding already committed?
- How, specifically, will the program/project be sustained after the grant expires?