How to Seek General Operating Support for Your Nonprofit Organization Organization
If you’re seeking funds for general operating support, your proposal needs to make an argument for the work of the entire nonprofit agency rather than for a specific project.
In this type of request, some of the information about current activities, often included in the introduction or background information sections, should be moved to the methods section. The grantmaking organization judges the application based on overall organizational strength and its role in its field. Increasingly, foundations consider the ability of an agency to cooperate or work with others an important criterion.
If you’re tailoring a proposal for general operating support, consider the following:
Prepare an introduction that introduces the problem that the agency was created to solve, the goals it addresses, and its current programs. Give some attention to describing its leadership (board and staff), its history, and how its activities may have evolved over time.
In the problem statement, describe current challenges it faces as it works to fulfill its mission.
When preparing the section on goals, objectives, and outcomes, address the external goals (how the nonprofit plans to serve its constituents) and internal goals (such as training the board of directors or improving its website).
Use the methods section to describe the agency’s current programs.
In the evaluation section, describe various means the agency uses to assess and improve its programs.
Include the entire annual budget for the organization in lieu of a project budget.
In the section on future and additional funding, briefly describe fundraising or earned income areas the organization is working to increase.