Proposal and Grant Applications

Lesson 1: Gather Intelligence

20150311_024236It is imperative that your organization have a resource mobilization team or at least one resource mobilization officer that is responsible for monitoring funder and investor trends continuously. Intelligence gathering is the ongoing collection of information about funders/investors, funding opportunities, other organizations and the political environment.

This process will help your organization:

  • Identify prospective funders/investors
  • Determine whether or not to compete for a procurement
  • Monitor market trends (such as the diseases or technical areas funders are prioritizing)
  • Identify competitor organizations

There are three steps to intelligence gathering.

Cast a wide net to see what kinds of funders and/or proposal opportunities exist or are to be released in the future.
Identify the specific funders or opportunities the organization would like to prioritize for closer consideration.
Make a decision to engage a funder or pursue a proposal/grant application. When selecting which opportunities to pursue, an organization must always consider whether those opportunities align with the vision and mission of the organization.

There are various strategies an organization can use to gather intelligence, many of which include:

  • Researching funders, competitor organizations and solicitations on the Internet
  • Conducting market research studies (see Section 3. Market for your Business Plan under Revenue Option: The Business Plan )
  • Attending public health conferences, summits or meetings
  • Participating in social networks (such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn)

Funder Information Website Links

Instructions: Below are examples of a few important funders your organizations should research.

  1. Click on the links for each funder.
  2. Gather information that may help your organization establish a relationship with these investors.

This information can help your organization position itself to win proposal/grant awards from these funders.

It is also important that your organization maintain a funder/investor database, as well as a proposal/grant opportunities tracker, where they can store key information from the intelligence gathering process. It is useful to systematically list all prospective funders and investors who may be interested in working with your organization. Developing such a list will inform you about their social interests and funding patterns.

Funder and Investor Database Template

Instructions: Use data from your intelligence gathering to populate the database with as many prospective funders and investors as possible. 

Similarly, your organization may come across various procurements and solicitations that have either been released or will be released in the future worth pursuing. The opportunities tracker will help you organize current procurements that are in development, those that have been submitted and others that may be coming in the future. For this to be useful, the tracker should be updated on a daily basis.

Opportunities Tracker Template

Instructions: Use the data from your intelligence gathering and internal data to complete the downloaded table for your organization.

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(Next Step) Lesson 2: Approach Funders and Investors
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