A practical road-map for integrated project planning, assessment, conceptualisation, design, proposal writing, submission and follow-up.

Without direct project funding, most organisations would not be able to accomplish their goals. Writing clear, thorough and targeted project proposals is therefore essential to any organisations's success. Mastering the art of proposal writing requires a unified approach to project assessment, conceptualisation, design, actual writing, submission and follow up.

The principal instrument with which outside funds are solicited is the proposal. A grant proposal, in its most basic form, is simply a written justification for resources requested. Proposals may vary widely in length, format, and quality; however, all proposals must contain a constant "core" of elements and characteristics.The importance of the proposal cannot be over-emphasised. All grant programmes are highly competitive.

The key to success in making application is just as likely to be the quality of a proposal as the soundness of the idea, the institution's need or even the projects needs. It should be emphasised at the outset that the proposal has one, and only one, central purpose: to communicate clearly an idea or set of ideas from your institution to the funding agency. Regardless of what other assumptions one may have heard voiced, it is never the purpose of a proposal to confuse, inspire, entertain, or deceive its reader.

Therefore, governing principles of proposal writing should always be the "3-Cs: Clarity, Conciseness, and Completeness." The purpose of this handbook therefore is to create an understanding of project assessment, conceptualisation, design, proposal writing, submission and follow up.