5 Things Before Going Public

This is for those who want to do a project but aren’t sure where to start.

1. You’ll want to introduce yourself and your proposal, explain what you’d like the recipient to do after reading the proposal, and provide all your contact information. Create a Title Page for your proposal. Choose a descriptive title, like “Funding Request to Start a Local Organic Farm,” “Plan to Increase Efficiency in Sustainable Energy Operations,” “Pilot Research Program to Reduce Ecological Damage within a Community” or “Fresh Local Produce Delivery for Your Restaurant Chain.”

2. The next pages should be a description of what your potential customers or funders need and want. Put yourself in their position, and describe the need, as well as any limitations or deadlines you’re aware of. For example, markets may not be keeping up with the demand for clean living in your area; or perhaps there are no Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs in your county, and customers are driving to the next county to buy produce subscriptions. Pages in this section will have titles like Needs Assessment, Market Demand, Restrictions, Opportunities, Schedule, and so forth.

3. To start or enlarge an operation, you may have received a checklist of items you need to provide, and you can insert that checklist here. Funding topics may include Funding Request, Use of Funds, Repayment Plan, and various financial topics that a lender will want to see.

4. After you have described the need or opportunity, it’s time to describe the solution by providing all the details about what you propose to do. This section could have any number of pages, based on your plans and ideas. If you are starting a farming operation, you might describe your Project Plan and Schedule as well as your existing or needed Real Estate and Equipment. If you propose to provide a service to existing agricultural operations, such as Consulting, Packaging, Transportation, Training, or Services, then you’ll want to describe all the tasks you will do.

5. After you have thoroughly described the need or opportunity and your proposed solution, it’s time to describe why you can be trusted to deliver on your promises. In the final proposal section, you should describe your relevant History, your Personnel or Team Members, your Expertise, and your Experience. If you’ve worked on similar Projects, add a page listing them.

That’s the outline I would propose before approaching the larger public. If you need any help, go ahead and email me.

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