Before You Apply
Full proposals are by invitation only on a per project basis. These instructions are only to be followed if you have received an email from us requesting a full proposal for your project and given you the full application link.
DIRECTIONS AND FORMATTING INSTRUCTIONS FOR A FULL PROPOSAL.
- As was the case for the initial proposal, create your narrative first. Follow the format below. Each section should have a boldfaced heading corresponding to the numbered headers below. Please respond to the prompts within each section in normal text.
- Name your file using the name of your organization, the name of the project, and the cycle you are applying to (i.e.: Spring 2018). Do not name your file “Bower Foundation Proposal.
- Create a footer that includes your organization name, project name and page number. This will help us keep track of your letter if it is printed.
- Limit your Project Narrative to six pages maximum and your Background to two pages maximum with not less than 0.8 inch margins, 12 point font or larger.
- You may use the Common Application budget and board membership forms if you choose. You may also submit that information in either a Word or Excel document if that is easier for you. Make sure those documents are appropriately named and have the correct footer.
- Using the link to the to site for the full application and the password you created for your letter of inquiry, complete the additional information in the online form and change anything you need to on what you previously submitted.
- We would like your most recent IRS 501(c)3 Determination letter from the IRS verifying the recepient’s tax-exempt status and the last audited financial statement. If you have a soft copy you can attach it just as you did the budget. If you only have hard copy you can mail it to us at 26 West Micheltorena Street, Santa Barbara, California, 93101.
- Alternatively – If you are applying to Community Priorities and you have a Santa Barbara Foundation Roundtable Common Application already prepared for this project, you may ignore the format below and submit your application as it exists. If you are applying to one of our regular program areas, we used the Common Application format as our original proposal template and tried to follow it as closely as possible. We did move some sections around and added some prompts and questions. While we realize this means more work for you, our hope is that your work on the Common Application will at least serve as a starting point for ours.
FULL PROPOSAL FORMAT – NARRATIVE (SIX PAGES MAXIMUM)
1. Tell us your goals for this project.
- Identify what needs this request addresses within the program area(s) you are applying for.
- Within the context of those needs, clearly identify your goals. If your project aims to achieve social change, identify what change you are striving for. If you are hoping to achieve long term impacts, delineate those. If you are providing service, make clear what the benefits of that service will be. We want to understand the anticipated outcomes of your actions, not the level of your activity.
2. Outline the activities and strategies that you will use to achieve your goals.
- Describe your project and/or the capital items in this request. Tell us why you chose this approach to achieving your goals.
- Give us a general timeline of your request and your major milestones.
- Please identify your target audience, including specific demographic information if you have it.
- Indicate why this is the right time for this project given the need you are addressing.
3. Let us know how you plan to evaluate the effectiveness or impact of the project.
- Tell us what data you will collect and why the data is an appropriate measurement for your progress in meeting your goals.
- Describe how you will collect and use the data. In particular, let us know how you will use the information to modify or improve your efforts over time.
4. Summarize the skills and relevant experience of key staff/volunteers essential to the project’s success. If your organization is collaborating with other organizations, note which ones and in what ways.
5. If full funding is not available through this request, describe your contingency plan.
6. Is there any other pertinent information about the project you feel we should know?
FULL PROPOSAL FORMAT – BACKGROUND (TWO PAGES MAXIMUM)
1. Tell us about your organization’s history and accomplishments.
2. Give us an idea of your current programs and activities.
- Include the constituency you serve, with specific demographic information if you have it. How are they actively involved in your organization and/or how do they benefit from your organization’s work?
- Let us know how the project you are proposing fits within your organization’s history and current programs.
3. Tell us about your organization’s relationships – both formal and informal – with other organizations working to meet the same need. In what way does your work differ from that of other organizations?
- Indicate why you are the best group to be doing this work now.
4. Tell us about your organization’s management and financial oversight.
- Briefly describe how your Board and staff work together and what the respective roles are in your organization. Where does your vision and leadership come from?
- Do you have an annual audit and/or how does the Board and key staff provide budgetary and financial oversight?
- Does your organization have an ancillary foundation, supporting organization or other associated group? If so, let us know why and describe how these organizations are associated and how their financial information is presented.
- Does your group sell its donor lists? What are your policies or practices on handling donor information?
Note: If you have questions about the proposal content, process, or our program areas, contact foundation staff. If you have questions related to the online application system, including lost documents, misplaced passwords and access to materials, you will need to contact Blackbaud.