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The Insider's Guide to Grantmaking: How Foundations Find, Fund, and Manage Effective Programs by Joel J. Orosz

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Twelve Characteristics of a Good Proposal

Proposals come in all shapes, lengths, and sizes; as program officer, you can review them according to any number of criteria. Nonetheless, it is possible to identify some generic characteristics that are hallmarks of a good proposal that contains a good idea. Although it is unlikely that any proposal will include all twelve of these characteristics, better ones should contain more than half of them. These characteristics are listed here in no particular order of priority.

1.  The applicant's idea is innovative. Because most foundations aspire to be explicitly in the business of funding innovations, this characteristic should be front and center. Depending on how the foundation defines innovative, the ...

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