Fundraising from institutions: preparing winning proposals

Get expert advice on what different donors require, learn how to match your objectives to theirs and gain practical experience by appraising elements of a proposal from a donor perspective.


8 All Saints Street, London, N1 9RL GB

The key to securing funding from institutions such as the Department for International Development (DFID), the European Commission (EC), Comic Relief and the National Lottery Community Fund is a strong, well defined proposal.

Get expert advice on what institutional donors require, learn how to match your objectives to theirs, and gain practical experience by appraising elements of a proposal, based on a real life case study, from a donor perspective.

Course structure 

Two-day face-to-face course. The course runs from 10:00 am - 5:30 pm with registration open from 9:30 am. 

Who is it for?

People who are responsible for proposal writing or involved in putting together a funding proposal for donors such as DFID, the EC, Comic Relief's International Grants Programme, or the National Lottery Community Fund's International Communities Programme.

You may be familiar with international development projects but new to proposal writing, or you may be used to fundraising but new to the institutional donors that fund international development.

What you will learn

  • An introduction to the main institutional donors and how they operate.
  • Key principles in preparing concept notes and full proposals for institutional donors.
  • The terms used by donors and what they mean.
  • How to put together a solid proposal showing what needs to be done and why, how you will achieve your objectives, who you are working with and why the donor should fund you.
  • Next steps to take on your own project proposal.


Day 1

1. Introduction to institutional donors

  • Who/what they are, general trends

2. What makes a winning proposal?

  • Key principles
  • Changing our practice for success

3. Processes for winning proposals

  • Who should be involved and how?
  • Flowcharting as a tool for improving practice for success

4. Project planning and strong proposals

  • How does project planning relate to funding applications?
  • What makes strong project planning?

5. Preparing to work with institutional donors

  • How to keep informed about donor trends
  • Building strong relationships with donors

Day 2

6. Writing for institutional donors

  • Writing style
  • Other ways of communicating your case
  • Evidencing your case

7. Cross cutting issues

  • Sustainability, gender and equity
  • Value for money

8. Using donor feedback to develop your application

  • How to use scoring grids and other feedback methods to write and critique a proposal

9. Go - No go?

  • Decision points - should we proceed with this application?

Course prices

Band 1


Band 2

Bond members >£2M annual spend

Band 3

Bond members <£2M annual spend

* 10% off if you book 8 weeks in advance; 5% off 3 or more bookings.

Contact us for special discounts if you're a student or unemployed.


off if you book early*


off multiple bookings*


8 All Saints Street
N1 9RL
United Kingdom