Ideas For Creating a Needs Statement?
Your needs statement is the part of the grant where you tell your story of what is wrong or what your opportunity is. It is one of the most important, if not the most important part of the grant. Funders want proof that there is a need and that you are the organization to handle the project with new innovative ideas, by partnering or by your past successes.
Before you can get to your needs statement you have to conduct a needs assessment. What is a needs assessment you ask? This is the fact finding portion of the grant where you gather the information that validates the need for project. This can be done many ways.
A few of them include:
• Surveys: Developing a survey that you can handout to a certain portion of the area’s population. This could be done in the following ways – going door to door, send it out to your target population, send it home with your children, etc…
• US Census Bureau: The Census Bureau is a very good source of information and it should be accurate. They even have their own easy to navigate website. http://www.census.gov)
• Newspaper articles: Make sure that you read your local and state newspapers. If your cause is important it will be in the newspaper and the newspaper reporter often interviews experts in the field as well as those in need.
If you can’t find news paper articles on your need, take matters into your own hands and write an article for news release in all of your local newspapers. You can also get a statement for your article from an expert on the subject just by picking up the phone and telling them about your proposed project and need.
• Conduct meetings: Conduct a few meetings in different locations and times within your service area. Make sure that you have someone there taking notes and have a questionnaire for the participants to fill out. Since it is hard to get people to come to meetings try serving cookies and coffee/punch and try to include a guest speaker on the subject.
Here are some other methods that you can use – observations, small group assessments, problem indicator data, mapping, case studies, tests, experiments and projections or futures methods.
When you are creating your needs statement it is important to prove your need. This is going to take more than one of the above sources. Try to utilize at least two of these sources in your needs assessment and don’t forget to tell a story!
If you need help writing your needs statement or finding documentation for your need contact me at http://www.communityfundingsolutions.com I will be happy to help.
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