5 Steps to Get Your Project Funded

project funding

In this article, you will see the best way to increase the chance of getting your project funded. This approach has five steps and each step is in turn broken down and explained. By the end of this article, you will have a 5 step approach to work through on your project. If you take this approach you will increase the chance that your project will get funded.

There are two types of people who place bets on horses. Those that go by which name they like best and those that go by the odds and performance. Let’s ignore the people who go on the name and look at the serious gamblers. What are they looking for? They hope that the money they hand over if the horse does well give them more money back. They are hoping for a return. The principle behind picking which project to fund is like picking which horse to back. Which one is likely to give the best return.

Why Project Proposals Get Rejected

The worst stage of a project is when you are trying to get it approved. It always looks like senior management is looking for a reason to say no and your project gets rejected. The truth is you are right. There is not enough money to spend on all projects an organisation wants to do. Senior managers are accountable to the company board to make sure they do not waste money. The board of an organisation likes to see value for money and return on the investment. So your project proposal has to be better than all the others to get approved.

5 Steps to Get Your Project Funded

To get your project funded you need to focus on the benefits. Imagine you are on Shark Tank / Dragons Den and you are pitching for investment. The Sharks / Dragons want a return on their money so time to sell them on your project.

Think about your audience, they are more concerned with the money than your processes. You need to talk their language and talk money. To do this, work through the five steps. You do not need an answer for each step, leave it blank if it does not apply to your project.

Extra Income
By doing this project, will it lead to an increase in revenue for the organisation? Will this project result in a new revenue stream from a new product for example?

Cost Savings
Will completing the project result in any savings? For example, cancelling a support contract for some old software that is no longer used.

Costs Avoided
With this project will it reduce the chance of not being compliant with legislation and avoid a fine.

Time Saved
Will this project make current processes more efficient? The trick here is once you have worked out the time saving turn these into a cost. Remember your audience. Turn hours into money. To do this you need to establish the daily employee cost. It is generally accepted that the average cost per person per day is $500. This includes extra costs such as equipment and recruitment as well as salary.

Justification
The final part of the benefits section is to provide the softer benefits of why the project is worth doing. This can be anything from customer service improvements through to risks avoided. The purpose is to give high level reasons why the project is a good idea along with the financial return.

By providing as many of the 5 steps as you can, you will increase the chance that your project will get funded. One important tip is to make sure you have done your sums right. You do not want to lose credibility because of a slight mistake. Have a colleague check your workings.

Remember your audience is more interested in the money than the justification. You want to show that the project costs x and the payback y over so many years. By doing this you have made it easy for the person funding your project to see when they will get their money back.

Summary

To get your project funded you have to talk money. There are 5 steps to go through to make sure you identify all the project benefits. They are:

  1. Extra Income
  2. Cost Savings
  3. Costs Avoided
  4. Time Saved
  5. Justification

Remember to be honest and get a colleague to check your sums. If you take this approach then you will increase the chance of getting project funds.

If you would like more information on projects, enter your email address. I will also send you some great templates that you can use on your project.