Project Proposal Example
Our association has been writing project proposals for various European and EEA projects since 2014. Fortunately for us we’ve been very successful at that, with funding approval rate of about 80%. We realised that there are few key things to know (in order to be successful) when applying for EU projects & a lot of other organisations do not do that. Thus, being good guys, we’ve decided to share a brief project proposal example with our fellow partners & NGOs out where. Please find the following in this post:
- 3 standard questions of project applications
- our well structured answers to those
- special commentary on why we write this way
Also, for those interested our NGO has a bunch of other helpful resources when writing EU/EEA projects (or, indeed, any type of project):
- 10 quick tips to improve your project writing
- (free) consultations & support for those writing projects / willing to apply for project funding
Project Writing Sample
Surely, a full project proposal example would be too much read. Just imagine 50 pages of text. For that reason, we’ve taken out the most important parts for you. Yet, no worries, they will allow you to get the idea of what is wanted from you in project calls. More imporantly, you will understand how to be the best in answering those (tricky) project application questions.
This project proposal example is from Erasmus+ KA2 application (2019 call) about bringing youth activities to seniors.
Q1: briefly present your organisation (e.g. its type, scope of work, areas of activity and if applicable, approximate number of paid/unpaid staff, learners and members of the group).
Active Youth Association (AY) is a for-purpose organisation working with youth and communities in need in Lithuania and across borders. We have extensive experience in non-formal education, as well as a range of other topics. Most important among which: healthy lifestyle, human rights, entrepreneurship.
AY has been actively involved in local and international (youth) projects since the very start of its existence. Up until now, the organization has successfully implemented (getting just the highest scores from the evaluators) more than 40 separate project actions on its own (and several times that as a partner). What is more, our NGO has built up a large partnership network all over Europe (more than 400 organisations). All of that can be used for the current proposal.
In whatever activity we carry out, we follow our 4 core principles: 1) dedication – meaning that we give our 100% and more; 2) openness – we work with – and for the public; 3) positivity – we see opportunities rather than problems; and 4) enthusiasm – we want to change our surroundings for the better. Surely, it’s easy to list these values on paper and a lot harder to follow them through in real.
That is why we focus extensively in having the right team for every project (presently, our paid staff is 15). Committed people are professionals with relevant experience and a record of success (whether in youth work and/or work with seniors & youth). We also rely on a deep pool of volunteers (over 1000), social media followers (over 20000) and potential partners to ensure: 1) the project’s implementation goes smoothly; 2) the dissemination efforts reach the specified target groups.
The projects AY takes on, as a rule, focus on demanding and sensitive issues (e.g. ageing society). Hence, we look forward to challenges offered by the current project.
As you can see we do not use big paragraphs. That’s because smaller ones are easier to read. We also try to be concrete, i.e. give exact numbers. This shows to the reader (evaluator) that we know what we are doing. In other words, it gives us credibility.
Q2: explain the context and the objectives of your project as well as the needs and target groups to be addressed. Why should this project be carried out transnationally?
Context & needs of the target groups:
Ageing is one of the most significant social transformations of the 21st century. By 2030, the number of older persons worldwide is set to increase by 56 percent – from 901 million to more than 1.4 billion. The number of people aged 60 and above will far exceed that of young people aged 15 to 24. Roughly, two active people (15-65) will have to take care of one retired person (65+) in 2030 (source: Eurostat). As life expectancy is getting longer the society needs to adapt to these unprecedented demographic changes.
A key problem in aging is social integration, that is the extent to which a person is actively connected and engaged with their family and community. It is not easy to remain socially involved when you are getting old, thus many of old people become isolated from the society, feeling lonely and left aside.
What can be done about that? Research shows that older adults can maintain a fairly high level of physical and emotional well-being when they have something considered valuable by others in their society – it can be skills, knowledge or economic resources. The consortium of “Narrow the Gap” (NGap) believes that youth work (along with young people) should be put in good use & engage more with the elderly. This would benefit everyone involved (see below).
At the same time, the partners have identified a lack of (methods in) youth work, which can: 1) help narrow the generational gap; and 2) encourage lifelong learning and contribution to the society. The goal of NGap is to address these needs.
The following objectives are set (to reach the main aim of the project):
1. To foster opportunities for intergenerational learning in the participating countries;
2. To boost youngsters’ empathy, respect and social responsibility concerning older generations;
3. To raise the qualifications and competences of youth workers, leaders, trainers and coaches who could work with intergenerational groups (both in local / international setting);
4. To improve youth work by involving seniors with their experience and skills;
5. To re-integrate older generations to the societies by involving them to various short and long-term activities together with youth; thus, increasing their well-being and sense of belonging.
Need for transnational & cross-sectorial implementation:
The consortium has seen that there have been only a few projects implemented for continuous elderly engagement through youth work. And, even those few lacked international and cross-sectoral co-operation, which is vital for projects to be sustainable and replicable elsewhere in Europe. The same is true for the partner organisations themselves. Each of them is currently working with youth & seniors (together) and has relevant experience; however, their individual approaches are rarely shared with others. Not to repeat the same mistake, NGap is based on exchange of knowledge within and outside the consortium.
Transnational cooperation will also benefit the target groups (youth, youth workers), who will be able to develop their skills in a multicultural environment. At the same time, project partners will be able to build a network of multinational contacts (across various sectors), who could support their endeavors in the field.
Furthermore, cooperation among different sectors can bring additional synergies for achieving social inclusion (of seniors). “Narrow the Gap” is carried out by (youth) NGOs and a public organisation. This way, in-depth ideas on how to engage seniors (through youth work) will be put in practice, keeping the project results sustainable for a longer time (see more in further sections).
Overall, we believe that NGap goals can be best reached through a transnational and cross-sectoral approach, since we seek outputs that are: 1) universally-applicable; 2) replicable; and hence 3) sustainable. All of the project activities and outputs will be tested in three countries in parallel, making sure that it is replicable elsewhere in Europe. Thorough documentation of the project implementation will allow achieving that.
This application question was rather long & difficult. That’s why it is split into 3 smaller parts. To help the reader navigate between them, we even give pre-paragraph headings (e.g. Objectives). Moreover, we use numbering, which improves the readability still further.
Q3: What results are expected during the project and on its completion?
Tangible results (described in detail under Intellectual Outputs):
- Research on the (feasibility of) activities involving both seniors and youngsters in the participating countries (described under IO1);
- A special methodology to include & engage seniors through youth work (thus benefiting all sides involved) (described under IO1);
- Pilot programme – 15 local events (friendly to handicapped people) where youth and seniors will be involved together (described under IO1);
- Youth & Elderly mentorship Programme (YEP) – participating youngsters will be connected with elderly participants. The pairs will then go through continuous (long-term) learning & communication. For example, youth teaching seniors to use social media, while seniors passing on some of their own knowledge to the young (described under IO2);
- An online platform, which will include the project’s resources, YEP, etc. It will be freely & openly accessible to anyone (described under IO2);
- An e-learning course for youth-workers. It will allow youth workers to learn the NGap’s methodology at any place / time. The course is going to be free & have open-access (described under IO3);
- Festival “Forever Young” in Kaunas will sum-up all the progress made during the project. The event will have local music bands, dance classes for seniors and youth, inspirational talks about aging, and the dissemination of the project. This will also show the society that seniors are willing and able to participate in such events (described under E3).
- Improved local youth work by involving seniors with their skills and experience;
- Increased well-being and sense of belonging of seniors by involving them in activities with the local youth;
- Raised qualifications and competencies of youth workers, who have worked (during the programme) / could work together with seniors;
- Narrowed generational gap – boosted youngsters’ empathy, respect and social responsibility concerning the older generations;
- Both, participating young and seniors, will improve skills & competencies (by learning from one another), as well as extend their social networks. Which will have a positive impact on their future wellbeing;
- Raised public awareness / higher support for seniors involvement. Ideally, this could result in more similar initiatives being implemented;
- Promoted lifelong learning & contribution to society (amongst all age groups).
Partner organisations will generally seek that the results become self-sustainable (consensus on this has already been made). That is why, the focus will be put on quality of the results, as well as their universal applicability.
Same as above, basically. The answer is split in to two distinct parts with headings. We also use numbering, which helps the evaluator understand all the deliverables mentioned in this project proposal example.
Project proposal example take-aways
While this is just a small bit of the whole project application, we hope that you’ve got the idea what the project proposal is all about. The key point here is clarity for the reader. We try to achieve that by:
- using numbering
- headings to help the reader navigate your answer
- no big paragraphs (as they’re scary visually)
This project proposal example was not enough & you feel like you need more tips on project writing? Then Read this great article.
Can we work together on your project application?
Over a few years, our team has been supporting a range of different project proposals all over Europe. Surely, yours could be one of them. Check below if we can collaborate on your project: