We are sorry, but the title of this post might be slightly misleading:
- It’s not just for project writing dummies. On the contrary, some of the insights here might be very applicable to the project writing professionals as well. Because we all sometimes forget some fundamentals and basic truths, right?
- What is more, we touch upon the implementation of projects as well.
Active Youth has written this post because our readers were asking how to make the projects more impactful and sustainable in the long-term. That’s important and it’s not an easy thing to do. So we thought hard on this matter and produced a list of top suggestions.
Reading time: 3 minutes
Contents briefly: key things to consider when writing / implementing a project in the social sector
Project Writing for Dummies: 4 key things to consider
#1 Think twice before starting the project
The main question to ask here is whether it will be sustainable. We are talking about the result of your project. Will it last after the project funding finishes? If not, then perhaps it’s not worth starting it. Of course, there might be a variety of reasons to get on with the project. For example, raising awareness, broadening the network, you name it.
At Active Youth we are using the following checklist to evaluate whether to start / take part in a new project. Feel free to use it:
#2 Think about how to fund the project after grants are finished
Unfortunately, every project grant dries up eventually. Thus, your task is to consider additional ways to fund the project. Perhaps there is a chance of getting some of that extra funding from municipal or private sources?
This is better done well in advance – for example, at the stage of proposal writing. However, if you didn’t, worry not! One can think about fundraising even during the later stages of implementation. Better late than never as the popular saying goes.
Wondering how to make project budgets easily? Check out our 3-step technique for that.
#3 Search for cooperation with local NGOs
Alright, this might be more relevant when the project has started already – i.e. in the phase of implementation. Still, we’d like to remind our readers about the imporance of cooperation.
Projects can rarely have a sustainable impact on their own. That’s a hard fact. So what to do? Build a network of like-minded people around your idea. E.g. local NGOs, youth centres, etc. If they are interested and properly involved, they might:
- help you create better results / outputs of the project
- work on / improve those outputs further – even after the project is officially over
- expose the results to a higher number of relevant stakeholders – see key point #4
- and a lot of smaller benefits, which we are too lazy to mention
#4 Involve the target group
What a lot of project implementation and project writing dummies miss is involvement of the target group. For example, your project seeks to better integrate refugees. That’s great, but do you know what will be the most suitable in this effort? At best you might have a good guess. Yet, it’s better to ask the refugees themselves. And, even better – involve them in designing and then leading your activities. This way:
- the project and its activities will be more relevant to the needs of the target group
- it will be easier to gather participants from the target group
- most importantly: the results will be more impactful and longer-lasting for the group
Of course, there are more things to consider when writing and/or implementing projects. Such as always having your end-goal in mind. Want to know more? We’re providing a few links that others found useful below.
Project Writing for Dummies Resources
Want to know all about project planning?
This comprehensive post of ours tells everything about how to start / not to start a project. Project planning from A to Z, folks.
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