Which Project Titles impress Donors | Proposal Writing



Proposal Writing for NGO's

When looking at any proposal, the project title is the first thing the donors see in proposal writing. This is the reason a project title has to be very effective in capturing donors’ attention while also summarising the essence of the project. It has to convey the uniqueness of your project to the donor. Thus, it would be worthwhile to spend some time with your team to discuss and finalize a good project title before you submit your project proposal to the donors.

Why a Good Project Title is important:

It is important to understand that a great project title alone cannot win you the grant you apply for. The project, the quality of the proposal, budget considerations, your overall organizational competence, and credibility are the key factors that matter the most to a donor or funding organization to award your NGO with grant funding. Yet, the significance of a good project title cannot be emphasized enough because of the reasons given below.

Significance of a great project title:

  • It gives a glimpse of the project described in the proposal
  • It informs the donor about the project aim, location, focus, and beneficiary (or need)
  • A great title captures the donors’ attention with its uniqueness
  • It makes your proposal memorable and keeps it on the top of donors’/ selectors’ minds when making the decision.

All these qualities can bring your project proposal a notch higher than the rest, given that your proposal is already among the best ones in terms of quality, timeliness, goal-alignment with the donor, your credibility, project budget, and other criteria of the donor’s proposal shortlisting and selection process.

Important Considerations and tips:

  • If you are an early riser when it comes to a submission deadline, congratulations. You have enough time to enrich your project proposal, and you can go for a deep-diving brainstorming session with your team to come up with innovative and creative project titles.
  • It should be noted that if the application deadline is approaching and you have very little time on your hands, it is fine to do with a good title that fulfills the first two qualities among the ones mentioned above.
  • However, It also makes sense to have such discussions and to keep the ideas in a repository for future use. Get your team together because more brains mean more creativity for more great project title ideas. Maintain a ‘live’ google document to keep all these ideas and titles handy for the next proposal you have to submit.
  • For many online project proposal applications, there is a common limitation of ‘word limits’ and/ or ‘character limits’. For such applications, make sure you understand such requirements and that you keep them in mind while working on your application and developing a project title. It should not happen that you spend hours and hours deciding on a great project title that exceeds the prescribed word or character limits. To avoid such a situation, make sure you understand the prescribed limits if any, and that you have enough options to pick from if one does not work for these limits.

How to make your Project Title stand out:

Here are some effective tips to help you create a unique title for your project proposal, which can make your project stand out from the rest:

  • Summarise your project into a phrase:

Make the project title briefly descriptive to include the key idea of the project. To do this, try answering the following in one phrase:

  • Why your project is needed?
  • Where are you going to implement it?
  • Who are you going to help by implementing it?
  • How are you going to help them?
  • What is the timeline for your project/ or alternatively your overall goal?
  • Any other unique quality you wish to highlight?
  • Give a glimpse into the project idea:

By including the above information briefly in your project title, you are automatically making your project title unique while also making it intriguing for the donor before he reads the project proposal in detail. For example, some good titles containing the above-mentioned information in phrases:

  • Improving the socio-economic conditions of the (number of) farmers in (number of villages) villages in (location), (Country) by new agriculture methods
  • Expanding the primary health care reach to (number) of (beneficiary group e.g. women and childrenfor improved health outcomes in (region/ population etc.)

The above examples contain information that gives a brief summary of the entire project, while also intriguing the reader as to ‘how’ these projects have been detailed, how they will be implemented, and what the approaches and strategies might be. Be concise and specific when giving out the key information in the title. Avoid jargon, acronyms, and difficult words, try to quantify the information to the extent possible.

  • Make it catchy

If possible, try to make the donors remember your proposal by having a unique, catchy, and innovative title. In some cases, having a subtitle helps in giving out interesting information while keeping the title less wordy. Keep the title and the sub-title short, clear, and concise. Use simple and catchy language, while keeping it action-oriented. Do not over-explain the statement, but avoid being vague. Try to keep the title and section titles attention-grabbing and make sure you include some hooks in the language.

Some examples of catchy titles and subtitles may be: (taking from our previous examples)

  • More Bang for the Buck for Farmers:

Improving the socio-economic conditions of the (number of) farmers in (number of villages) villages in (location), (Country) by new agriculture methods

  • Healthy mothers, Healthier babies:

Expanding the primary health care reach to (number) of (beneficiary group e.g. women and children) for improved health outcomes in (region/ population etc.)

As you can see, breaking down into title and subtitle helps in making the title less wordy, more interesting, and catchy, while giving prominent project-related information. Sound language techniques like word-play, rhyming, use of idioms, and other techniques can help your project title stand out.

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