Developing a needs statement is the real backbone to a good proposal. Ask yourself some questions:
1. What is the mission of our organization?
2. How are we meeting that mission?
3. What is needed in order to meet our mission? What is currently missing?
4. How will obtaining additional funds affect the people we serve?
Always write your needs statement in terms of the client. What do I mean by that? Don’t say “we need computers for our labs because the current computers are outdated and to provide services we must have updated technology.” Instead, say, ” The ABC center will provide basic technology skills to 25 adult learners who currently have no access to technology. This service will improve literacy, basic computer skills and the ability of the clients to obtain employment.” The unsaid statement implies that the organization will need to have a computer lab. The budget and budget narrative is where you explain this expense.
Always bring it back to the level of the people that are being touched by the project. Funders want to make a difference and even though agencies need computers and other essentials, the funder wants to know how this will affect the people you serve.
In the development of a needs statement, we must use statistics and data to support the identified “needs”. Resources and how to properly use data and statistics as well as where to find valid information is on the “Finding and Using Statistics page.”