One of the most overlooked aspects is the reasoning — preferably the scientific reasoning — behind the program and its design. You’ve written a strong need statement, backed up by lots of evidence, and you need to connect that need to what’s often called “the chosen intervention” in federal grant lingo.
What is the reasoning behind the program, and how will it solve the problems you describe in the need statement? Without this link, the funder does not have a basis for understanding why your program is better than all the other applicants’. For all the funder knows, this program is just a random development.
Your need statement will also need to provide strong evidence, like studies, statistics, and quotes from experts that explains why your program is designed the way it is, and how it will solve the problems faced by the community. The more specific, the better. You can quote past successes and cite similar programs that work in other cities. You can also name the experts who designed the curriculum. Even nonprofits with “cutting edge” programs also build them on some sort of logical reasoning.
If you’re completely drawing a blank here, it might be time to retool the program and build a stronger foundation.
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