How to Write a Concept Paper

Two Methods:Sample Concept PapersWriting Your Own Concept Paper

A concept paper is a document written to convince potential funders to sponsor a product, program or service. Concept papers vary in format and specifics depending on the organization, but are generally concise documents containing information, statistics and persuasive arguments. Here are the steps that are required to write a concept paper.

Sample Concept Papers

Sample Concept Paper for Service

Sample Concept Paper for Program

Writing Your Own Concept Paper

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    Acknowledge the role of the sponsoring organization. Demonstrate your knowledge of the private or public organization by summarizing the nature of its involvement in the project. For example, if the funders are dedicated to advancing literacy in developing nations, acknowledge their successful history in this area.
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    Describe your team or organization. Explain the core objective of your project. For example, you may be an instructional software company that uses software programs to teach reading skills to disenfranchised populations. Clearly convey your position as it relates to the goals of the funding organization.
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    Identify the problem. Funders read your concept paper because they have a shared interest in the problem. Describe the core issue. Explain the problem in enough detail to convey your background and expertise with the issue. If necessary, include data to demonstrate the extent of the problem.
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    Include an assessment of previously applied methods. This may be a report of your past successes with a similar project. Or it may be a reference to a history of successes experienced by various organizations who have applied your specific solution to the problem.
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    Explain how you will meet the need. Describe the product, service or program. Be clear and concise. Use language that the reader will easily understand. Avoid using technical language for a non-technical audience.
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    Outline your intended objective. Your solution to the problem may save money, advance learning or prevent health issues. Include quantitative details, such as the number of people who will benefit, how much time will be saved or the amount of profit that will be generated.
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    List the resources necessary to offer the services. This may include a list of materials to build a product or the type of personnel required to provide the services. A detailed list will demonstrate your grasp of the project's needs and your readiness to provide the product or service.
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    Establish a time line for delivery of services. Explain how long it will take to build the product, deliver the service or manage the project. The time line should be both realistic and efficient.
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    Specify the amount of funds you are requesting. If possible, research the amount of money that the funding organization has available to stay within its budget. Asking for an amount that exceeds the available funds may result in an immediate dismissal of your program, project or service.
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    Summarize the concept paper by describing the outcome. Close with a few sentences to ensure the sponsoring organization that an investment in your team or organization will meet objectives and solve the specific problem.
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    Include your contact information. List your name, address, website, phone number and email address.

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