Concept notes, as its name suggests, is a brief summary that discusses the ideas regarding a project being proposed and the objectives that it is aiming to achieve. It is the product of the attempt to briefly discuss, to a client or a prospective sponsor, the highlights of the project being developed. Concept notes are often requested before the presentation of a full-fledged proposal to be able to study the contents of the project and determine whether or not it is in line with the priorities of the company and the brand message they are trying to impress.
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If the project doesn’t meet the standards of the team, a presentation of the whole proposal will no longer be necessary since the main points were already discussed through the concept notes, which means that the whole organization has saved a lot of time that would have been wasted in listening to lengthy ramblings about a proposal that won’t even be accepted.
Concept Note Sample
Concept Note Template
Ecuador Project Concept Notes
Partnership Concept Note
Concept notes can also be used to discuss the main project ideas to would-be donors who have no time, patience, or interest in listening to a proficient deliberation of the topic. Instead, they would only demand for the main points to be condensed. This will be their basis for whether or not they will fund the project.
In some cases, concept notes are meticulously structured, providing in-depth information about the topic. However, they can also be designed to only contain a general overview of the project’s main idea. Irregardless of the amount of data that the concept note holds, it is an important stepping stone toward attracting attention and support for your project.
Concept Paper Template
Draft Concept Note
Once you have piqued the curiosity of your audience with your concentrated concept note, you may then be requested to discuss everything in detail through a presentation of your project proposal. Otherwise, it is suffice to say that your project has been rejected.
Ideally, a concept note is only 2 to 3 pages long, except if your audience has provided specific requirements about it. But, irregardless of how long or short it is, your concept note must be well-written because it is an important document that serves as the first delivery of your project, and the response you garner through it will define the future of your project.
As for the format of your concept note, there are no existing rigid rules about it. However, it is best to get to know the organization or the agency that you are applying for so that you can learn if they have any specifications about this detail.
Concept Note on Vocationalization of Education
Design Concept Note Template
Design Concept Note Template
The Advantages of Writing Concept Notes
Concept notes give you the chance to create a framework for your ideas that you can present on paper. It makes proving a point or arriving at a conclusion easier because you simply have to organize your ideas without the extensive explanation and other complexities that a proposal would necessitate.
Also, since concept notes are only the first presentation of the project and not yet the whole proposal, this gives the team another chance to work on improvements before they present the whole idea to their audience, and their audience will never know since they haven’t seen or read the full presentation yet.
In connection to this, presenting concept notes first will give the donors the chance to assess the proposal and offer suggestions to the team so that they can revise it before presenting the complete proposal. Of course, since concept notes are considerably shorter than proposals, they also take less time and resources to prepare which, after making a full-fledged proposal, is a fresh break for the team.
Concept Note on Food Authority
APEC Project Concept Note
Writing a Concept Note
There are certain elements and parts that a concept note must contain to make sure that you are providing every necessary information through it.
- Title. A big part of the audience’s first impression of your work will solely be dependent on the title, and if that much pressure is reliant on the title, making it will not be easy. Your title should be snappy and aggressive, yet fun and exciting. It should impress upon your audience the right image that you are trying to project about the content of your concept note.
- Background. The background you present in your concept notes must answer to crucial questions: “Why is it important that we address the problem identified in the study?” and “What means have already been conducted to try to solve the problem?” These questions, although simple, can already provide a thorough discussion of the relevance of the project being presented.
- Objectives. Since you have a problem that you are addressing through your concept paper, you must then be aiming at certain goals or outcomes. State these in your concept paper as well. Your objectives can either be short-termed or long-termed. They need to be as specific as possible. Providing numbers and statistics will make your objectives more convincing, so it will help if you have those to include as well.
- Outputs. Oftentimes, projects are proposed to donors because they are aiming for physical and tangible outputs to be constructed for them. It can be in the form of technical facilities or the publication of information materials. Intangible materials may also be mentioned in concept notes, such as raised awareness to a specific problem, and increased responsiveness toward an issue.
- Activities and Duration. You should also discuss the activities and tasks you need to conduct to be able to achieve your project objectives. The amount of time you need to invest in doing them should also be specified since this will give your audience an idea on how long the project has to be implemented before results start showing.
- Beneficiaries. When talking to prospective donors, this aspect of your concept note should be highlighted. You should do your best in discussing what they will get if they fund your project. After all, you and your project are an investment to them. They are not going to give you money for the sake of charity. The benefits are the fruits of the investment that they will reap.
- Project Management. This part will discuss all the necessary steps you need to follow to be able to realize your plan. Your project management should be well-structured and realistic so that your audience will be convinced that it is, in fact, realizable. Otherwise, even if you promise benefits and long-term products, you will not get the support and funding you will need if you cannot convince them of your ability to make it all come true.
- Budget. This part should only be included if your audience requests for it. Otherwise, it would be best to keep your estimated amount to yourself. When presenting your budget in your concept paper, you must include into the equation all the necessary resources that you will need to realize the project. This will include the staff you will have to pay, the equipment, the materials, the facilities, the vehicles, and other things you might need.
Concept Note Project Synopsis
Concept Note for Training Workshops
Activity Concept Note Example
Tips in Creating Your Own Concept Note
- Your goal is to be able to express every important detail about your project in as few words as you can. Remember, you are trying to condense an entire project proposal into just 2 to 3 pages. Do not overwhelm your audience with too much blabbering they don’t need to hear, but avoid sounding vague either. To be sure, create bullet points of the necessary details about your project and expound on them through your concept note.
- It is important that you consider your audience before and while you are making your concept note. Your audience is who you are trying to please, so you should try to make your content as relevant to their likes and current needs. It would help if you get to know your audience before presenting to them. Chances are, your audiences have different preferences. If you must, adjust your concept notes depending on who you will present it to.
- It is also important for you to consider your language, of course, depending on who you are talking to. If your audience is made up of scientists, use scientific terms and jargon to more effectively establish rapport with them. Your language is your greatest tool to convince these people that your project is worth investing on. Use it well.
- Refrain from discussing monetary issues on your concept notes. Although everybody knows that your goal is to raise funds for your project, you don’t necessarily have to include it in the discussion. Also, money is not going to help you convince your audience to support you.
- Take care of the appearance of your paper. Needless to say, it should be presentable, clean, and professional. Since you are not being given the chance to personally talk (unless your concept note earns the approval of your audience), your concept note will represent you. How it looks will mirror you and your team’s names and personalities. Also, since it is a business document, make it look like one. Observe proper margins, and use the right font and spacing. Check for errors and don’t forget to include your name and contact information on the header. Be keen to details.
- Don’t send concept notes just because you feel like doing so. There is a very slim chance for a randomly submitted concept note to be accepted. Make sure you have targeted organizations because your chances with them are bigger. However, if you don’t, establish connections through the people you already know. Look for people who are willing to listen to what you have to say.
Project Concept Note Template
Creating a project proposal is already a task in itself. Having to present it to an audience and gain their approval and support is an even bigger burden. Since you may not be given enough time or even the chance to present to a crowd the contents of your project, summarizing it all in the form of a concept note may help you in this undertaking. Consider the suggestions provided above to help you make the most out of the little time given to you.