Some areas in different fields require concept notes. They are highly structured and provides information about a particular project or activity. It can be an initial step when you are going to connect with an agency for project funding. Concept note has been useful in many non-government organizations who seek for support and funds. This usually gives a framework when they are structured properly on a paper. It is considered as the first expression of a project that gives an opportunity to double check on the contents and relevance of an activity before presenting it to an agency for funding. Allot some of your time to read further of the details about an activity concept note.
A concept note contains a summary of the ideas containing a short description of an activity you wish to propose. It also has the activity’s objectives. Agencies that give funds to the non-government organizations require a concept note before they allow you to submit a detailed proposal. They are to assess if the proposed activity is in lined with the priorities of a particular program. Otherwise, it will not be funded.
Concept notes helps in seeking for funds from different agencies. It gives an avenue to every organization to practice flexibility in every ideas they make. As what mentioned earlier, concept notes help in assessing whether a particular activity passed the requirements that would help them for future funds. Through a concept note, an organization will be able to know about various recommendations before submitting a full and detailed proposal. Concept notes are shorter and only less time and resources is needed to prepare.
Preparing a concept note may cost you much. In some cases, the idea itself of the proposed activity will fit a call to proposals. A concept note demands several documents that requires a specific number of words and pages. This might not be enough for the idea and might cause a huge challenge to the participants of the proposed activity.
Another challenging part in the process is that when you make a thorough research and prepare all the needed documents, chances would be that the ideas might be changed or improved. This might not be accepted by the selection committee.
Title – the title should be information and builds its own distinction among others. Titles can either be short and catchy or serious and informative.
Background – your background should answer the questions as to why is it important for that particular problem to be addressed and what has been done in order to solve the problem.
Objectives – they should have a relation between the general main objectives and into the local action plan.
Output – this should be in lined with the objectives of the activity. These are considered to be tangible items like in the case of publications and technical facilities. Intangible items might also be raised such as those that impose awareness.
Activities – this has all the lists of activities that needs to be executed to achieve the objectives.
Impact – this contains the expected benefits, assumptions and reasons why they should expect such benefits.
Project Management – this explains how the activity or a certain project is being managed and evaluated. This includes the roles and responsibilities of every person who are assigned of the tasks.
Budget – this includes aspects such as people, travel and project costs, equipment used, supplies, facilities and more.
A concept note would usually have the name of the organization, title of the proposed activity or project, potential donor for the funds, context, rationale, objectives, project strategy, results, innovation, organizational background, budget estimation and complete contact details of the organization.
A concept note should be in the shortest possible text for a proposed activity.
Usually, the donors do not require a specific format but there are some agencies who would require one as part of their guidelines.
In writing for a concept note, it is more important to focus more on the project than focusing on your organization. Be specific as it will help in convincing the donors. Always remember that the donors have their own goals and priorities. All you have to do is to do your best in order make them understand that your organization certainly fits in into their goals.