Applications & offers

This is a subsection of the fundraising lexicon developed as part of the GFMD MediaDev fundraising guide.

For the full fundraising lexicon (A-Z) go to

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Expression of Interest

Competitive tenders for service contracts often begin with a procurement notice inviting eligible applicants to submit an expression of interest.

Would-be applicants are asked to present basic information about their organisation as well as providing details of past performance and technical and/or financial capacity.

In addition, bidders may be asked to meet a set of criteria that demonstrate they have experience of delivering a programme of a similar scale and an equivalent value, possibly also in a comparable environment.

For EU service contracts, implementing organisations are encouraged to apply as part of a consortium and, in these cases, the collective track record of the consortium may be taken into account.

Concept note

This is a 4-5 page document setting out the fundamental ideas and approach for a project as well as describing any formal partnerships that are integral to the project design.

Concept notes are usually requested as the first stage of a grant application process, thereby giving donors the chance to short-list those proposals which, in their view, best reflect the goals and priorities of the programme.

Short-listed applicants are then invited to submit a full application which should retain the core elements of the concept note including the partnerships involved and the proposed budget amount.

Full application

A full application enables would-be grantees to put meat on the bones of their idea, presenting key aspects of the proposal under generic section headings.

Typically, these headings will comprise a rationale for the intervention; a detailed description of proposed activities; a discussion of the target groups and their needs; the approach and methodology; risks and assumptions; and key issues such as sustainability and multiplier effects.

Most donors offer a template for full applications which includes a budget spreadsheet and a logical framework. Applications are generally evaluated according to a scoring matrix which is presented in the Terms of Reference.

Technical Offer

A Technical Offer is the term used to describe the narrative proposal in a competitive tender. It often includes a set of CVs for Key Experts whose professional qualifications are evaluated as part of the bid.

Technical Offers come in response to Terms of Reference drawn up by the Contracting Authority and, as a rule, should seek to demonstrate that the bidder fully understands the prescribed tasks and has an effective methodology for delivering them.

Technical Offers should also reflect an in-depth knowledge of the risks, challenges and opportunities inherent to the operating environment.

Financial Offer

Technical Offers are accompanied by a Financial Offer which is opened and evaluated only after the Technical Offers have been reviewed and scored.

Generally speaking, bidders endeavour to put forward a competitive budget that offers a discount on the maximum budget available.

However, in the scoring matrix, the weighting usually is placed on the Technical Offer, meaning that bidders with a very strong proposition may not feel the need to make an economically advantageous bid.

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