For the next assignment, you are being asked to develop an initial plan for your project.  The main purpose of this document is to convince a potential funder or investor to give you the seed capital you need, by documenting what results you hope to demonstrate with that seed capital.  You should keep your audience (who will provide you this money) in mind when preparing this document.  A foundation, versus a social investor, versus a government, versus a traditional venture capitalist will all have very different expectations about how you might demonstrate a “return” on their investment, and how you will achieve sustainability in their eyes.

For almost all of your projects (unless you fall in the traditional VC category), you will want to include an empirical evaluation at some point.  To design this evaluation, you can either draw upon the lecture on social impact management, or on randomized program evaluation, depending on what your audience is and what is practical for your project.  Remember to include the cost of conducting this evaluation, including collecting the necessary data, in your projections.

This document should contain at least the following:

  • the time period the plan covers
  • the amount of money you will need for that period
  • a yearly breakdown of costs and revenues (if any)
  • a schedule for various deliverables or milestones you hope to achieve
  • for any milestones that include an empirical evaluation, how you will conduct this evaluation, including your target population, your control (if any), what impacts you will measure, how you will collect this data, etc.
  • long-term sustainability strategy (or why you wont need their money eventually)

Please let us know if you have any questions.