In political or social discussions with friends, my observations are sometimes met with a vague disinterest or even an eyebrow-raising doubt. Sure why not, my points may be worthy of such response. However when I follow up my idea with “ I can’t remember where I read that,” the wave of doubt transforms to a posture of interest.
People crave confirmation from an outside source.
Funders have their own version of confirmation - they want evidence. In proposals, there are three distinct areas for which you should be providing evidence:
You are probably skilled in producing evidence for areas 1 and 2. You have government-collected statistics, focus groups summaries, need assessment reports, surveys results; reports from think tanks and universities, pre- and post questionnaires, narratives, and media reports.
It is more difficult to produce evidence for point 3. You need to demonstrate that the achievement of a specific outcome, an outcome you can measure, will ultimately contribute to reducing the problem. Securing the evidence on your own often requires extensive timelines, strong research capacity, and dedicated funds- resources most charitable agencies do not have.
One solution is to turn to the wide world of research. If research confirms connection and causation, you can build a portfolio of evidence.
Where to look?
Google is fine but not curated enough. Podcasts are an excellent source of curated and focused stream of research. My favourites include: