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Advocacy | Fundraising

SBC Fundraising Template

What to include in funding requests and technical proposals


This tool provides suggestions to help you develop a proposal tailored to your needs. It aims to offer inspiration and ideas to choose from.

Background for proposal

You may want to provide a short introduction to SBC, such as this: 

  • What is SBC? 

    Social and Behaviour Change is a set of approaches and strategies that promote positive and measurable changes towards the fulfilment of women and children’s rights. SBC works with communities, partners and authorities to understand and influence the cognitive, social and structural drivers of change. It relies on social and behavioural evidence as well as participatory approaches to co-design solutions to development and humanitarian challenges. 

    Possible additions include:

  • Why SBC? 

    The SBC approach maximizes development and humanitarian efforts by applying a deep understanding of the way people make decisions and interact with each other, collecting the social and behavioural evidence needed by programmes to be efficient and putting communities in the driver’s seat of the initiatives affecting their lives.

    • Case studies of SBC offering value for money and application across technical areas – see the SBC pitch deck for examples.
    • Measurability of SBC – see examples from the best of impact evidence.
    • UNICEF’s comparative advantage – see foreword and vision (note: this is for UNICEF proposals only! Partners should craft their own similar pitch.)

Core of the proposal 

The process for seeking funding varies, depending on donors and partners. However, most proposals require the following content at minumum:

  • Situational overview (in country/area of interest)
  • Project/Programme scope
  • Objectives
  • Key activities
  • Deliverables
  • Key results
  • Milestones
  • Monitoring, evaluation and learning
  • Anticipated risks and challenges
  • Timeline
  • SBC capacity of implementer and partners
  • Coordination and governance
  • Dissemination of results
  • Scale-up and sustainability
  • Budget

This tool provides guidance on how to develop each of these sections within a written proposal, and shows where to find more information in the SBC programme guidance to inform the proposal development process.

Situational overview

This will depend on the context; it should offer a short narrative account of communities, children’s rights and well-being in the given geography. This section should provide an overview of the progress, challenges and opportunities associated with achieving these rights, as well as the patterns of deprivation people face and their causes. It should be a bird’s-eye view of what the following proposal is about.


SBC initiatives can take many forms, from the design and broadcast of edutainment campaigns to the creation of social accountability and participation mechanisms in order to optimize service provision and increase the role of communities in local governance.

SBC leverages a large toolkit and includes several distinct approaches which may be used – together or alone – to promote Social and Behaviour Change. Approaches include:

Different SBC approaches are best suited to different contexts and social and behavioural objectives. At the outset of any proposal or pitch, it is important to describe to potential funders:

  • The specific social and behavioural challenge(s) you are seeking to address, and the social and institutional assets or dynamics you envision leveraging
  • The approach you have already used, or will use, to further understand the situation and its unique contextual drivers (see here for more information on diagnosing a situation)
  • A first version of a theory of change to address identified challenges using a combination of approaches
  • A concrete description of what this will entail and an evidence-based justification for your selection of these approaches (see here for more information on selecting appropriate SBC approaches)

Your objectives should be linked to the specific social and behavioural results you aim to achieve (see key SBC objectives and results). These specific social and behavioural objectives should also be linked to broader programmatic objectives (reduced poverty, reduced hunger, etc).          
Make sure to state your objectives very clearly. These may include:

  • Increasing uptake of social services
  • Increasing adoption of healthy behaviours at home and in communities (e.g., increased positive discipline, reduction in harmful behaviours such as alcohol abuse and gender-based violence, improved sanitation and hygiene practices)
  • Progress towards positive social change (e.g., increased societal or communal equality, inclusion, cohesion, resilience or responsiveness of duty bearers to people’s needs)
Key activities 

Specific technical activities depend on the SBC approaches applied; see some examples below. Regardless, any SBC initiative will include activities related to:

Below is a non-exhaustive list of SBC implementation strategies. In your proposal, you may want to include short descriptive language for donors and partners unfamiliar with what each strategy entails.


Deliverables for SBC initiatives vary widely and depend on the nature of the programme.

  • Your key deliverables often include the implementation of targeted SBC interventions – mass-media campaigns, community engagement processes, etc. These flow from the main activities discussed above.
  • Whenever possible, you should aim for community ownership of SBC processes, making this co-creation process a clear deliverable itself. In order to ensure sustainable responsibility of local partners for programmes, it can be helpful to create detailed implementation plans and guidance, which will also later inform considerations about replicability across contexts and scale-up.
  • Deliverables will also include M&E elements, such as impact reports, and communications such as feedback to communities, presentations to authorities and peer-reviewed publications.
  • Initiatives also often focus on building SBC capacity into existing governance and sectoral and service delivery mechanisms. In this case, deliverables may include specific strategies developed with and for technical programmes, government counterparts and other partners.

SBC programmes contribute to a variety of social and behavioural objectives. An overview of key SBC results can be found here. Make sure to be explicit about what you are trying to achieve.


There are many steps on the way to achieving the main results. These milestones will include the implementation of activities, as well as the intermediary outcomes that eventually lead to the main results. Use your theory of change to present the activities, outputs and intermediate results as milestones; these can then be used to build the programme timeline and define the focus of monitoring and tracking, as well as form the basis for discussion in coordination and reporting processes.

Research and monitoring

Effective SBC programming is evidence-based and promotes continued community inputs, monitoring, learning and improvement. SBC data collection is a critical component of each programme before, during and after implementation.

Formative research (usually before design and implementation) is key to developing a deep understanding of participants' needs, aspirations and strengths, as well as of how the context influences social and behavioural outcomes – in order to identify what barriers must be overcome and what opportunities can be leveraged.

Pre-testing or pilot testing of SBC interventions (following initial design and before full implementation) is a cost-effective method of assessing the feasibility, acceptability and potential impact of processes and tools before roll-out and scaling.

Routine monitoring (during implementation) is used to examine implementation fidelity, identify gaps in activities, track progress towards each milestone and understand challenges with scaling or adapting in different settings.

Outcome evaluations should rigorously measure changes in social and behavioural outcomes, as well as programmatic effectiveness. What changes can be attributed to SBC interventions? What changes do SBC interventions contribute to as part of a larger programme (including for various sub-groups)?

For more detail on specific monitoring and research approaches associated with specific SBC implementing strategies, see the links in the ‘Key Activities’ section above.

  1. Lack of community-level ownership or identification of appropriate implementing partners. SBC initiatives should ideally be owned and steered by communities themselves, through existing community and civil society structures as well as purposeful mechanisms to ensure the participation of marginalized groups. It is also critical to build strong partnerships early on with local implementing partners, and to leverage local resources as much as possible; otherwise, the lifespan of the programme may be limited to project/funding timelines, or the initiative may not be effectively implemented at all.
  2. Lack of qualitative and quantitative data, and limited time or funding for formative research. SBC interventions should be evidence-based and rooted in a deep understanding of the participant groups and contexts in which they are being implemented. If insufficient time and resources are dedicated to research and adaptive programming, achieving results becomes almost impossible.
  3. Difficulties integrating SBC across multiple technical programmatic areas. SBC is often cross-cutting across multiple sectors (e.g., Health, WASH, Nutrition, Social Policy, Education, etc). It is essential to ensure that appropriate coordination mechanisms exist between programmatic areas and that sufficient resources from each technical team can be dedicated to supporting the initiative.
  4. Unforeseen events and security/health challenges. As with all programmes, SBC work depends on contextual social, economic and natural events. Conflict and security challenges or disease outbreaks may prevent SBC programmes from being successfully implemented. Major socio-political events can wipe out efforts to build trust, improve governance, etc.

Build the timeline using the milestones discussed above. Things to consider when developing your timeline include:

  • Which implementation strategies will be most impactful and critical to do first
  • Availability of key participants (communities, organizations, individuals)
  • Key milestones for the first month, first three months, first six months and first year, or another timeframe, for each intervention
  • Be as clear as possible: consolidate everything into a table outlining participants, roles and responsibilities for each key activity, with expected milestones, so that everyone is aware of critical timelines and dependencies
SBC capacity 

In your proposal, highlight the capacity of your team or institution to design and implement effective SBC programming, and describe previous experience, including in relation to the specific approaches you anticipate using.

In addition, consider the partners who will be involved in the research, design and implementation of the SBC initiatives. As described above, it is critical that SBC interventions be designed with and owned by local institutions, community-based organizations and governments. Many of these partners will already have extensive experience in SBC, even if they do not refer to it as such.

In your proposal, consider:

  • Research partners such as local academic and research institutions
  • Implementation partners such as community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, service organizations and local health, education and development institutions
  • Supportive stakeholders including government agencies at the national and sub-national level in addition to understanding and leveraging existing partners, many effective programmes actively seek to build and maintain the SBC capacity of local partners. See here for more detail on how to build SBC capacity in partners (governments, CSOs and academic institutions).
Coordination and governance

Your proposal should also propose regular engagement with various authorities and stakeholders. The tool on developing an SBC strategy is a good reference to help you include all the necessary coordination mechanisms from the start.

Think through the core organizations and people who should be involved in (i) analyzing, (ii) designing and (iii) supporting the implementation:

  • Who has local knowledge, expert knowledge, technical expertise and creative expertise? This could include government ministries, UN agencies, the private sector, local NGOs, civil society organizations (CSOs), leaders and community representatives.
  • What partnerships do you need to implement the strategy? Consider religious organizations, technological partners, research agencies, TV and radio stations, marketing companies and labour unions. Think about who can contribute and when to bring them in. One possibility is a core team that expands at certain moments.
  • Do you need to develop a technical advisory group or coordination group? This can help you to get political and community buy-in and approval, coordinate partners, provide technical oversight, facilitate access to communities or further fundraise.
Dissemination of results

Your main accountability is to the participant and affected communities – results should periodically and primarily be presented to and discussed with them. And of course, local authorities should be on board throughout the process. Make sure to include these aspects in the proposal. You will also need to discuss progress and results with the coordination groups mentioned above.

Whether or not your programme leads to the expected changes in outcomes, further dissemination also helps in building knowledge, creating effective policy and programming and scaling effective solutions. Most funders will want to see a local and international dissemination plan built into your proposals. Results dissemination is not limited to peer-reviewed publications and may include:

Scale-up and sustainability

A lot of initiatives are also built with a phased approach that focuses first on understanding, diagnosing and implementing change strategies in a limited number of geographies, before launching to a larger scale if successful. You should make sure not only to present these phases within your proposal but also to explain the criteria and basis used to assess replicability and scale. Testing technical feasibility and efficiency before deciding whether and how to roll out is key to safeguarding against potential pitfalls. Nevertheless, it is important that interventions be designed for scale from the beginning.

Everybody wants to belong offers a dedicated tool (see T17) on scaling up norms-shifting interventions – a lot of these principles also apply to SBC initiatives more broadly.


Finally, no proposal can exist without a price tag. Explore the budgeting tool to get detailed guidance on developing an appropriate budget for SBC programming.


Vision - SBC Fundraising Template

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  • Vision
  • Understand
  • Create
  • Do
  • The big picture
  • Advocacy | Fundraising
  • The fundamentals of SBC
  • SBC programmatic approaches
  • Overview of the process
  • Diagnose
  • Define success
  • Design
  • Implementing strategies
  • Partnerships
  • SBC in emergency settings
  • Build capacity and supportive systems
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