November 19, 2010

Proposal advice from federal grantmakers

Much of the best proposal-writing advice comes from the people who decide which grant applications get approved. "Grant-Writing Tips From the Experts Who Really Matter" (Local/State Funding Report, October 18, 2010) offers such advice from three federal agencies.

From the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs:
  • Do use your own language rather than recycling the words in the grant announcement.
  • Do keep your sentences short and simple.

From the Institute for Museum and Library Services:
  • Do seek grants only from programs that are a close fit with your organization’s work.
  • Don’t go after a grant unless you’re convinced the match is really there. If you stretch for it anyway, this will be evident in your request.

From the Environmental Protection Agency:
  • Do make sure your proposal reflects careful planning and offers objective evidence to describe both the problem to be addressed and your organization’s qualifications for achieving the goals of the project.
  • Don’t throw a proposal together to meet a deadline. Reviewers can tell the difference between a rush job and a proposal that was meticulously developed.

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