June 26, 2012

From {Centered}: Aim for clarity in your proposals

Before submitting a grant request, you must thoroughly research and understand the needs of the grantmaker, and you must plan the program for which you will seek funds. Then comes the crucial final step--producing a convincing proposal. In "Clear Writing Helps Make the Case for Funding" (Local/State Funding Report, April 30, 2012), Jodi Pearl explains how to achieve the necessary clarity:

  1. Do the obvious--follow the grantmaker's guidelines! Read them through twice. Highlight directions on formatting requirements, length restrictions, allowable and non-allowable costs, etc. 
  2. Use the conventions of standard English. Put sentences in the active voice. Try to avoid using boldface type, ALL CAPS, underlining, or italics unless the guidelines request them. 
  3. Organize the ideas in the proposal appropriately. 
  4. Express those ideas so that even a reviewer who is not expert in your field can understand them. If possible, test how well you've done this by having someone outside your organization read the proposal. 
  5. Make your argument persuasive enough to stand up against competing proposals. 

Source: {Centered} June 2012 - Volume 5, Issue 6 © 2012 The Grantsmanship Center. All rights reserved. www.tgci.com

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