20 quick and easy ways to improve your grant writing

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Post on 01-Dec-2014



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If you're a novice grant writer, you can improve your grant writing immediately by following these 20 quick and easy tips. Including everything from writing style to formatting, these tips will help you write like a pro. (www.thirdsectorconsulting.com)


  • 2. The project will start in January 2014. this We anticipate that the project will begin in January 2014 Not this 2014. And never this Without your support, we will be unable to launch the project in January 2014. Be positive. Write as if the funds will be received.
  • 3. Tell a prospective funder exactly what you do and exactly how their money will help.
  • 4. VERB ADJECTIVE NOUN adopt best-in-class action plans analyze client-focused best practices benchmark data-driven core values communicate family-friendly dialogues document high-impact deliverables embrace mutual exit strategies identify pioneering frameworks highlight synergistic governance From Philanthropy Jargon Generator http://mysite.verizon.net/grantspeak/ You can mix and match but dont!
  • 5. Technical language Acronyms Euphemisms Clichs Your audience should understand exactly what you mean.
  • 6. When you lower the grade level of your writing, you increase the readers ability to understand.
  • 7. Short words Short sentences Short paragraphs Word length and sentence length contribute to the readability of your text.
  • 8. Avoid words you wouldnt use in normal conversation.
  • 9. As to the adjective, when in doubt, leave it out. -Mark Twain The road to hell is paved with adverbs. - Steven King
  • 10. In a number of cases Often In light of the fact of h f Because In the majority of instances ll In close proximity to Usually Near In the event that fe occasions If On a few Sometimes On the other hand Otherwise Last, but not least Finally
  • 11. Image credit: http://www.primaryconcepts.com/
  • 12. your and youre its and its there, their, theyre affect and effect then and than fewer and less that and who who and whom principal and principle historic and historical Need help? Ask Grammar Girl! www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl
  • 13. Rewrite the last sentence (or another within the paragraph) to avoid leaving one word on the last line. Image credit: Tribune Media Services via AP
  • 14. X Now that we are nearing completion of the X building, we need to fill it with the kinds X of programs we have long been without. Formal proposal? Use third-person voice. Cover letter or letter proposal? First-person is okay.
  • 15. Images help to break the narrative text and allow you to present a lot of information in a limited space.
  • 16. When appropriate, use bulleted or numbered lists. They also help break up your narrative text.
  • 17. Emphasize key words and phrases in your proposal.
  • 18. X Which would you rather read?
  • 19. use too many OR unconventional Preferred: 12-point Times New Roman, 1-inch margins
  • 20. Help the reader transition from one section to another.
  • 21. Photo credit: FlickRiver.com Remember Humpty Dumpty? That happens to grant proposals, too.
  • 22. Contact Me Laura Rhodes, CGW [email protected] www.thirdsectorconsulting.com 406.551.6200