D: Proposal Tips
Exemplary grant proposals have eight basic qualities in common:
- Energy. The proposal bristles with enthusiasm, urgency and passion.
- Expertise. The proposal reflects a deep understanding of the problem addressed and is informed by both theoretical knowledge and time-tested field experience.
- Commitment. The proposal reflects the organization’s genuine priorities and demonstrates a willingness to invest their own unrestricted resources in the project.
- Clarity. The proposal is clear about what the organization wants to do, why it is important and how it will be implemented and evaluated.
- Collaboration. The grant seeker has formed alliances with other organizations to advance their mutual goals.
- Benefits. The organization is less concerned with underwriting its own needs than improving society.
- Comprehensiveness. The problem’s complexity is matched by the sophistication of its proposed solution, rather than a piecemeal approach.
- Effectiveness. A well-designed, ongoing evaluation reflects the group’s commitment to getting results.
Top Ten Tips for Writing Successful Grant Proposals
- Avoid unsupported assumptions - back up everything with specifics.
- Craft positive, active, explicit, easy-to- read, interesting, brief language - simple sentences, short paragraphs. No jargon or acronyms.
- Present the proposal clearly, concisely, reasonably and logically. Do not assume the reader knows what you know.
- Define your terms - i.e. how do you define 'success?'
- Proofread, edit, and proofread again - check for grammar and syntax.
- Follow the guidelines to the letter.
- Submit all organizational and program information requested.
- Include a table of contents if proposal is over 10 pages.
- Keep appendices to a minimum.
- Site footnotes on same page - not at end of document.