How To Write A Grant Proposal

40 Tips On Putting Together A Grant Request

1. Don’t use a committee.
The fewer writers involved, the better the writing.
Preferably, the project innovator should be the author with editorial assistance by a grants coordinator.

2. Write in the third person. It’s easier to brag about “they” than “I”.

3. Select an appropriate and interesting title of ten words or less, and don’t be cute or hammy.

4. If the proposal is ten pages or more, prepare a Table of Contents.

5. Use contractions. That’s the way you talk, isn’t it? It’s the key to more effective, personal writing.

6. Use quick openers (like newspaper openers).

7. Don’t make a mystery out of your proposal. Start right in on the most important point.

8. Accentuate the positive. Emphasize opportunities rather than needs. Funders would rather know where it’s at rather than where it isn’t.

9. Use simple words, but don’t insult the reader’s intelligence.

10. If you have trouble getting started, begin with the budget.
Money has a strange way of defining our methods and objectives.

11. KISS – Keep It Short and Simple.

12. Fill in all blanks on application forms completely. Write N/A (not applicable) if appropriate.

13. When responding to a specific request for a proposal (RFP), follow the suggested format as closely as possible.

14. Don’t try for perfection on your first draft. Get down your ideas, then edit and rewrite.

15. Have a strong first sentence.

16. Have a strong ending.

17. Let a client or expert state your need through a quotation. This lends more credibility than if you state it yourself.

18. Use a title that suggests the results you hope to achieve rather than what you plan to do. (Improving Reading of the 5th Graders is better than A Proposal for Reading Machines for Our Schools.)

19. Write your budget first, then make sure your proposal supports each item in that budget.

20. Write your summary last after you have finished the major parts of your application.

Click here to read the rest of the grant proposal tips.

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