Grant Writing Tip: Solicit an Objective Proofreader

You’ve invested countless hours meeting with your partners, writing the project narrative, creating a budget, and gathering the supporting documentation. When you click the submit button or slip the grant package into the mailbox, you have no control over what happens next. But you DO have control over the quality of the product you submit. Increase your chances of getting funded: solicit an objective proofreader.

Who Ya’ Gonna’ Call?

Ghostbusters can’t help you with proofreading. But I bet you know at least one person with excellent language skills that you can call for assistance. It might be a co-worker who has not been involved with writing the grant proposal. It might be a family member or neighbor.

Try to recruit someone who will read the text objectively and provide you with feedback that will help you strengthen your proposal. It’s not likely that the grant review panel will know anything about your organization, the people you serve, and the community where you’re located. So you need a proofreader who is outside your organization, someone who is not familiar with the proposal. You need a fresh pair of eyes.

Be Specific

When you send the document to your proofreader, list the specific feedback that will help you improve the quality of your proposal. An objective proofreader will be able to tell you if the text is confusing or vague, which is just as important as catching typos and misspelled words. Maybe even more so!

You want someone with exceptional language skills who will check for grammar, punctuation, usage, and spelling. But also ask them to read for flow and clarity. Give them the grant evaluation criteria so that they can make sure your narrative fully responds to all the grant guidelines.

Widen the Search

If you can’t find anyone in your immediate circle of friends, colleagues, or loved ones who is willing to proofread your proposal, don’t despair. Try widening your search:

  • Contact your child’s English teacher;
  • Talk to the librarian at the public library; or
  • Call the English or Communications Department at the local community college.

When All Else Fails

If using an objective proofreader isn’t possible, there’s nothing wrong with proofreading your own work. Read more in my next blog post, “Tip #8 Review and Rewrite.”  See the full list of Top 10 Tips.