I decided to take the plunge into the blogosphere. This is my first GrantSpeak post. Send your questions, concerns, burning issues about the grant world—you know, the things that keep you awake at night—to me at Kristin@GrantsGalore.net and I’ll address them in future blog posts.
Practice Makes Perfect?
Those of you who have attended my workshops will recognize this list of grant writing tips, but repetition is good. You’ve heard the maxim, “Practice makes perfect.” A musician friend of mine says, “Practice makes permanent.” In other words, you learn what you do over and over again, whether it’s right (substitute correct, effective, worthwhile) or not!
Here’s my full Top 10 list. Then I’ll delve into each one in subsequent posts.
- Be selective. Narrow your list of possible grant makers to the very best fit between your organization and the funder.
- Think small. Think local. One way to build success as a grantseeker is to apply for small, local grants.
- Form a team. You don’t have to do it all alone. You can capitalize on each team member’s expertise to strengthen your proposal.
- Map or outline your proposal before you begin to write.
- Use active voice to maximize your proposal’s impact.
- Use charts, tables, & graphs to organize information, support your points, and create visual interest for the grant reviewer.
- Make it reader-friendly. Choose a font type & size, line spacing, margins, and other formatting options that will keep the grant reviewer reading your proposal.
- Review and rewrite. Revision is a key component to effective writing. Build time into your schedule for this important step.
- Solicit an objective proofreader. This should be someone outside your organization with excellent language skills.
- Write the Executive Summary last. This is the section of your proposal that is usually read first, but you need to write it last. It should reflect an accurate and brief overview of your complete proposal as well as pique the grant reviewer’s interest.
Practice Makes Permanent
Just choose one of the tips to practice for now. When it becomes a habit, then practice another one. And watch your grant success rate improve over time.
Remember, you’re not in this alone. I’m just a phone call or e-mail away.