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Grant Writing Tip: Review & Rewrite

Thank You, Mrs. Ellberg!

I attended a very small high school, with just a few more than 100 in my graduating class. But I was fortunate to have excellent teachers, especially in the English Department. I already thanked Mr. Holmes. Today I want to thank Mrs. Ellberg. I enjoyed her class for many reasons, but I am most thankful that she taught me to edit my own writing.

Repeat After Me. . . . .

I will not fall in love with my own writing. I will not fall in love with my own writing. I will NOT fall in love with my own writing.

Good writing rarely happens in the first draft. You need to rewrite again and again to whittle away the extraneous and make your point as succinctly as possible. Tell the grant reviewers what they need to know. Paint a word picture when it’s appropriate. But know when enough is enough.

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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.

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