I sing in a women’s barbershop chorus. Whenever we adjust how we’re singing to fix a problem and hear an immediate improvement, our director shakes his head and asks, “Why would you do it any other way?” Well, grant writing is a little like that. If the proposal is difficult to read, you need to fine-tune the formatting to make it reader-friendly.
By the Book
Many grantmakers use screen-out criteria to narrow the field of applicants before the grant reviewers ever read a single word. The most common reasons grant applications are rejected include exceeding the page limit, narrowing the margins, and using the wrong font size.
If the grant instructions indicate how the proposal should be formatted, you’re responsible for adhering to those requirements—no exceptions. If you choose to use .75-inch margins to squeeze in a few more words on the page instead of the required 1-inch margins, you risk your proposal getting screened out for non-compliance.