Anyone can sit across a table and spout numbers, facts, and figures, but what do those facts mean to you and why do they matter to the listener or reader?
A grant proposal is a lot like an interview. While you have all of the information and talking points at your disposal, those assets are useless if you don’t know how to convey them correctly. Otherwise your grant proposal is just another entry in the giant stack of proposals destine for the desk of some hapless reader.
This blog is not meant to teach you how to write a grant proposal rather to show you how to improve your grant writing and increase your organization’s chances of receiving a piece of the pie.
Here are the six ways to improve your grant writing.
- Remove unnecessary words and jargon. The best grant proposals are simple, straightforward (use active voice), and easily understood. Every industry has its own jargon; nonprofits are no different. If your grant proposals can’t be understood by the common layperson, it is too complicated to send.
- Incorporate visuals to explain concepts and relevant numbers. Visuals provide context to concepts in order to influence the emotions of your reader. They also help to break up giants blocks of text.
- Stand out from competing nonprofits. What really sets your nonprofit apart from others offering similar services? Do you have a strong volunteer base? Have you seen substantial increase in program access by your clients? This helps show tangible evidence that this is a need for your programs or services.
- Speak to your challenges and offer solutions. Each time you provide details of a problem your nonprofit is facing, there should be more detail given to the solutions. The reader wants to know how you’re going to accomplish your objectives even more than why.
- Target a specific project. The majority of grants are awarded to a specific cause as opposed to general support. By focusing your grant application on a single project, you will increase your chances of getting funded. And be detailed—this demonstrates that you’ve clearly thought through how the project will be executed. Funders want to be able to share success stories.
- Be a storyteller. Think about it like this: The reviewer has been reading proposal after proposal, hour after hour and eventually they all start to sound the same. How can you get the person reading your proposal to fall in love with your organization? The key lies in the story you tell. If you can perfect the art of storytelling, your grant proposals will stand out.
What creative methods have you applied to your grant writing? Are there any other suggestions you feel were missed in this piece?
Take Roots Consulting can help make your grant stand out and increase the chances your efforts will be successful. To request more information, call 780.885.0458 or simply complete our contact form.