Grant Proposal Writing:
by Sue Chehrenegar
Suppose your organization or business wants some money, and
you and your associates have decided to seek grant money. Then
suppose that you have been assigned the actual grant proposal
writing. How should you proceed?
The grant writer must use eye-catching and convincing phrases,
while at the same time presenting knowledge of a perfusion of
information. The grant writer must present evidence that the requested
money will be used by those with detailed knowledge of their particular
field. Details, however, should be at a bare minimum, and the
grant proposal writing must convey assurances to the funding agency
that the requested money will be used wisely.
The central role of the grant proposal writer is that of gleaner.
The writer must glean as much information as possible from the
network of individuals making the grant proposal. The writer must
use creativity, thoroughness and organization to mold that information
into a winning grant proposal. Certain actions should take place
even before the grant proposal writing has begun.
The writing of the grant proposal should not begin until the
writer has laid some groundwork. Someone whose livelihood demands
good grant proposal writing has said, The odds of being
awarded a grant are highest when the grant seeker first reviews
the proposal in detail with the funder. In other words,
the grant writer must discuss with the funding agency the goals,
objectives and activities of the program that is in need of funding.
The writer needs to ascertain how closely the proposed program
mirrors the aspirations of the intended funder. The writer must
weed out from the proposal any ideas that seem anathema to the
goals that the funder hopes to achieve. If the writer succeeds
at molding the ideas of the fund seekers to the aspirations of
the fund donor, then the grant proposal writing becomes simply
an amplification of the grant seekers plans.
One word of warning: not all gleaning is beneficial. When the
writer talks separately to the organizations program director
and financial director, then the information that the writer has
gleaned from such meetings may be incomplete or contradictory.
It is better for the writer to arrange a meeting at which all
those with input for the grant proposal writing can consult together.
Each could furnish details about what their department wanted
include in the grant proposal.
The grant proposal writer might want to initiate the interactions
at such a meeting by asking for a response to three questions:
1) What programs or activities does your organization want to
2) What existing programs or activities would you hope to discontinue?
3) What programs of activities do you expect to remain within
the existing services of your organization?
Answers to these questions will prepare the writer for the task
ahead the grant proposal writing, when the writer puts on
paper the verbal expressions of a specific aim.