1. Know your audience
Know your audience and what they have funded before. Look at who and what got funded before. Grant agencies typically list previous award recipients online or if it is a local grant ask around. Your next step is to ask those recipients if they are willing to share their successful applications with you — to give you a sense of the appropriate scope and depth of a successful proposal. Frame your request in that manner and people are typically happy to share. This may sound odd to ask a stranger to share with you. This is exactly how I got my first grant. I asked a fellow district that had been previously funded by the organization to share their proposal with me. To my surprise, they were more than happy to share. Tackle that fear and ask!
2. Clarity of your idea or project.
KISS– Keep It Simple Stupid. Don’t over complicate or try to fluff your writing. Remember, they are typically sifting through tons of applications. Simple and straightforward is best.
3. Persuade them
Persuade them that your project is needed, unique, and achievable. The organization wants to know that you have something special and unique. They need to know that you can prove the project’s results and that those results are achievable.
Research is something I believe in. I always incorporate statistics or some type of research that my project is based on. This gives credibility to the project that carries much more weight than what you think or believe.
5. Logical structure
Logical structure in your writing is necessary to gradually develop the reader’s understanding. Make sure the project is fully explained but don’t talk over the heads of your readers. It is important to know as much as you can about your audience before you begin writing. This will assure that you don’t insult them or confuse them.
6. Center around a compelling, measurable idea or outcome
Center your proposal around one compelling idea or project result. It must all connect to what you want to achieve. Be sure that your goal is very clear and measurable. If your goal can’t be measured you will not likely get funded.
7. Sell your story!
Be sure you sell your humanized story. Engage their human emotions.
Before you decide on a project and the position you will take to write the proposal remember the MOST IMPORTANT FACT –