Reviewing and Polishing Your Federal Grant Proposal

Sections of this topic

    Grant proposals should go through a five-step writing process:
    •  Plan: Think through your proposal section.
    •  Organize: Use the grant guidelines as your outlining format.
    •  Write: Write in a free-flowing manner.
    •  Examine: Step back from your writing; review it later; then, let others review it.
    •  Revise: Emphasize clarity, conciseness, correctness, and persuasiveness.

    I already have discussed planning, organizing, and writing. In this post, I will outline the process of examining and revising your grant prose. The more kinds of effective reviews you receive, the better will be your final version.

    Examine: The Big Picture

    All reviews should answer these questions:
    •  Can the focus on the funder be improved?
    •  Is the funder focus communicated sincerely”
    •  How can strategies and theme statements be strengthened with stories, data, and other kinds of evidence?

    Revision Stage 1: Be clear

    •  Write effective theme statements.
    •  Keep introductions brief.
    •  Keep the focus on the funder.
    •  Organize according to the points emphasized in the grant guidelines.
    •  Highlight key information.

    Revision Stage 2: Be concise

    •  Revise paragraphs.
    •  Revise sentences.
    •  Revise words.

    Revision Stage 3: Be correct and compliant with the grant guidelines.

    •  Check your sections against the grant guidelines’ evaluation criteria.
    •  Check grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
    •  Use the shortest and most correct word.
    •  Simplify, simplify, simplify.

    If you follow these steps in revising your proposal writing, you should be able to produce a very good revised version of your proposal sections.
    Dr. Jayme Sokolow, founder and president of The Development Source, Inc.,
    helps nonprofit organizations develop successful proposals to government agencies.
    Contact Jayme Sokolow
    Look for Jayme’s ebook on Finding & Getting Federal Government Grants. It’s part of The Fundraising Series of ebooks
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