10 Grant Writing Tips from the Grantsmanship Center

The Grantsmanship Center is based out of the United States and is a great resource for those looking for information and advice on grant writing. They provide training, articles, books, webcasts and blogs on the topic and many of these resources are free!

You can read more detailed information and advice from an Alberta camp on Writing Successful Grant Applications here.

To add to that article, the Grantsmanship Center has some additional tips for the written portion of your grant proposal. The tips listed below are a compendium of writing ideas from various resources. You will notice that sometimes they contradict each other, but don’t worry too much about it! Take what works for you, write clearly and develop your own personal style.  These tips are guidelines to help you get started.

  1. Convince the funding organization of the significance of your project and its purpose. Either directly or implicitly answer this question: How will the constituency the project serves be better off because of the project?
  2. Create a tone that exudes confidence! Avoid statements of probability or conditional tenses and don’t pad your application with speculation and unplanned visions. Concentrate on the details, write in the third person and avoid extensive use of adjectives and adverbs.  Keep it simple!
  3. Write from a reader’s viewpoint, not yours. Ask yourself “If this arrived on my desk, would I fund it?” If not, redo it.
  4. For fundraising, the narrative style used in magazine (telling a story) provokes a better response than the summary style used by newspapers.
  5. Make sure the question asked is immediately answered in the response. Do not make the reader look for the answer. You can add more detail in subsequent paragraphs.
  6. Avoid run-on sentences. The average sentence length should be about 20 words.
  7. Use dynamic verbs that communicate action.
  8. Use an easily readable typeface with clear margins and proper indentation. Types with serifs are usually more readable.
  9. Add value judgements by adding case studies, testimonials or quotes.
  10. Proofread your application before you send it! Take a break and proofread it again the next day. You’re more likely to catch mistakes that way. You should also have a colleague review it before you send it.

Learn more about Writing a Successful Grant Application.

Categories: Fund Development, Grant Funding