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If your organization intends to compete to win a highly coveted and widely sought grant award of $50,000, $500,000, or $5,000,000 or even much more, teamwork and persuasion often will prove indispensable. A funded proposal is a product of both attributes, which are key aspects of nearly every effective grant proposal.

1. Teamwork:

Ours is an era of ever more intense competition for grants from public and private sources. Strong teamwork is invaluable.

Virtually anyone can play a valuable part on a grant-seeking team. For example, in the context of grants for public education, specialists, experts, and technicians can serve as contributors of professional knowledge and research-based rationales. Parents, students, and other types of clients can share perceptions and insights about needs and priorities. Teachers, clinicians, and other types of practitioners can identify appropriate activities and effective strategies.

Although good technical writing helps a proposal to command attention and win approval, shared commitment, networking, energy, and imagination are equally indispensable.

2. Persuasion:

Grant proposals both describe and persuade. They appeal to both heart and mind. Good proposals respond meticulously to selection criteria. Their narratives support identified needs with data and research findings and build compelling arguments around them. Since successful applicants keep their decision-making audience in mind at all times, the proposals also incorporate the grant maker’s interests and priorities. They offer cost-effective solutions to problems regarded as important on both sides of the grant funding equation.

3. Product:

It is seldom enough these days only to use a team to develop a proposal or to make a compelling case for funding. The finished proposal, as a final product, will play a critical part in funding outcomes as well. Its outward appearance must connote the quality and completeness of its contents and the processes used to generate them. It must look the part it plays as a fund-raising document and an instrument of persuasion. In all respects, both its appearance and its contents – in every detail – must match the specific grant-making occasion.

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