Choice of voice in proposal writing should reflect the nature of the funder, the type of grant sought, and the nature of the proposal component. This post offers several tried and tested general rules for the choice of voice in writing competitive grant proposals.
As general rules for choice of voice in writing competitive grant proposals:
- If applying to a Foundation of whatever type — on behalf of an organization — use the first person plural (we/us/our).
- If applying to a State or Federal grant program — on behalf of an organization — use the third person singular (it/its, the hospital/the university/the school district).
- If applying for a grant for an Individual — in a proposal to whatever funding source — use the first person singular (I/me/my).
- If describing anyone’s Background and Qualifications — in a proposal to whatever funding source — use the third person singular (he/she, his/her, Dr. Garcia/Dr. Garcia’s).
- If submitting a Letter of Transmittal or a Cover Letter — to introduce a proposal to whatever funding source — use the first person singular or first person plural — as appropriate to each statement in it.
These are general rules only. As with most rules in grant seeking, exceptions may occur. If you know of any exceptions, please share them.