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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.

 

General Rules:

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.

 

Caveat:

These are general rules only. As with most rules in grant seeking, exceptions may occur. If you know of any exceptions, please share them.

 

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3 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on .

  2. Thanks for the tips, it is always a little bit of a challenge to figure this out, particularly when you are submitting for an organization that is not “yours”.

    • You’re welcome! The tips reflect what has worked for me and what I’ve observed as a proposal review panelist. Exceptions to these practices do occur, particularly among applicants to already familiar private funders.


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  1. […] How to Win a Grant: Choice of Voice in Writing Proposals (grantresults.wordpress.com) […]

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