Tips for Writing a Great Grant Proposal from Writers Hired to Do the Work
Author: Laura Debney Editor: Shauna McGee Kinney
How To Write A Successful Proposal
Are you confident that your grant proposal will win you the funding? In no time at all, the next grant proposal deadline will be upon us. There are two sources that you may have overlooked for great tips on how to write winning proposals: the customer and your proposal writer.
Ask any seasoned contract writer (after a few drinks) and they will share the following tips of the trade.
Tip #1: How knowledge speaks for itself in any proposal
A frequently overlooked aspect of proposal writing is knowing as much as possible about the grant underwriter and how your grant funds benefit their purpose. Do your research. Use these four questions to get you started on your journey to writing an impressive proposal:
- How much do you know about the grant underwriter’s goals?
- What do you know about the decision makers?
- How does your project help others?
- How they will measure the success of your project?
Do not stop at these four questions. If you cannot make the time to do this work, hire an experienced writer to do it for you.
Tip #2: Why Be Brief, Be Bright, Be Gone?
This mantra of presenting—be brief, be bright, be gone—definitely applies to a successful executive summary of a proposal that will get you hired.
All too often, too much time and energy is mistakenly put into the body of the proposal, and not nearly enough research, word craft, and review is spent on the executive summary.
Summarizing your whole proposal first will help you to be as clear as possible on your superior solution to the clients problem. Why not start where most decisions to hire end? — the executive summary!
Want help with an executive summary that demonstrates your expertise solving the exact problem posed by the customer, what the players want, and how to deliver a superior solution? You can task your communications or marketing team, or you can partner with a professional proposal writer and start over the holidays.
Tip #3: How Great Relationships Make Great Writing
Professional writers know how to write for the reader, in this case, the decider(s). Otherwise, the pretty prose is forgettable. The stress of making a big decision is a real factor in loss of attention span. So, the importance of writing a grant proposal with the decider in mind cannot be overstated.
As Gray MacKenzie of GuavaBox puts it: “Good business is relational and requires dialogue.” Your proposal will need that attention and focus on building a great relationship with the customer, and not just one bid. Good writers will keep relationship top of mind.
Comparing the Cost of a Long Term Hire
These three tips are the peaks of an iceberg for researching and writing a winning grant proposal. Help is out there for service providers who need an experienced writer they can onboard quickly and is easy to work with. As with any long term hire, the return on investment typically grows over time. Unlike a long term hire, a contract proposal writer’s cost is fixed according to the contract.
SALARY + TAXES + BENEFITS = YOUR COST OF A LONG TERM HIRE
FEE FOR SERVICE = YOUR COST OF A CONTRACT WRITER
A long term hire will cost you more year over year than a contract writer with no guarantee of quality or service. Here is how to choose a contract writer for your next business proposal —
Choose your writer as carefully as you would your business partner
ClearVoice surveyed over 500 freelance writers on their rate, level of experience, services offered, and basic demographics. The survey uncovered that writers with grant proposal experience are in small supply. For every one writer producing successful business proposals there are three writers of blog articles. Keep in mind, grant writers are in short supply when you are searching for a winning writer.
Writers often (not always) are interested in being more than a service provider to clients. Quality writers desire to be a partner in service of a great product or innovative idea. If you approach finding a contract writer the same way you would a business partner, you will find someone with compatible skills, perspective, and process.
Writing a proposal that sets you apart and gets you the funding is within your reach with these tips and a great writing partner.
About Laura Kim LLC
Laura provides proposal writing, fundraising consulting, and content creation. She is based in the Portland, Oregon (PST/PDT).Her clients and colleagues call her a ‘wordy wonder woman’ with just the right-left brain to be intensely focused on providing fresh and effective written solutions that meet your goals. Laura Kim LLC is a member of BBPDX and the Grant Professionals Association.
For rates and availability, contact Laura Kim LLC at https://www.laurakimllc.com/contact