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Grant Success: Start Small, Think Big

I often encounter people in my grant workshops who want to immediately start swimming with the sharks, even though they do not yet know how to swim. In amazement, I ask them how they came to the conclusion that they can so easily compete with seasoned grant writers. The answers vary. Some of the most… read more

language

Do You Speak the Private Donor’s Language?

Every time I travel abroad to a place where the language and culture are different, there are always situations where it is difficult to be understood. These experiences often remind me of the flawed way I approached my first grant. I thought the fact that I had an innovative idea would alone merit funding. I… read more

questions

Five Key Questions for Grant Success

Five key questions that are universal to all grant writing will determine the success of a proposal. Knowledge, credibility, direction, research, and passion are essential components of any proposal. Politics will also play an important part in this process. This requires a full understanding of what the funder wants. If the objectives and the language… read more

moneytree

Justifying Your Proposal: The Budget

I often hear over and over again how difficult it is to create a budget. In many ways I can understand that this is a problem, as most grants are about specific ideas and will need a budget figure. It is difficult to budget ideas; thus, many people struggle with this particular part of the… read more

plan

10 Key Ingredients of Winning Proposals

There are numerous components that comprise a winning proposal, and there are many factors that ultimately lead to the donor’s decision to fund or not to fund a proposal. The key elements, however, begin with a solid idea, continue with a clear business plan and end with deliverables that are evidence-based. Specifically, winning proposals should… read more

NSF logo

Navigating the National Science Foundation Website

Becoming familiar with the various resources available on the funding agency’s website is the first step in learning how to write a successful grant proposal. For example, the applicant should show familiarity with the mission and the strategic plan of the funding agency. What are the key words in these documents? The applicant should use… read more

style

Want to Get a Grant? Change Your Style

Every time I look at a grant proposal that my colleagues in academia give me to review, I am astounded at how difficult it is to read and comprehend. They often use extensive scholarly language that is specific to their field. Their proposals sound like publications in academic journals rather than business plans for grant… read more

climate

Climate Change: Sea Levels and Funding on the Rise

On a recent trip to Trinidad and Tobago to discuss sustainable tourism, I was appalled to learn that entire villages had disappeared due to the rising sea level. On another trip to Alaska, I could see the melting icebergs, which is one of the causes of the sea level rise in the Caribbean. As I… read more

first step

Your First Step: Understanding the Request for Proposal

Before you start writing, you absolutely must thoroughly read and understand the Request for Proposal (RFP). My very first experience with the RFP was so intimidating that I almost did not want to proceed with the submission. However, when I realized that much of it contained boilerplate information about the agency and their legal requirements,… read more

questions

6 Most Asked Questions about Grants

Preparing a grant proposal can be a stressful and complicated process. Thus, anyone involved in the production – whether a novice or sophisticated grant writer – has questions. These range from where to begin to how the new regulations will affect success, to how the review process works and what to do after a rejection…. read more