bulb

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

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

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

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

obstacle

Seven Obstacles That Kill Your Proposal

The seven most common issues that I encounter from grantees in my workshops emerge from desperation, a false sense of security, or intellectual doubt. I hear comments such as “I thought I would get it done, but time just flew by,” or “we need the money to survive.” I also frequently take notice of statements… read more

comparison

Are You Writing for the Wrong Donors?

I am often asked if the same proposal can be submitted to different types of donors. For anyone who has extensive experience with various types of grants, the answer is obvious. No, you cannot submit the same proposal to different donors. Although grant programs may be somewhat similar from agency to agency or federal to… read more

elevator-pitch

Why should I have an Elevator Pitch?

Being ready with a short elevator pitch about your project can sell your idea and ultimately get you funded. I conducted a workshop in Chicago a few years ago, and one attendee was determined to convince a large Illinois foundation to fund her disabled students’ participation in sports. She tried in vain to get an… read more

faq

Top 10 Grant FAQs

I get questions about the proposal writing process and grants almost every day. What to do, what to submit and to whom, and how to proceed are typical examples of what I am asked. The answers range from complicated to quite simple. My responses also depend upon the knowledge and experience of the person posing… read more