Revenue and Budget of Proposal
1. What part does technical writing skill play in acquiring grant funding?
Apart from the need to follow the requirements toward the structure and the contents
of a grant proposal, grant proposal writers need to possess sufficient technical writing skills. In many instances, one’s ability to present grant proposal in clear and succinct language determines the success of one’s grant proposal attempts. Grant proposal writing should be technical, organized, consistent, and well researched. All these features will determine whether funding organizations can grasp the essence of the grant proposal, and whether they are prepared to provide funding to organizations that seek investments. “It should come as no surprise that the language of a grant proposal is critical” (New & Quick, 2003). Whether organizations succeed to “sell” their projects will depend not only on the contents of their project proposals, but on the ways organizations craft these proposals. Active verbs, complete sentence structures, comprehensive language, the absence of colloquialisms and creative terms – all these are the essential components of high quality technical writing. To possess relevant technical writing skills does not mean to use sophisticated vocabulary; on the contrary, the language which grantseekers use should be simple enough to be understood by funding organizations. Before funding organizations are able to understand and evaluate the meaning of grant project ideas, they should be prepared to read grant proposals from the very beginning to the end; that is why grantseekers will hardly succeed to explain and present their ideas without using professional, correct, and comprehensive technical writing style.
2. From the electronic record provided, list and describe two typical grant writer’s mistakes.
Grant proposal writers tend to make mistakes, which ultimately deprive them of a chance to obtain funding. Arizona Grantmakers have divided the most common grantseekers’ mistakes into the five major categories: sloppy errors, applying to the wrong foundation; lack of clarity; omission of key information; and unrealistic expectations (Timmons, 2005). Sloppy errors imply that grantseekers fail to follow the guidelines or directions in regards to writing grant proposals. Here, grandseekers frequently omit critical information, which funding organizations may need to evaluate the relevance of their project proposal ideas. Inconsistent or inaccurate information (e.g., budget figures don’t match) may also prevent grantseekers from obtaining funds. Sometimes, grant proposals are written in ways that do not answer critical questions or use sloppy grammar and spelling (Timmons, 2005).
The lack of clarity is another mistake grantseekers tend to make, when writing proposals. “They do not get to the point – they are not clear up front how much they are asking for and the purpose of funding” (Timmons, 2005). While grant proposals need to be short, concise, brief, simple, and specific, grantseekers frequently include too much unnecessary details, making grant proposals difficult for understanding. This is where technical writing skills may play the crucial role– great ideas require great presentation, with minimum of jargon and excessive details, which simply distract funding organizations’ attention from grant proposal ideas.
3. How can a logic model help keep your grant proposal consistent?
A logic model is “a simplified picture of a program, initiative, or intervention, which shows the logical relationships among the resources that are invested, the activities that take place and the benefits or changes that result” (New & Quick, 2003). The logic model is used to simplify complex project proposal structures. The logic model makes grant proposals consistent, by making the underlying terms, ideas, and phenomena explicit; by building the links between different grant proposal’s sections; by identifying the gaps in the grant proposal’s logic, and by making implicit assumptions understandable and visible to the funding organizations.
The logic model offers a new “structured” vision of the grant proposal, linking available resources to the anticipated outcomes. The logic model requires that grantseekers clarify the need for the project, as well as the context (external and internal factors) that will impact the implementation of the project. The logic model makes grant proposals more convincing; with the help of the logic model, grantseekers can evaluate possible drawbacks and inconsistencies within the body of the project proposal. Ultimately, the logic model offers grantseekers a chance to evaluate the methodology used by other grantseekers in similar projects. As a result, project designers can avoid serious mistakes or failures experienced by other grant proposal writers.
From the viewpoint of the grant proposal’s structure, the logic model is the central element of the successful grant proposal writing. It forms the logical sequence of steps, which writers need to follow, to ensure that they do not miss critical information and present their ideas in a logical and concise manner. In broader contexts, the ability to use and implement the logic model will determine, whether grantseekers are able to achieve the anticipated project outcomes.
Worksheet 8.1A. Revenue and Expense Budget
Donated printing and supplies
Payroll taxes and benefits
Anonymous. (2008). Preparing the Program budget.
New, C.C. & Quick, J.A. (2003). How to write a grant proposal. John Wiley & Sons.
Timmons, L.A. (2005). Biggest mistakes of Arizona grantseekers? Just Grants Arizona.