I read this book last week called “How to Write Knockout Proposals” by Joseph Barbato.

It was a quick read and had lots of golden nuggets for anyone writing grant proposals.

I thought I’d share a few with you along with my interpretation of them.

  • One size does not fit all.  Don’t put together one proposal then send it to lots of different funders.  It’s lazy.  Spend the time reviewing the potential funder’s website or guidelines.  Make sure that your proposal is a good fit, then explain that fit in your proposal.
  • Your proposal should be written in layman’s terms.  Don’t inundate your reader with technical terms, industry jargon, and acronyms.  Keep it simple.  Remember, you don’t want to give the proposal reviewer any reason to toss your proposal.
  • Emphasize the benefits.  Be sure you explain clearly the impact your program or project will have.  And explain how it will benefit the people you serve.
  • Every assertion in your proposal must be supported by facts. Don’t say you will do things that you can’t.  Don’t say you’ve done things you haven’t.  If you claim that your program is innovative, be prepared to explain how and share supporting data.

Barbato says “Your goal is to write a persuasive proposal that will get funded.”  I agree.  There’s a lot of money out there for you if you can learn to be a good grantwriter, and this book can help you do that.

  1. “How to Write Knockout Proposals” has long been a staple in my library, Sandy. It’s interesting how grantwriting books usually focus on the nuts and bolts, forgetting that reviewers are people and leaving out the “persuasive” part! Joe’s book is an excellent, and succinct, reminder.

  2. Great “nuggets”, Sandy. I like the idea of approaching each proposal individually. It is the same organization sending a proposal but it is a different receiver every time. Making the proposal speak to the reader is so important.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *