Foundation Grant Proposals:
Producing a Masterpiece
(First published in Dimensions, the journal of the National Catholic Development Conference.)
Many writers dream of being published in a prestigious publication like the New Yorker or Paris Review. After months of work planning, writing, polishing, they submit their work, only to see it reappear in their mailboxes faster than a return volley by Rafael Nadal.
What happened? Maybe the story was better suited for another publication. Perhaps there were too many similar stories and this one didn’t measure up. Maybe another writer had an influential friend, someone who put in a good word and his story got past the gatekeeper and into a decision-maker’s hand.
Or perhaps it just wasn’t good enough. Something important was missing that might have made the difference.
I have often made this comparison when explaining how to write stronger foundation grant proposals. In today’s competitive funding environment it is more important than ever to follow four directives:
1.Think and plan
2.Write clearly and with passion
4.Package and sell
Let’s take them one at a time.