Writing grant proposals is like taking essay tests for a living.

Grant Writing begins with an idea, grows into a narrative directly reflecting the voice and values of the people it seeks to help, leading to a partnership serving the needs of the funder, the npo, and their constituents.

The primary role of the proposal writer is to answer questions: the ones explicitly asked in the funding guidelines, and the more important ones that the writer must anticipate.

In crafting a proposal, I rely on four simple words found in On Writing Well by William Zinsser to guide me:

  • clarity
  • simplicity
  • brevity
  • humanity

Those four simple words represent the best advice a writer can receive. They are also the most difficult goals that a writer could strive to achieve. And once achieved, the challenge to attain them starts anew with the next project.

The concepts inherent in those words should inform not only the writing, but also guide the planning, research, implementation and evaluation of projects and programs.

Creative non-fiction

the diligence of a reporter, the refined wordplay of a poet and the analytical modes of the essayist

Proposal writing is a form of creative nonfiction, a genre (or discipline) that "heightens the whole concept and idea of essay writing. It allows a writer to employ the diligence of a reporter, the shifting voices and viewpoints of a novelist, the refined wordplay of a poet and the analytical modes of the essayist." Lee Gutkin in an essay originally posted at The Creative Nonfiction Foundation website titled What Is Creative Nonfiction?. That article has since been replaced.