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Rules Are Meant to Be Broken? Not When it Comes to Grant Writing!

We all have probably heard the old adage that rules are meant to be broken. However, this saying definitely does not hold true when it comes to the world of grant writing.

In fact, many funders say the number one reason that many grant proposals are rejected is that grant writers do not provide exactly what the funders are requesting. This may be a little frustrating especially if you are the type of person that likes to push the envelope as far as it will go hoping that it will not fall off the table.

But in the arena of writing and applying for grants this course of action can easily cause a grant proposal or application to be placed in the rejection pile.

This is another reminder of why it is so important to provide funders with exactly what they ask for.

Providers vs. Pushers

Funders are not looking for "pushers" rather they are looking for "providers" who can follow instructions and give them the things that they are requesting.

Pushers are grant writers that submit a proposal without taking into full consideration every detail that the funder has requested and tries to press something on the funder hoping that they will get funding. This may sound ridiculous but many people have been discouraged from grant writing because their proposals were rejected because they approach the process as a pusher instead of a provider.

Providers are those grant writers that take precautionary measures to painstakingly follow every instruction (and detail to the letter) to offer the funder what they have requested to increase the likelihood that their proposal will be funded. It is worth noting that one of the definitions for a provider is "Breadwinner". Simply put, follow the directions and you are likely to win the bread!

Do Your Homework

One of the main differences between a pusher and a provider is that the provider does their homework and the homework in grant writing starts with research. Illene Mac, Senior Program Officer at William Randolph Hearst Foundation says, "I would suggest that the very first step and one that is most important prior to writing anything is doing research on the foundation you wish to approach. The buzzword is homework. Do it well and thoroughly." Doing your homework is vital and displays a provider's mentality. So provide your funders with the requested information and check with them when in doubt.


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