22.01.2013 Uncategorized No Comments

Grant Writing Tip #2 – Collect Sound Bites

Have you noticed how our day-to-day parlance changes all the time? It’s in constant flux. Words are in the air, we hear them, repeat them, and they’re in vogue for a time. Perhaps they make their way into the dictionary like “boomerang children.” For instance, “sweet” has replaced “awesome,” and suddenly everyone saying “It is what it is…” A few years ago, we constantly heard “At the end of the day….”

In the philanthropic arena, words are constantly changing as well. For example, “underrepresented” is replaced by “underserved,” and “low-income” is replaced by “economically disadvantaged.” While conducting prospect research for your organization, make a list of “sound bites” or phrases funders use on their Web sites that speak to their current priorities. This list will give you an idea of philanthropic trends in your funding area as well as terminology currently in vogue as funders respond to the times. You can tweak your organization’s vision, goals, and objectives by using some of these sound bites to align your organization with potential funders, which will help you attract funding. Your grant proposal is a sales document; you don’t want to be using dated language or concepts. Also use the phrases on your sound bites list in grant proposals to make you look “current.” And while writing a proposal for a specific foundation or agency, sprinkle in sound bites from their Web site. This will help you look like more of a perfect match.


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