Insight Grants

Grant Writing Tip: Use Language Any Reader Can Understand

When writing your grant narrative, don’t get flowery with your words. Despite some misconception, Reviewers are rarely impressed by big words or complex writing. They want to be able to quickly and easily read through your application and understand where your target population (the group of folks you will serve with the grant) is now, where you plan to take it with grant funds, and how you’re going to get there. Reviewers (also called Readers) have many applications to read and typically relatively little time to do so. Getting tripped up by overly extravagant language or sentences that go on for days is annoying and can result in an irritated Reviewer—which you NEVER want.

Keep in mind, too, that confusion can also lead to irritation. Be sure to do all of the following to avoid Reviewer confusion.
· Avoid jargon, clichés, and most metaphors.
· Define ALL acronyms a minimum of once.
· Declare all antecedents (the nouns pronouns stand for) clearly and avoid overuse of pronouns.
· Avoid using or CLEARLY DEFINE field-specific terms. (Even if the RFP—grant guidance—tells you Reviewers will be from your field, you should assume they won’t to be on the safe side. Generally speaking, grant funders tend to define “your field” much more broadly than you do. For example, whereas you may see your field as only PE teachers, they may also include social workers, school administrators, and grant writers with no PE knowledge.)

Keep the application clear, simple, and easy to follow!

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