Friday, April 9, 2010

Grants Are Like Sausage

Non-profit consultant and expert grant writer, Derek Link, must be hungry.  Last week, he shared with you how Grants Are Like Donuts. This week, he writes that grants are like sausage. Enjoy his post about the importance of processing and editing your final grant proposal:

Like making laws, writing grants is sort of like making sausage, a messy process not too appetizing to watch. Processing a grant, like making sausage, involves lots of parts getting thrown together, with tons of information being ground up into a palatable chunk of copy.

Have you ever chomped down on a piece of cartilage in your sausage? Kind of slows you down doesn’t it? But when sausage is properly ground, you probably don’t ever come across anything too chewy! Reading a badly written grant is kind of like that piece of cartilage that you have to stop and chew on a while.

Here’s a piece of copy from an actual grant that, in my opinion, represents chewy cartilage. This kind of chewy writing makes your brain do a lot of unnecessary and unpalatable mental chewing.

“LEP students at J. Doe elementary school have a high level of psychomotor and spatial/mechanical skills that will be utilized through computer assisted instruction to enhance language learning activities. In selecting LEP students for participation, attention was paid to the Special Education criteria required by the State Education Agency. Special Education students are diagnosed using appropriate instruments and will be served accordingly.”

I have to guess at what they were trying to say, but it sure was chewy! This grant should have been processed more, and by that I mean edited, reviewed, commentary invited, revisions made, and re-edited – then edited once more. Chewy grants don’t score well and don’t get funded. So be sure to process-process-process!


Related posts from the archives:

Trust the Grant Writing Process

How Can the Grant You Just Finished Help Make You  a Better Writer?

Good Grant Writers Are Like Wedding Planners

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Creative Resources and Research is a consulting firm specializing in grant writing, grant seeking, program evaluation and professional development training. We have worked with hundreds of clients including public and private schools, school districts, universities, non-profit organizations, and social service agencies throughout California, securing over $155 million from federal, state and private foundation funding sources over the past decade. Our primary grant writers and program evaluators have over 50 years of combined experience in the education and social services fields. At CRR we prefer a personal approach to the clients we work with; by developing long term relationships, we are better suited to match client’s needs with available funding sources. We provide a variety of services to help assist you, including grant writing, evaluation consulting, professional development opportunities, and workshops.