Saturday, July 10, 2010

Grant Writing with Authority (Cite Your Sources)

Have you ever been reading a narrative in which someone states something as fact and you wonder to yourself, “How do they know that?”

That is not a question that a grant writer wants the grant readers to be asking. It’s important to cite sources of data and research and do it using the proper format. Yes, readers care about the sources, and they care that the grant writer takes the time to properly record the source material for facts and resources that are presented.

There are different ways to cite different materials and sources so it’s valuable to have a resource for finding the proper format. I did a quick Google search in researching this post and I came up with a very nice table giving formats for everything from books to online sources. The article by Steve Volk of Oberlin College  provides a nice compilation of citation styles and there is even a link in the article to another online source.

Here are some good reasons why citing sources adds authority to grant writing:
  1. It helps the reader connect to the grant narrative, especially if they hold the source/research author in high esteem (so be sure to use the best sources).
  2. It helps the grant reader see that the program plan is based on research and not a pipe dream.
  3. It helps the reader understand that the design is based on the most current research.
An effective grant is one that presents a believable plan to the reader even though the grant is for a new program that does not exist yet. This often means that the program is one that someone has implemented before and that is modified for a new location and unique circumstances. Telling the reader that the program is based on successful models that have been validated by research adds strength to the program design and builds confidence in its feasibility. Citing relevant sources and research is part of the glue that holds the program together in the minds of the readers and will raise the scores and the likelihood of an award.

By:  Derek Link, Non-profit Consultant and Expert Grant Writer
Need to see a successful grant sample to get a good idea of how to best present your proposal?  Check out

1 comment:

Rosey Ware said...

Your link does not go to the article and table you cited. It goes directly to the Oberlin College website. Can you please provide the correct link to the table you reference. Thanks

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