The “bear” of grant writing is that each grant MUST be a unique creation. It is for a specific client with a specific set of needs, and those needs dictate a specific set of remedies, that are dictated by the specific talents and resources of the specific agency making the application, and on and on…
In short, there is no one-size fits all grant template. “Well,” one inquisitor pressed, “surely when it is the same grant competition for the same client, the grants must be almost identical” (after all, he was thinking, their address and phone number haven't changed). NOT necessarily so! Even the same grant competition revises the request for application (RFA) each year before it is issued to better represent the desires of the issuing agency. So no, resubmission involves a whole lot more work that merely changing the dates on an application.
So what about the title of my article and how does all this apply to grant samples? Well, the point of collecting and reading grant samples is not to copy a previously successful grant because as I’ve already stated, the formats will be different, the requirements will be different, and probably everything else you will write is going to be different.
Here are 8 things that grant samples CAN provide you that are very valuable:
- You can learn a lot about the style of language that is effective in your writing.
- You can learn ways to show data in tables and graphs that emphasize the right things.
- You can learn how other applicants portrayed concepts or processes in a graphic that might be useful to telling your story.
- You can review evaluation plans that might inform your evaluation design to make it more comprehensive.
- You can see how the various sections of the grant were addressed, numbers of pages used, integration of data, research cited, etc.
- You can learn more about the topic of the proposal including applicable research, funding statutes, applicable regulations where indicated, etc.
- You can learn about specific populations and regions of the country where grants are given and approaches to the grant purpose that you may not have thought of but which might be applicable to your situation.
- You can also learn formatting, style, tricks of word processing that save space, utilize non-narrative portions of the application to clarify and extend concepts.
Get help with your grant writing. Check out a grant sample or grant outline.
Find more great grant writing resources at GrantGoddess.com!