Who is your audience and what is your “ask?”

48375312 - businesswoman showing card with who is your audience ? meaasge

What follows is an excerpt from a new book, In the Trenches: Grantsmanship,.written

by Heather Stombaugh,MBA,CFRE,GPC – Grants Consultant for HUB Philanthropic Solutions

Part II: Chapter 5:

 Who is your audience and what is your “ask?”

 Grant writing is persuasive writing. Through the introduction, we must make the reviewer want to keep reading. In order to capture your audience early, you must make your introduction shine. And you must know who your audience is.

Who will read your grant proposals? Who will you be writing to?

  • Family members of the original donor?
  • Program officers who have advanced degrees in philosophy?
  • Scholars in your organization’s particular subject?
  • Community relations officers at a national corporation?
  • Bank vice presidents for a local private trust?
  • A panel of community members?

Did you know that research suggests there are significant differences between generational giving? Baby Boomers tend to be more (traditional) pathos-driven givers, Generation Xers seem more likely to give based on logos, and Millennials seem more inclined to give based on ethos.

Keep in mind that if you are writing to a foundation that has funded you in the past, thank them. Show them why they should continue to support your successful work. If you are writing to a foundation that is entirely new to your organization, show the funder why your organization is a good match for its mission and priorities.

Too often, grant writers overlook the importance of how their written page looks.

  • Use at least 1” inch margins minimum to maintain minimum white space
  • Use heads and subheads to lead the reader through the proposal and arguments
  • Add more white space by using block paragraphs without indents and by adding space after heads, subheads, tables, etc.
  • Use bullets and tables or charts to replace lengthy passages
  • Use graphics

Different fonts resonate with us in different ways. Our personal perceptions about fonts affect grant reviews, too.

  1. Use sans serif fonts for heads and subheads
  2. Use serif fonts for the body of the proposal

How will you make your grant proposal stand out?



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