The Holy Grail of Grant Writing (excerpts from In the Trenches: Grantsmanship)–What is your ask?

42069871 - male hand wearing a business shirt pointing a finger at the phrase just ask in white text on a blackboard

This is one in a series of excepts from HUB Philanthropic Consulting’s Expert Grant Guru, Heather Stombaugh, GPC, CFRE from her latest book.  In this excerpt, Heather reviews who is your audience and what is your ask?

Chapter 5: Part II:

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

What is the difference between passive versus active voice? Passive voice clouds understanding, is vague, and often sounds awkward when read aloud. The active voice, in contrast, includes the action in the sentence.

More than likely, there will be such a combination of reviewers and decision makers involved in reading your proposals. You can speak to the broadest audience possible by balancing all three elements of persuasive argumentation.

Pathos:   Do weave testimonials, quotes, and images throughout your proposal.

Logos:     Do include statistics, charts, graphs, or algorithms in your statement of need or project description.

Ethos:      Do  emphasize your organization’s credibility by including recent achievements, information about staff longevity, or leadership’s history of success.

How do you make the ask? In your proposal, the ask will comprise a single sentence, maybe two. It’s such an important sentence to your argument and to keep the reader engaged. With the ask statement, you indicate exactly what you need from the foundation. Be direct, and include details about what their gift will accomplish. Moreover, use transitional language between every section of the proposal.

How will you make your grant proposal stand out?


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