Brenda Knights Narrative
One thing I can share as someone who’s evaluated grants is that if you’re responding to a call for tender or a grant, you need to read the questions and respond to those questions. I’ve evaluated grant applications where a company has just put in their company flier and banked on having a good reputation. That’s demonstrating disrespect. Granting organizations have a lot of accountabilities and they have to show why they selected who they selected. They’ll go through each question and assign a score. They want to see that the person answered each question.
When I write a grant, I respond in the same order that they asked, so it’s easy to find. You don’t want them to have to hunt around to see if you answered the questions. So I’ll put it in the same order and make sure there are headings. I make it easy on the reader to respect their time.
In some ways, the process is really similar to applying for a job. When you apply for a job, you write a cover letter and resume where you explain why you should be considered. It’s the same thing with grant applications. You’re trying to sell your company and show why you should be successful. When someone’s looking at your cover letter and resume, they’ll ask, “Does this person understand what I’m looking for? Did they take the time to answer all my questions?” Grant writing is like that.
When a person doesn’t take time and care with an application, it creates an impression with the reader that this isn’t someone who will take time and care to do the job. Are they going to follow through in the project, when they couldn’t follow through with the grant writing? It diminishes the reviewer’s confidence in you, so you can’t put your best foot forward.