Thursday, March 4, 2010

Now You are Speaking My Language-Part 2

Being a newlywed I received wedding gifts like a pressure cooker, food mill and food processor that I wanted to get out of the box and put to good use. So one day last fall I went to a local apple orchard and bought 2 Pecks of apples to use for canning apple butter, apple sauce and apple pie filling. Now, you might be thinking, what’s a peck? Well it’s a unit of measurement equivalent to ¼ a bushel. So…. what’s a bushel, is now the question you have.

Webster’s defines bushel as;
“the volume of a cylinder 18.5 in (47 cm) in diameter and 8 in (20 cm) high.”

Regardless what you call it I came home with a couple bags of apple and started peeling, slicing and dicing and getting my apples all prepped to be canned. When I was finished I ended up with 10 pints of applesauce, 6 quarts of apple pie filling and about a dozen little jelly jars of apple butter.

Now, don’t get me started on the difference between a pint and quart.

I use this story to point out that when writing up your grant proposal you need to be sure and label each section of your write up the same as is listed in the Request for Proposals (RFQ). If, in the first section they want you to write about is called an Abstract, make sure you title the heading as Abstract. Do not call it Overview, Background, Justification, Goals, or anything else. This is the same with every other topic area they want you to write on. If they ask for the sections in an certain order: Abstract, Outcomes, Timelines, Budget, and Conclusion; then make sure your proposal is set in the same manner, same flow, same heading, same verbiage.

Why is this important? Chances are the person reviewing your grant has a score sheet and there is a certain number of points set aside for each section. Chances are they are going to read your abstract and score your abstract before moving on to the next section. Chances are they are reading a lot of applications and are in a repetitive flow of reading and scoring and moving on. If they can’t find the next section to score, or are confused as to what exact section your write up relates to, they may score you low or not score you at all. Don’t take that chance. The grantor takes the time to write up the RFQ, you as an applicant should take the time to follow the outline they put in place. Use the same titles, same order and give your application every chance it has to be successful.

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