Which is stronger?
In our youth work we try to draw upon proven
In our youth work we draw up proven
Of course, it's the second one.
But this week I reviewed a grant application written in house for a client. It was rife with wishy-washy words that communicated a lack of confidence in their ability to successfully implement their proposal.
I didn't have time to write the application for them but agreed to review what the
staff wrote and offer some suggestions. I've worked with them long enough to know they are extremely competent and manage several effective youth programs.
So why the weak language?
Humility. They thought they should be humble. It's a problem that plagues us all when we begin marketing our services to potential clients or funders. We're shy about saying we're good at what we do.
Unfortunately, it weakens the proposal.
You have to go for strength. Take out the passive tense. Eliminate the we try's and we believe's and we want to's -- go for strength, action, confidence.
Prove you're worthy of the money you're asking for.