Saturday, January 10, 2009

#69: Should Grant Writers Appeal to the Right Side of Their Brains?

This is an image taken from a typical PET acqu...Image via WikipediaRecently Scott Flood posted about appealing to both sides of the evaluator's brain.
Anyone who has ever prepared a grant application for a nonprofit or for-profit organization would probably tell you that it’s a left-brained process. After all, there is usually a lengthy list of elements and questions that must be addressed in a specified length and a particular order. Given that “order” is one of the left brain’s favorite words, it’s no surprise that the left-brain crowd is adept at gathering all the information and putting it in its proper place.

But the people who view developing grant requests as a wholly left-brained process are missing what separates very effective and memorable grant applications from the ordinary ones.

That something is the right side of the brain....

The key is recognizing that there are also two sides to the way people think, and addressing both of them....
I heartily agree. In fact, in sales they argue that we make our decisions based on emotions and then use the facts to justify them. You need to create an emotional commitment first.

I work very hard to appeal to both sides of the brain. It isn't easy within the given space constraints. Take the YouthBuild grant I'm working on today -- seems like they take more than 20 pages to ask the questions than the
20 page limit they give me for answers.

How to do it?
Well, the first place to focus on -- the need section. I try to paint a picture of the need that brings all those statistics alive.

How do you appeal to the right side of the evaluator's brain?

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Anonymous said...


Interesting post.

I believe that the proposal is like a formally formatted short story. I believe that it is imperative to get the program officer to approve your proposal for the board and the way to do that is by being creative.

Besides we don't want to bore the PO and but them to sleep!

Thanks, I look forward to more practical post like this from you.

Ruth Wahtera said...

I haven't thought about a proposal as a short story, but I sure think of the need section that way! I'll give this more thought.
Thanks for the comment,

Anonymous said...

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