Grantwriting Success - A Premise
Updated: Jan 31
Facts Alone Won't Do It
We are living in the age of technology. With the advent of advanced software, we know more about when, why and how people choose to give, and it’s all about measurement.
So you may conclude that the only way to a grantor's generosity is through the perfect presentation of facts. Those old rules about stories, and recognition, and emotion must now take a back seat to the cold hard facts.
And if you believe that, may I suggest you reassess reality.
Why does the world spend billions on advertisement and brand and “touches?” Do people drink Coke (or insert your brand here) because it tastes so good? It’s not what people say, it’s not even about what they think. It’s what they feel.
Fundraising is no different. And grantmakers are no different.
Just the Outcomes Please
So an adept grant writer recently told me: “The research clearly shows that grantors don’t care about the creative writing, they just want the facts”. Uh huh. And I’m sure someone did a double-bind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial study (to come up with this scientific conclusion.
Or more likely, here’s the research: “Dear Grantor, how much does the emotional impact of the grant writing affect your decision to move the grant up the pipeline, as compared to the facts”? The predictable answer is: “Well it matters very little, we are totally data-based here, and we look for impact, numerical proof, and outcomes divided by the square root of concept.”
And if you believe that, there's a bridge I want to sell you.
Outcomes are critical to grant making, and when you are dealing with professionals, your facts had better be convincing.
But does that negate the value of presentation, storyline and emotional impact?
No, it does not.
Never Forget the Obvious
Humans are a bundle of emotions and impressions. Our goal with grants is to create interest and draw the reader in.
Facts are perceived in the context in which they are presented. No one is exempt.
So, tell your story. Don’t just talk about impact, present things with impact!
In the end, your cold-hard data analysis will show more success.
And that is the “fact” most worth considering.