Fundraising Guide (English) June 2014 - Page 26

JARGON PLAIN LANGUAGE PASSIVE VOICE ACTIVE VOICE Due to inadequate absorption capacity, local CBOs require substantial investments in capacity-building from bilateral and multilateral agencies. Community groups in this district need help to develop their own financial and program management skills before they can handle larger grants from international funders. Training was conducted for the members of the savings association. The program coordinator trained the members of the savings association. A grant for 2 years was awarded by the XX Foundation. The XX Foundation awarded a 2-year grant. Gender mainstreaming is one of the most impactful modalities for ensuring social inclusion for the marginalized. One of the best ways to make sure that less powerful groups in society participate in decision-making is to make sure that both women and men are involved. The project has been launched by the cooperative. The cooperative launched the project. Women in the community are having their awareness raised by the campaign on the issue of HIV/AIDS. The campaign is raising awareness of HIV/AIDS among the community’s women.  Keep it simple and strive for clarity.  Using foreign language terms/concepts that may be unfamiliar – Make sure to define the word and explain what it means. Assume the person reading your proposal does not understand the language or the cultural context of the term.  Break your narrative into short, easy-to-read paragraphs.  headings and bullet points to make it easy to follow. Use  Don’t just cut and paste from prior proposals: look at the funder’s specific questions and craft your responses accordingly. Be sure to relate these answers back to the funder’s interests and priorities.  Focusing on the problem instead of the solution – Make sure you focus on what action you are taking – how you will make a difference, not just on the magnitude of the problem.  Back up your arguments with evidence, but don’t overwhelm the reader with too much background information or statistics. Provide only what you need to make your point.  Sharing ideas instead of action – Show the funder why you are the best organization to work on this issue, not just that you are knowledgeable about the issues. The funder is not looking for a research paper, but instead is looking for an action plan.  Provide needed background information about your organization and the context for your work, but keep this as short as possible and relate this information to the project.  Using complicated formatting, fonts, colors, fancy paper, covers, etc. – These tricks just get in the way and can actually annoy reviewers, instead of impressing them.  Focus your proposal on what you will do and what your work will achieve. Don’t spend most of the space in your narrative on defining/explaining the problem.  Making the document hard to read – Don’t make the font or the margins too small in order to keep the narrative within page limits. A good guideline is to use a font size no smaller than 11 and page margins of no less than ¾ inch (or 2 cm).  Make sure to talk about the results and outcomes of your work, not just the process. What are the big picture results you want to achieve as well as the small, measurable results you can accomplish within the proposed grant period?  Providing lots of extra information besides what’s asked for by the funder – Don’t submit multiple appendices with documents, photos, and charts unless you know the foundation wants these materials.  Develop specific measures of success for your proposal. Show that you have thought through what you want to achieve and how to measure progress toward your goals.  Edit, edit, edit. Keep it short. Say only what you need to say/what the funder wants to learn, not everything you’d like to say or everything you know about the subject. Make sure to keep the proposal length within the funder’s page limitations. WRITING TIPS  Create an outline to guide your writing. Keep your proposal focused and don’t miss any of the funder’s requirements.  active voice instead of passive voice. Use 23