Who Evaluates Your Proposal?

It's important to determine who your audience will be; that is, who will read and evaluate your proposal?  The more you know about the readers, the better you will be able to predict how to write your proposal. 

For example, for a recent grant proposal that I (Phil) wrote, I found out the readers were 90% from the business world and 10% were educators.  I found out that many of the readers liked to see the following "buzz words" addressed in the proposal: "accountability", "business involvement in the project planning and implementation", "sustainability after the funding is gone", and "partnerships".  I also found out that I shouldn't use education-ese ... that many of the readers would be unfamiliar with the subject area I was addressing.  So, no jargon!

So, first find out who will be reading your proposal! 

If you DON'T know who your audience is, you might consider that many (but not all) proposal readers are....

  • Republicans
  • affluent or rich
  • educated
  • golfers rather than bowlers
  • male
  • middle aged or older (as opposed to younger)
  • conservative
  • members of the ethnic majority group
  • hard working
  • business people
  • legalistic
  • capitalists, not socialists

Think about your audience when you are writing your proposal!


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