As I was taking a first look at the fourteen applications we received for this year’s World Relief Campaign, I noticed that some of them did a great job of connecting the mission of their respective organization with the mission of SALT. In reading the proposals, it was also clear if the grant writer used paragraphs of information from other grant applications. It is easier to pick out “stock responses” than it may seem. Information used in multiple grants should only be used to communicate the work and mission of the organization. Though it may seem obvious, the responses on grant applications should be specific and address all parts of the questions. Formatting is also important because elements such as spacing and fonts can reflect just as much information about the organization as the text itself.
Two weeks ago, Andrea held the first workshop in her Focused Fundraising series. In her presentation, she advised local non-profit professionals how to make their year-end solicitation letters more donor-centered and specific. She also emphasized the importance of the detail work, including what font is used and who signs the solicitation. Even though it may seem trivial, tone and formatting are important in both grant proposals and solicitation letters because these elements greatly affect the way the information about an organization is interpreted.