What Not to Mention in Your Grant Proposal for Non-Profits


Securing funding through a grant for your organization is a long process from applying for the grant to hoping that you receive the grants. Since the competition for grant funding is high, you must know what to say in your grant proposal. It is vital that your application is well received and there are no statements that may be a hindrance to you receiving the grant. Therefore, consider focusing on providing a compelling and concise narrative about your project or service. Through ensuring you know what to say and what not to say and its reasons. In this article, are things not to mention in your grant proposal for non-profits.

You are unsure how the project will continue after the funds’ end 

You are unsure how the project will continue after the funds' end

Many people seeking federal grants for their non-profits do not have all the resources that they need. Also, you may be lacking a donor to support your work with an unlimited checkbook. Therefore, as you write your grant proposal, depending on the level you are with the project. There may be uncertainty on how you will secure the grant revenue to help implement the project on how you see it in the future. Plus, different grants offer different amounts at different times. As you hope that at least one pending proposal goes through. You mustn’t mention to the potential funder your lack of plans after their funding ends. Instead, share a plan of what you plan on doing to keep the project going. Mention other revenues you hope to use to support your program to show the funder you’re not dependent only on their support. Also, if you have long-term funding relationships, it is a smart idea to mention that too.

Using phrases, buzzwords, and industry jargon 

Using phrases, buzzwords, and industry jargon

You need the reviewer to understand your proposal and using buzzwords, industry jargon, and phrases make it difficult for them. Although you may share the same passion with the funders and reviewers of your proposal. It does not mean that they know the type of language you use in your specific project. Therefore, in case you find any specific jargon in your proposal as you go through it, change it to plain English to help the reviewer understand. Also, some words are overused in narratives like collaborative, unique, impactful and are considered filler words. Unless they are followed by proof in the ensuing narrative. Research other words that you should avoid to improve on your grant proposal writing. Avoid acronyms as well, for a reviewer has no time to flip back every time to get the definition.

Mentioning overly ambitious statements 

Mentioning overly ambitious statements

It is not wise to state that you will solve an issue that is out of your program’s capacity with the resources you have at hand. All you have to consider is that you focus on the goal of your program, the outcomes you will get with the proposed funding, and that they are attainable and realistic. Also, outline strong outcomes, by knowing how to include the SMART objectives by clearly aligning them with their anticipated outcomes. As an example, some of the statements that you should avoid are blank statements like, “We will eliminate child mortality in town Y”. When you mention such ambitious statements, the grant reviewer will question how valid is the rest of your proposal. The best thing is to focus on a realistic outcome and goal. Such as, “we will educate and increase health personnel in Town Y to help in fighting child mortality.”

You need the funding to continue operating 

You need the funding to continue operating

Mentioning such a statement shows that you price your need for money from the funders over the goals of your program. This makes your organization appear desperate and funders do not want that. Also, on the same, avoid mentioning that the funding is necessary for you to survive or you need the funding before you halt the services you provide. Using such statements only shows you emphasis on monetary needs and not the client’s needs. As a result, it will cost your chances of being funded as your proposal is presenting a faint story. Instead, focus on shared goals with the funder and present a story of the great impact that will be created.

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