Simple Speak: Creating a Common Language for Funder Relations

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Proposal writing by James Temple

One of the most frequent questions a funder hears from not-for-profits is how to make a strong proposal. Applicants want to know how to get the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Yet many tend to become verbose, unclear and assumptive when they put their thoughts on paper.

Proposals and meetings between funders and recipients often become littered with acronyms. Confusion arises over the big picture. Facts that can make or break the case often take a back seat to the passion expressed about a particular issue or cause.

It’s a scenario that I’m sure each one of us has experienced. But what is the root of the problem? James Temple, director of the PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada Foundation, aims to answer the question in this article.

The article first appeared in the April 2011 issue of Canadian Fundraising & Philanthropy magazine and we republished it here with permission.