Writing proposals – who reads them?

A few years ago, I worked with an agency that had programs at several sites.  The request for proposal (RFP) required a separate proposal for funding for each site.  The program description was exactly the same for each of the sites.  The facilities descriptions, of course, were different.  After the results were posted, the agency wanted to know why one proposal was fully funded, one was partially funded, one was wait-listed, and one got nothing.  I suggested that they ask the funding agency for the rating scores.  The differences were due to ratings given to the program description.  How can that be?  All four descriptions were exactly the same - it was written once and copied and pasted into the different proposals There were four different scores for the exact same narrative.  The one with the funding got nearly a perfect score, the one without any funds got a horrid score and the other were in between.  What happened?  The scores were assigned by whoever read the proposals. Since we cannot know who will read proposals, we just have to give it a good try and hope for the best outcome.  We hope for a reader without serious psychological problems, who hasn't had a flat tire on the way to work, whose family is not falling apart, who is not facing life-threatening illness, etc.  When I write proposals, I do my best to put the client's case in the best light and hope that a reasonable, unbiased, person with an understanding of the type of program seeking funds and a decent command of the language reads it and gives it high marks.  But, as I say to every client - there are no guarantees with proposal writing.

One Response to “Writing proposals – who reads them?”

  1. best eas says:

    Finally someone that knows what they’re talking about.

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