The tips below come from the UMass Chan Office of Advancement and you can find more on their website.
1. Know Your Audience: Understanding what private funders are looking for will help you write a more fundable proposal. Find out --
2. Relevance: Private funders want proposals to address the project’s merit in relation to their goals and broader impacts (value to society). Your proposal must convey --
3. About 50 to 70 percent of proposals are rejected because they were incomplete. Be sure to:
4. Verbal Accessibility: Put the take-home news up front; don’t make a mystery of your research goals. Emphasize clarity and use language that would be accessible to any intelligent adult.
5. Balance: Create a good balance between high-concept generalizations about the proposed project’s goals and impact, and details that demonstrate your ability to execute it.
6. Visual Clarity: When a proposal is longer than one page, break it up into sections. Try putting section headings in bold, and/or using extra spacing to separate paragraphs. Make your charts or other graphics as clear and informative as possible, and only include those that are necessary.
7. Proofreading: As a courtesy to your reviewers, be sure your proposal is error-free. Do your very best to give your reviewers an enjoyable and compelling reading experience.