About Me
My consulting practice is designed to bring a variety of resources to nonprofits, including foundations.

Oak Park, IL 60304
alicecottingham (at) gmail.com

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4 insider suggestions from a proposal reviewer

#4: Please don't say the work of your organization is unique, unless it truly is.  Chances are it's not, and most the time that's fine.  Of course if you work for Totally New All the Time, yours might be an exception.

#3: Break it down for the non-expert.  Having your proposal reviewed by someone who is not an expert in your field can be a big advantage, because you're getting a fresh pair of eyes.  But it becomes a downside if you've used insider jargon and acronyms and assumed your reader knows important policy context and history.  Some reviewers can handle the time-consuming and possibly humbling experience of having to ask a hundred questions about definitions and the implications of what you propose. Others cannot, and that could mean your apparently impenetrable proposal is dinged early on.

#2: Funders like to see cooperation among groups with allied missions and working in similar or overlapping communities.  Tell the reader how you play well with others.  If you don't, change.

#1: Does your budget tell the same story as your narrative?  You might be surprised how often it does not.  Some readers begin with the financials.

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