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8 Great Ways to Apply Ethics in Grant-Writing

in Writing / Article Writing by Erin Millano on 10/06/2016

Various grant-writers‘ groups set, impose, and follow standards and a code of ethics that show their collective value as professionals. Even with the rules for right practice or conduct, though, each one must have qualities that follow grant-writing ethics.


1. Create an original proposal.

Templates and past grantees‘ narratives can guide you in making your own new document. But don‘t copy the exact content of any section, not even the goals and objectives. If you do, you‘re losing your chance to impress reviewers because reused narratives often include lame contents.

2. Follow funder‘s guidelines.

The best way to capture a funder‘s heart is by sending a proposal that complies well with what it requires or at least with what it expects. Tailor your piece based on the funder‘s guidelines. Apart from meeting the deadline, you should be careful as well in formatting. Mind required line spacing, margin, typeface, and page limit.  

3. Show current demographics.

Grant-writing ethics depends on an exceptional research skill because such helps widen the writer‘s knowledge in developing an original output. Hence, you should always get the latest yet most pertinent data available to present to would-be funding sources. You may wonder how old should literature sources be? No specific rule on this exists. Yet, better use the ones published three years ago or less. In case you‘ve found a four-year old source deemed as the most updated copy, then use it.

4. Be honest.

A few proposal writers change the year of related literature‘s publication to make it latest. This could make your narrative pleasant; but you may lose the chance to get funding once the grantor learns of your dishonesty. To set the record straight, reviewers check details in the proposal; hence, they confirm them to make sure they are correct.

5. Be realistic; promise what you can do.

Your goal to feed street children sounds good. Yet, it won‘t convince funding sources if you can‘t support your program with a precise method or plan of operation. Include truthful goals that are SMART or sustainable, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound. Support your statements with planned actions to complete them.

While being realistic is one of the vital grant-writing ethics, keep in mind and follow this rule: do what you say you will.

6. Ask for a realistic budget.

A realistic budget plan, where the total sum justifies the costs of the items, shows your sincere intentions for the funds. A large budget request makes you doubtful and conveys you‘re only after the monies. Thus, an ethical proposal may contain a product or service quote from a reliable company or agency. If you will write projected costs, then don‘t forget to add a section for justification.

7. Keep your fees out of the budget request.

Grantors won‘t always pay a salary or fee incurred as you write the proposal. A few offer funds for program implementation only.

8. Give proper credit to literature sources.

Citing your resource materials is ethical. Acknowledge them by adding either or both in-text citations and a list of references.

Do you apply these grant-writing ethics to help boost your chances for funding? If not, hire our professional grant-writing service.

About The Author

Erin Millano has always been passionate to improve the quality of life of marginalized, low-income individuals, and families. She is a lobbyist, freelance photojournalist, and proposal writer. 

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