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Inc. Magazine LogoThis blog issue strings together three articles that encapsulate the theme, “Big Ideas for the Grants Writing Revolution.”

1. In Leigh Buchanan’s November 2012 article for her series, “Why The World Needs Big Ideas,” in INC. Magazine, she cites several case studies that spotlight unique innovations.

“…society needs its visionaries. The past two decades have given people like Elon Musk, whose company SpaceX
is revolutionizing commercial space travel and may someday make it possible to inhabit other planets.

"Wendy Kopp, who launched Teach for America with the goal of eliminating the academic achievement gap between poor and rich children.”

“Jim Collins famously urges leaders to pursue BHAGs: goals that are big, hairy and audacious.…Collins observes that mediocre organizations cannot pull off BHAGs any more than mediocre athletes can win Olympic medals.”

The lesson here for grant writers: Be BOLD, INNOVATIVE and CREATIVE!

2. Peg Tyre’s, “The Writing Revolution,” in the October 2012 issue of The Atlantic, discusses howThe Atlantic, October 2012 to turn around low-performing public high schools.

“Students inability to translate thoughts into coherent, well-argued sentences, paragraphs and essays was severely impeding intellectual growth in many subjects…on teaching the skills that underlie good analytic writing…To be able to think critically and express that thinking…”

“Over the past 30 years, as knowledge-based work has come to dominate the economy…But high schools are still graduating large numbers of students whose writing skills better equip them to work on farms or in factories than offices…Research has shown that thinking, speaking, and reading comprehension are interconnected and reinforced through good writing….”

Lesson number two for grant writers: Clarity of expression and critical thinking are keys to a successful proposal.

3. The Miner and Associates October 15, 2012 Newsletter, “Grant Writing and Computational Linguistics: Part Two,” discusses using word frequency data as a computational tool for a Miner & Associates, Inc., Proven Solutions for Granting Wishesproposal's distinctive features.

“The two sets of frequently occurring words should look similar. They may not be in the same rank order but considerable overlap should exist, especially among the first 15 or so items listed.”

In Part One of the blog from September 29, 2012, Miner and Associates write, “We recommend using a computational linguistic approach to identifying your grant maker hot buttons and distinctive features so you can incorporate them into your proposal…Block copy the heart of the RFP (Request For Proposal)…Paste the block copied information into the WriteWords Word Frequency Counter.

This neat and free web-based computational linguistics program will tally the frequency of occurrence of each word in your sample text…Make a list of your hot buttons and then add this list of derivatives and synonyms…Your objective here is to generate as many comparable terms that reflect the grant makers hot buttons.”

Lesson number three for grant writers: There is a science to grant writing through funder key message repetition, albeit via synonyms and phrase frequency.

On your next proposal, try tying the three lessons together by repeating the funder hot button issues, coupling them creatively and by expressing you’re thinking clearly!