The attractive arts aren’t just useful for attracting romantic partners. The same principles that can help you find love can also help you make friends, get clients, and yes, get money. Today I’m here to talk about the latter.
So, a long time ago I got this thing called a Fulbright scholarship. Apparently, it’s a pretty big deal, although at the time it just sounded like a great excuse to spend a year playing with various theatre troupes in Sub-Saharan Africa. A lot of people ask me how I did it, and how I’ve written so many successful grant proposals since then. So, without further ado, here’s how it’s done.
1. Convince your audience that there is a terrible problem that absolutely must be solved. Lay out in vivid detail exactly what will happen if this terrible, horrible problem is not solved. Make it personal. Let it pack a visceral, emotional punch.
Example: Internet pornography kills adorable puppies! New research has shown that an adorable puppy now falls over dead in the arms of an equally adorable child every time someone types a dirty word into Google! If we don’t act now, ALL THE PUPPIES WILL BE DEAD, and all the adorable children will be bawling like little banshees, within the next two years. Maybe less…
2. Just when your audience is beginning to despair, in swoops the superhero of the story… you! Convince your audience that YOU (or your organization) are the ONLY one out there with the particular skill/knowledge set, and the necessary drive, to fix this terrible, horrible, very bad problem.
Example: I am the leading expert on puppy deaths by pornography in the greater tri-state area. See my dissertation, “Sick Puppies: the hidden cost of free porn” for further details. I will not rest until ALL THE PUPPIES ARE SAFE!!
3. Lay out for them exactly what you’ll need and how you’ll use it in order to fix the terriblehorribleverybad problem. Charts and graphs are good. An extremely specific budget is a must. This is not the time to wax poetic, now is the time to make it real to your readers that you could actually pull this off IF ONLY YOU HAD ENOUGH FUNDING.
I have no example for this. The puppies are doomed.
Now, go write a grant and save the world. You can thank me later.