Psychology and Organization

The table of contents (TOC) looks like an easy section, but there is real psychology in setting up a TOC. Why? There are several reasons. First of all, funders have very little time to read your document—your deathless prose. Yes, it is true; reviewers may not read all of your proposal. Moreover, different people may read different parts. If a funder has clearly stated what has to be in a proposal, and an item is left out of the TOC, the funder is likely to assume it is not in your proposal. Funders, on seeing a part left out, may choose not to even review your proposal at all, declaring it unresponsive. No amount of argument or discussion on your part will prompt a funder to review it during the next round of competition once it has been rejected.

Most funders, as you know, have guidelines, at least, if not a full request for proposal, stating the information they want in a proposal. In our book Grantseeker's Toolkit: A Comprehensive Guide to Finding Funding,2 we told our readers to carefully outline the content required in the proposal. This is your base outline for the table of contents. You will add special features of your project, appendices and supplementary information to your TOC.

Not only include everything in the table of contents that the funder requests, but also include it in the order in which they requested it. They

2 Cheryl Carter New and James Aaron Quick, Grantseeker's Toolkit: A Comprehensive Guide to Finding Funding (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 1998).

expect to see their own form of organization, even if you think they have the cart before the horse. Organize it the way they expect to see it, or they may miss the fact that you have all the anticipated parts. If you include additional topics, organize them logically with the topics they expect to see. Be careful that their major headings appear boldly and clearly. Again, make it easy on the reader.

Always: Include everything the funder requested in the Guidelines or Request for Proposal in the Table of Contents.

The Secrets Of Winning Business Grants

The Secrets Of Winning Business Grants

Why Some Grant Applications Almost Always Win A Double Take And Get Approved More Often! How To Write A Winning Grant Application In One Evening. Are you looking to secure extra money for your business venture?

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