10 Essential Rules for Successful Grant Writing

22 June 2018

10 Essential Rules for Successful Grant Writing: Get the Money Your Non-Profit Organization Needs
by Robert Friedrich
Published by Last Mountain Publishers
Review by Kris Brandhagen
$29.00 ISBN 9780995962606

Written by Robert Friedrich, who has over thirty combined years of experience in the field, as a program manager, officer and funding agent, 10 Essential Rules for Successful Grant Writing: Get the Money Your Non-Profit Organization Needs is a nonfiction guide book for grant proposal writers. Right from the beginning, Friedrich includes apt questions to get the reader started on their own application. He uses clear, straightforward language and real world examples to get his points across.

The key points are clearly identified in bold type, fleshed out by examples, making it easy for the reader to use this book as a step by step guide right from the brainstorming stage. Friedrich explains each rule in a short chapter, ending with an exercise. He also includes many quotations from the point of view of the funding organization; although these are unattributed, they are still extremely useful. The structure of most of the chapters include simple diagrams, charts, lists, and callouts that highlight key points, increasing readability.

There is a concise guide to different types of proposals, from development projects to community infrastructure, arts grants, academic research, and even business plans and requests for proposals. While this book is geared toward non-profit organizations, examples are given for bringing arts proposals out of the clouds and down to earth. An excellent checklist with an abbreviated summary is provided of what is needed in each area of the proposal. Most importantly, he includes advice on how to work with funding agents right from the beginning, and warnings about what to do and what not to do in the reporting process.

Friedrich provides simple explanations of the key terms of the funding application lexicon. He addresses the right questions in order to help the reader get through difficult sections of the application process, such as SWOT analysis and risk management framework, explaining the value of putting the necessary work into certain areas. He also demystifies the parts of the application process that people tend to overcomplicate. At the back of the book, Friedrich includes samples of timelines, budgets, tables, lists, frameworks, and also a complete sample proposal, which serve as rich resources. The project charter template is especially useful, as it shows how to describe the entire proposal, in brief, on one page.

Having a model like this book to follow is a valuable asset to any beginner grant proposal writer. I do suggest paging through the entire book before reading it because there are extremely useful samples at the end of the book. The writing is good; some areas could use more punctuation, but the wealth of information more than makes up for that. Friedrich shares his knowledge, experience, and research in a transparent, unrestrained, and generous way. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is considering a first time grant proposal, and also to those who would like to refine their funding application skills.


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