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Facts, Facts, Facts!


When proving your point to a prospective funder, you can never go wrong by using at least three well-documented, supportive facts from credible and reliable sources.  Data should ideally be not more than five years old. The trick is to determine what you're trying to prove or say, and then search for data and statements from credible sources that support it. Though less in federal grant applications, including in your proposal emotion-inducing statements gleaned from this process can be very effective.  Take a look at the examples below to see how statements and arguments are successfully supported with (sometimes sentimental) facts from credible sources.

When responding to a Federal RFP for a program to improve health outcomes of low-income, African American women, the writer below used census data to prove the applicant's project population was what the funder was looking for.
“Our project will serve women in Washington, DC's Ward 8.  According to the 2010-2014 ACS 5-Year Estimates, Ward 8 demographics, 61.2% of its households are headed by women; 45.0% of these households had incomes below the poverty line; 56.9% of females over 16 are unemployed; and 93.7% of Ward 8 residents are African American.”
 
To support this organization's mission statement and prove its dinner program was established and effective, the writer used some emotional pull, along with data the organization itself had collected and tracked for the program.
“Since 2000, the historic mission of the Dinner Program has been to provide a place where all persons, regardless of ethnic, social, religious, or economic background, can share a meal in an environment that reaffirms their inherent dignity.  For 18 years, we have provided a hot dinner each weekday night for up to 90 urban poor.  Our dinner guests are mostly homeless African American and Spanish speaking Latino men.  In the past year and a half alone, our volunteers have donated 4,231 hours to provide 20,130 meals to these needy individuals. Board of Directors members have donated at least 925 hours of their time.  We also provided warm clothing and a hypothermia shelter for winter, over 1,180 free haircuts and 200 hours of referrals and direct support services.” 
 
When requesting funding for a special needs sports camp, this writer again used some emotion-inducing statements to support the applicant's program effectiveness and worthiness of funding.  The statements below came from information proven in peer reviewed articles published in professional association journals such as “Physical Therapy,” “European Journal of Pediatrics,” and “Disability Rehabilitation.”
“While sports camps have been shown to improve the physical functioning, self-confidence, self-esteem, body image, mental health and general health of participants, physically disabled children and young adults are often unable to attend camp.  Many facilities are not wheelchair accessible, or staff members fail to understand the specific needs of physically disabled children and adolescents or the adaptations required.   Moreover, when admitted to general sports programs, disabled children and young adults may have a difficult time keeping up with peers.” 
 
By all means, continue to ply your prospective funders with appropriate sentiment. Sentimental prose tugs at the heartstrings.  Just combine it with supportive, well- documented facts to loosen the purse strings!
 
What point in a proposal are you especially proud of proving using emotion supported by well-documented facts?

 

Comments

 
By: Leighton Ku
On: 12/19/2018 11:10:22
What a great discussion of ways to use evidence!

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