Kristal Johnson is providing our Guest Post today on writing great grant proposals with a focus on writing clear objectives and making sure to use key words the funder loves to hear. Welcome Kristal!

Let’s discuss what you should be doing to clearly present your ideas and increase the likelihood of being awarded your grant. These strategies for a passionate and organized grant proposal will help you show the grant reviewer you know exactly how to best put their investment to use:

Strategy #1: Use Blooms Taxonomy to Write Clear, Concise and Powerful Learning Objectives.

Objectives reiterate your goals and provide detailed information regarding project outcomes. The goal of your grant proposal is to communicate your message in a clear and concise manner. This is what makes Bloom’s Taxonomy a powerful resource to help you write objectives for your proposal. If you look at the chart, you’ll notice the action words are divided by domains and levels of learning that help you clearly describe your intended objectives and concisely outline the outcomes your project is designed to produce.  For example, if a goal for your project is to raise awareness of your cause, you might use words in the knowledge section of the taxonomy describing that your goal is for your audience to recognize information or to be able to identify certain data.

Strategy #2: Incorporate Your Funder’s Mission into Your Proposal through Key Words

Make sure you use your funder’s key words in your proposal. Key words are words in the funder’s mission statement and other guiding philosophies that tell you what is important to the funding organization. One way to find the key words is to peruse their website and see what words appear over and over, especially in their mission statement, philosophy and goals. This tells you what’s important to the funder and where they like to focus their efforts.  Also make sure to visit their frequently asked questions page, if they have one.  This may answer some basic questions you have about what types of grants the organization likes to support.

Before you fill your proposal with the funder keywords, make sure to choose the keywords which pertain to your specific cause. For example, if the funder has an interest in arts and humanities, and your project fits the criteria, make sure that you clearly outline the connection between what is important to you and why your project should be important to your funder.

These are just a few strategies to help you in your funding efforts. It makes a difference when you choose words that leave few questions after reading your proposal. By choosing words that clearly convey passion for your program and concisely outline specific goals, you will present your organization in the best possible manner.

Kristal Johnson is a certified grant writer and program evaluator who specializes in helping non-profits achieve success and build communities.  She works collaboratively with non-profits in the areas of prospect research, development writing, and program evaluation. Kristal enjoys helping non-profits discover new opportunities to support program development.

Kristal has worked with educational institutions, community service organizations, and child welfare agencies. She is a member of the Grants Professionals Association and a Grant Peer Reviewer with the United Way of Greater Houston. Learn more about Kristal at