How To Become A Government Proposal Writer

By Roseann Wilcox

So you've been writing for awhile, and you feel ready to branch out. Maybe you've been successful writing private and corporate foundation grants and you want to try your hand at being a government proposal writer. Whether you're considering a local, state or federal opportunity, you will be entering an entirely different writing level, so be prepared.

If you're considering a submission to a government funding source, then you've probably been writing for awhile. That's a good thing, because these applications are typically very different from those you're used to, especially if you're seeking federal funds. Writing for corporate or private foundation support in the past will probably give you the experience that you will need to be successful in seeking government funding, be it local, state or federal.

If you have not identified the application that you want to submit, you should visit your area grant library. You can also visit local, state or federal websites for those opportunities that are listed. You need to find what is out there to support your particular concerns. Go to the specific department that addresses your mission and begin there.

The more localized your application, the better your chances are going to be in obtaining funding. Your city or town may have opportunities for funding which are passed through them by the state. If not, try your state government site and search by department. You can also ask your state senator or congressman for a list of those opportunities that are out there. They should be able to provide one.

Federal applications are easy to find by searching department or bureau websites and you'll want to use the keyword or words that are general enough to find many different sources but specific enough to be of use. These Requests for Proposals will often have very specific deadlines so you'll need to take that into account. They may also take quite a bit of time in notifying you of their acceptance or denial. If you are in a hurry, you might want to try applications provided by corporate or private foundations.

Whatever the source, remember to read the Request for Proposal instructions very carefully. Make sure you include all support materials that are requested. If you are careful and your request is well thought out, presented legibly and you have followed all directions, you may just find yourself a government proposal writer.

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