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Three Ways To Improve Your Persuasion Skills

Monday, June 20th, 2011

If you’re a grantwriter it stands to reason that you’ll need to sharpen your communication skills. You’ll be called upon to write clear, accurate, error-free proposals. But there’s one other communication skill that isn’t frequently mentioned in job descriptions. The skill of persuasion.

Who's Lives Will You Change With This Project?

Persuasion is the ability to influence, to win over, and perhaps change somebody’s mind.  In the world of grantwriting, you may see how this capability would come in handy. You want the grantor who is reading dozens of proposals from other organizations to be affected by your proposal and your cause. Ultimately you hope to sway them to say yes.

But how do you persuade others?

1.    You convince them that the project serves a pressing need in the community.

Identify specifically what the need is, whom you’ll serve, and how you’ll fill the need. Remember to tie this to your mission.

2.    You ensure them that trusting your organization is a good investment.

Tell them about your track record of implementing your mission to serve the community. Briefly highlight your history in the community, notable partnerships, and any other facet that lets them know you’re a responsibly managed organization with strong community support.

3.    You urge them to action.

Give a compelling case of why this can’t wait. What are the consequences or who will be impacted if you don’t gain their support? Tell them what you need from them to put the project into place. Give them a visual.