Honest proposal writing: Part IV “Whipped Cream”

One of the strangest compliments I have received n my short career as freelance fundraising adviser is that I’m very good in taking a bit of milk and changing it into whipped cream. But, honestly speaking, even though whipped cream makes proposals look great, I wish I wouldn’t need it. Let’s discuss some examples of ‘whipping’.

Imagine your project is about training social workers to be better equipped in their work with problematic youngsters. Imagine the project looks at some successful methods from different countries, documents and published these methods on a website and then has a series of training events to spread them. Normally, I feel, this kind of paragraph should do.

I do apologize to all reviewers who have had to deal with what I am about to make out of the simple, and handsome paragraph, above…

Social workers who work with troubled youngsters across Europe have at the core been able to provide their own methods – often tailored to their local context and content-sensitive. There is limited cross-border exchange among them which forms a particular bottleneck for effective knowledge-development. Our project entails a comprehensive exchange of best practices, rooted in local methodologies. An initial phase of structural documentation, and online free-of-charge publication serves to deliver high quality in situ  cross-border capacity building and professional development programmes which facitate the active and shared learning of the social workers across Europe.

Maybe this wasn’t that bad. I don’t know. Is the ‘whipped cream’ really needed? Do words like cross-border, professional development and capacity building really mean anything, or are they more often (mis)used to just be/sound sophisticated where what we actually want to say is simple: We will train people.