How to Write Proposals and Grant Applications That Win

Natalie Canavor and Claire Meirowitz

Two technology companies regularly apply for government defense contracts by responding to RFPs (requests for proposals). One reaps a modest ratio of success. While the executives usually voice a “win some, lose some” attitude, they are always surprised when a bid fails because “our engineers are the best in the business.” The second company lands a steady stream of contracts, some of which are a distinct reach. What’s the difference in how the companies bid?

Company #1 leaves the proposal preparation to those who understand the specs and the work. Company #2, while basing the content on its engineers’ input, delegates the writing to a small cadre of managers ...

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