I get a lot of questions about government grant proposals, and I’ve reviewed a fair number of them. I’ve seen some instances where people want to make a grand political statement as part of their government grant request or making the basis of their funding request kind of a pushback against some public policy that they don’t agree with.

I want you to know that this is rarely a good idea. This is not what government grant funding is about. You’ve probably heard me say before that government grants exist to solve problems. That means your primary concern should be making a case for how the funding you’re requesting will help make a situation better. If you want to voice an opinion about a facet of government or any elected leaders you don’t agree with, it would be better to use something like an online forum instead because your government grant proposal is not the place for it.

Funding priorities do differ along the political spectrum and the party that is currently holding the purse strings will be a factor in what is available at a given time. But try to avoid little passive-aggressive snipes in your proposal that mention that a need exists because either this party or that elected official are not adequately taking care of something, and making a political issue out of it.

In your government grant proposal, you should stick to is factual data and trends that can be supported and try not to speculate what will happen as the result of an election, especially making fatalistic statements about how you predict that funding will be slashed or that the zombie apocalypse will surely occur, should the opposition party come into power.

Many government grants are for purposes like expanding businesses, increasing educational opportunities, or purchasing or renovating real estate. Those are goals that people of every political stripe can agree are worthwhile goals. A person would have to be a very narrow-minded ideologue to want to let political point-scoring take precedence over something that would help improve our communities.

An additional reason to avoid turning your government grant proposal into a partisan manifesto is that you’ll hurt your chances of being funded, in two possible ways. First, government grant reviewers are generally objective and fair-minded, but they’re people, and not all people are going to agree with your views. Second, whether or not they do agree with your views, they’ll see that you’re more concerning about the politics of the situation than you are about using your government grant properly, and your proposal won’t be viewed favorably. This is especially true if you’re trying to put a political slant on something that has nothing to do with that. As someone else pointed out to me, how would there even be a “conservative” or “liberal” way to provide job training and or operate a literacy program, anyway?

There’s nothing wrong with being passionate about politics and having viewpoints, but try to leave that out of your government grant proposals.