Ask Dalya: Do you recommend a notebook, paper or oral digital recorder for ideas and thoughts, like traditional writers have used?


Q: Do you recommend a notebook, paper or oral digital recorder for ideas and thoughts, like traditional writers have used?

 A: Yes, I think it’s a good idea to start thinking of yourself as a “writer” – even if you only sit down to craft a piece occasionally. You want to invite ideas to come to you whenever and wherever, and you should be ready to capture them.

I carry a small notebook around with me wherever I go. But I could just as easily take notes or record my thoughts on my mobile device. Going back through my notes later is a great way to relive my recent ‘aha’ moments and maybe even add an additional thought that has been brewing in my mind. A journal is an expanded version of this little notebook, and I also recommend keeping one. In addition, I keep a little notepad by my bedside to keep notes before or after sleeping. These methods have come through for me countless times. Continue reading

Did you know about this recommended reading list for “writing to make a difference”?

bookstore aisleWondering what to read that will help you become a better writer in the social sector?

I’ve compiled a list of more than 100 books and websites, each categorized and briefly annotated, that help you with your Writing to Make a Difference. I’ve also included books written by many of our Special Guests on Writing Wednesdays.

Just a few of the topics:

  • General writing advice
  • Branding
  • Engaging your specific readers
  • Spotlighting your mission
  • Storytelling
  • Writing with reader diversity in mind
  • Writer’s block
  • Clarity
  • Conciseness
  • And of course, the picky grammatical details!

Check it out now right HERE.


Ask Dalya: What if 2 or more similar grant proposals get funded? What about using photos?


Q: What happens if 2 or more grant applications come through for the same program?

A: That is an enviable situation to be in! Assuming that the total amount awarded is more than the program’s total budget, you should re-assess your situation. Can you do more of the same program with a larger budget? Save the funds for the next fiscal year? Or would you prefer to use the extra funds for another program or for general operating support? Once you know your ideal plan, explain your situation to the funder(s) and try to negotiate a good alternate use of the grant. The main thing is to always maintain transparency by letting your funders know if you have any plans to use their funds in ways other than described in your proposal. Chances are, the funders will be pleased to hear of your so-called predicament.

Q: Would you recommend including a picture or two in a grant proposal”? Our organization works on adaptation to environmental concerns. We could send photos of wildfires burning homes and forests. What do you think? Continue reading

Searching for an Experienced Grantwriter to Sub-Contract: Could It Be You?


On occasion, I work with sub-contractors to complete client work on grant proposals or reports on a variety of topics. I am currently looking for new folks to add to my list!

If you have at least 5 years of experience writing grant proposals for foundations, corporate funders, and/or government agencies and would like to be considered for periodic assignments, please submit the following to me:

  • A successful grant proposal you recently wrote
  • Your resume and cover letter describing the topics and type of funders you are familiar with; please mention 2-3 recent proposal successes
  • Hourly rate requirements
  • Number of hours available per week or month

Thank you! I look forward to being in touch soon.



New 2-Minute Video: Juicy Writing Tips

If you’ve been following my work you probably already know that I love sharing tips on how to improve your social change writing. You may have been part of one of my webinars, read my book, “Writing to Make a Difference: 25 Powerful Techniques to Boost Your Community Impact,” or engaged with me in some other way.

I recently sat down with a colleague of mine, Paul Jolly. He produced a short video that offers a couple of juicy writing tips for engaging your reader. Check it out here: