Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How to Save Space (and Time) with Charts and Tables

While we were in Las Vegas, we had a chance to visit the new Trump Tower. It looked to me like a stack of extremely large gold bricks. In a somewhat similar manner, I think adding charts and tables to your grant application creates a professional "golden" look for your school or non-profit organization.

What you may not fully appreciate, however, is how the skillful use of charts and tables can allow you to stretch the standard page requirement, font size, and line spacing limitations in the funder's guidelines. This is because you are allowed - in most competitions - to use smaller type and single-spacing in your charts and tables.

If you are clever (and creative) about the information that you place into the charts and tables you can create an advantage for your agency. For example, you can save time and money by reusing existing charts and tables, packing a greater number of words into your application, and creating a feeling of expertise through densely packed bibliographic material.

The amazing advantage of this procedure is that you can jam into your charts and tables things that you would not necessarily consider chart and table material. This includes biographies on the staff, useful text that you want to highlight for the reader, and excerpts from peer-reviewed articles.

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