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MUZC01H3 Exploring Community Music

A guide aggregating resources you will need to successfully complete your assignments for VPMC01H3

The Importance of Narrative

Why it’s important to tell a story when you are writing a grant proposal. A flowing narrative:

  • holds the reader’s attention
  • Establishes a relationship between the teller and the reader/listener
  • Facts help you establish credibility and are important 
  • Stories help you to create a connection with the evaluator
  • Effective vehicle in delivering your point 
  • Provides a satisfying reading experience 
  • Can hold a grant reader’s attention - you will be viewed more favourably
  • Morality tale where the underdog wins 
  • Problem/solution model 
  • Honesty is important however - the story that you tell must be true


“The better you are at telling the story, the better the odds at winning the funding.”

Adapted from Chris Johnson's "A Good Grant Proposal Tells a Story," which can be found at


Here are some steps to telling a story/creating a narrative for your grant application: 

  1. First and foremost, remember to follow guidelines and be truthful in what you present. 
  2. Decide what the main idea is that you would like your reader to take away - your main point is the reason you are applying for the grant 
  3. Add descriptive/colourful details (succinctly)
  4. Integrate your goals, outcomes, and obstacles 
  5. Think of your project or idea as a story with an arc/plot: There is a problem, actions that are taken in order to overcome the problem, and a resolution. 
  6. Include the who, when, and where (this is usually the people that will benefit from the grant)


“Telling a story creates a connection between you and the person reading your grant proposal. Telling it effectively and memorably leaves an impression, makes your point strongly, and, most importantly, helps you get a grant.”


Adapted from  Chris Johnson's "How to Tell a Story Effectively for a Powerful Grant Proposal," which can be found at