Lesson 10 For Grantwriters From “The Princess Bride”

Pay attention to what's important.

Continuing with the series of what we can learn from the movie, The Princess Bride, here’s lesson #10.

Pay attention to the important things you’re being told.


The King: [after Buttercup kisses him]. What was that for?

Buttercup: Because you’ve always been so kind to me, and I’ll never see you again, because I’m killing myself as soon as we reach the bridal suite.

The King: Won’t that be nice? She kissed me! Ha!

In this scene, the important information is the suicide attempt that is about to occur. The King, however, is so happy to be kissed by Buttercup that he pays no attention.

As grantwriters working for and with nonprofits, we often are focusing on what WE want. What we want are good things—programs for clients that are designed to achieve better life chances or to meet needs and solve problems. But our proposals too often come through the focus of what we want, and too often we ignore what funders are really telling us to pay attention to.

Funders are telling you what they want to receive proposals on. Listen to them. Don’t just go with what you’re interested in.

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