Can’t You Just Write It?

The answer to “Can’t You Just Write It?”

…No, I Can’t “Just” Write It


Let’s be honest, one of the phrases that all grant professionals fear is “Can’t you just write it?!?” It is a phrase that both employed grant professionals and consultants hear. It often happens when we least expect it, or from a person that surprises us by asking the question or some variation of the question. When it is uttered directly to a grant professional or asked indirectly, it is a warning sign that things in the grant seeking strategy are not on track and that the grant team is not adequately engaged.


3 Ways to Address “Can’t You Just Write It?”


  1. If the phrase is spoken directly to you, ask your colleague why they would *want* you to “just write it” since they will have to be the one to implement what it is that you have written. Don’t they want to have the input to ensure that what they are implementing is feasible and best designed for success?


  1. If the phrase has come up repeatedly, implement a template outline of information required for any new project or program before grant funding can be sought. Include the key points of goals, objectives, timeline and budget so that the basic framework of information you need is documented before you even start to discuss drafting an application.


  1. Step back and look at why the question is being posed for this specific application. If the reason behind the question of “can’t you just write it” being posed to you as the grant professional is that those that hold the knowledge you need are “too busy” to participate in the process, ask to talk with your leadership about the priority of grant funding to bring the key players to the table.


What other ways have you successfully addressed the “can’t you just write it?!?” question in your work? We’d love to hear! Share your experience in the comments section below, via social media, or email your story to me directly via

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