What is a Mock Review?

The process of writing and submitting a large grant proposal can be daunting and stressful, but one way our team takes some of the stress out of the submission process, and increases our confidence is through the mock review process.


A mock review is a process in which a group of individuals (ideally three), often including experts in the field, review and provide feedback on a grant proposal before it is submitted to the funding organization. This process allows grant writers/professionals to receive valuable feedback on their proposal’s strengths and weaknesses, giving them the opportunity to make improvements before the proposal is submitted. The way our team runs the mock review is that three of our lead writers who weren’t part of the application drafting process for the client serve as the reviewers. We have seen other organizations that rely on their network of Grant Professional Association contacts to serve as each other’s mock reviewers when they didn’t have anyone available/appropriate inside their own organization.


When preparing for a mock review, it’s important to keep several things in mind. First, make sure your proposal is clear and concise. The reviewers should be able to easily understand your project’s goals, objectives, and outcomes. Second, make sure your proposal is well-organized. Use headings and subheadings to break up the text and make it easier for the reviewers to follow. Third, make sure your proposal is realistic. Make sure your budget is accurate and that your timeline is feasible. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, only spend time conducting a mock review on a proposal that is complete and *could* be submitted. If you put a proposal through a mock review that is nearly complete, you will be able to discount and justify the scores and comments received, potentially missing the opportunity to strengthen your proposal.


During the mock review process, it’s important to listen carefully to the reviewers’ feedback. Take notes and ask questions if you don’t understand something about their score and their comments. That way, after the mock review is complete, you are ready to prioritize their scores to decide which sections you focus on first when making revisions to your proposal. Use the feedback you received to make improvements and strengthen your proposal in priority order based on where you stand the opportunity to gain the most points. Remember, the goal is to create a successful proposal that will secure funding for your project or initiative.


By keeping the above tips in mind and being open to feedback, you can use the mock review process to improve your grant writing skills and increase your chances of securing funding, just like our team does.


Purchase our Mock Review Toolkit to strengthen your grant proposal. (It’s not a secret sauce, we really want you to use this technique to secure grant revenue for your organization too!)

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