Foster Writing twice won a highly competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) administered by the Securing Water for Food Grand Challenge (SWFF) contractor, The Kaizen Company. In partnership with a small team of subcontracted technical language editors, Kindra Foster produced both substantive and technical edits to SWFF’s annual report, semiannual report, and data-driven field reports. Each of the two RFP years involved hundreds of pages of deliverables.
Kindra used her unique combination of expertise in marketing and humanities/academic/nonprofit messaging, including fundraising communications, to help the organization present its achievements clearly, appeal to important stakeholder audiences, and transform the reports into strategic communications/promotional tools.
Technical editing: In addition to professional, highly thorough copyediting, the work included meticulous time management to meet tight deadlines, draft administration and organization, technical review of charts and maps, identification and correction of ambiguity and inconsistencies, fact checking, mathematical calculations, and format and graphic recommendations. The team referred to both Chicago Manual of Style and SWFF’s internal style guide. Kindra helped improve the internal guide and contributed many additions to it.
Substantive editing: Promotional messaging is perhaps even more important in the academic/nonprofit world than in the commercial world, because the work almost solely depends upon demonstrating (both directly and indirectly) to funders and supporters that good things are being accomplished as ROI for their support. Kindra drew upon her expert background in marketing communications to transform language in this organization’s reports into clear, persuasive messages designed to inspire SWFF’s stakeholders and collaborators. The work included researching critical audiences, understanding interpersonal and institutional policies and politics, rephrasing unclear statements, reorganizing complicated material, researching and adding supporting facts, querying stakeholders to clarify data, questioning unsupported assertions and recommending stronger characterizations of SWFF’s many amazing achievements. A few messages were restructured to alleviate challenging or negative factors that could potentially hinder or mischaracterize the organization’s work.
Results: The client said she was extremely happy with the work, especially the team’s ability to meet deadlines and the thoroughness of the editing. She shared favorable comments from stakeholders about the improved quality of the reports and how this would help them in their continued work, including increasing pride in their achievements across the globe and helping the world reach its goal of water and food security.
Links to deliverable samples:
2018 Annual Report
World Hope Impact Report
(Please ask to see first drafts showing edits and editorial comments/queries.)