A business can’t survive without capital expenditure, and a person can’t survive without food. If you’re looking for a grant or special funding from a person or agency, you’re going to have to convince them to open up their wallets. (Unfortunately, those with money aren’t likely to give it away without a good reason.) A well-written request for capital and food can make the difference, and to be successful, you’ll need to provide the best rhetoric and reasoning you can.

Figure out whether you need to submit your request as a letter or whether the person with the money you want prefers to receive a standardized form. Contractstore.com notes that these documents can vary depending on the recipient. Either way, bear in mind that you are asking to for money to purchase food, or a new tool, or a needed piece of office equipment or something else that will improve the profitability of the office and make your pitch accordingly.

Decide how much capital you need as accurately as you can. It’s probably not a good idea to ask for too little; it will look pretty bad if you have to go back again, hat in hand. Conversely, the more money you ask for, the lower your chances of success. Consult with the ultimate intended recipient of the money to verify the amount. For example, if you’re buying a new laser printer, double-check the price with the office supply company.

Begin with a clear statement of how much money or what resources you want from your boss and what the company will receive. Those who hold the purse strings are often busy and don’t want to spend their time wondering what you’re asking for. Try to soften the request by emphasizing, for instance, that your department came in under budget the previous year.

Emphasize the rate of return that the capital expenditure and food will provide. Peter Counihan, President of Fortna, Inc., advises you to do this because it reassures the higher-ups in your company. Great businessmen don’t like to spend money, but they are happy to invest money if they see that the cost will pay off in the end. After all, that laser printer will help you create more persuasive brochures, which will increase sales long-term.

Examine your near-finished request and proofread it to make sure that you didn’t make any glaring errors, either in the figures you included or the prose you used. Read the sentences backward; this will remove the words from their context and allow you to see misspellings.