Non-profit organizations rely heavily on grant funding to sustain operations and services. Grant writers and fundraising professionals must tailor each grant proposal so that it is compelling to a funder. Although there are many "experts" who have written material on how the grant writer can write successful grants, there is a paucity of empirical evidence to substantiate the recommendations. This study explores the role of each element of a grant proposal (mission statement, statement of the problem, need statement, etc.) as well as the role that Aristotle's modes of persuasion, pathos, logos, and ethos, play in a grant proposal and the extent to which these various elements influence the funder's decision to award a grant. This study also assesses whether a particular type of funding organization (e.g., a private foundation, a community foundation, or a government funder) values one section or type of response over another and whether one rhetorical element is more persuasive than another. Using a standard interview format, with a Likert 5-point scale for each interview item, funders were asked to value the relative importance of each grant section in making their funding decision. The results were aggregated by question, by organization type, and by rhetorical mode to illustrate the value funders place on the modes of argument and the various sections of a grant proposal. The results of the interviews conducted for this study provide measureable guidance for grant writers and organizations as they proceed to seek funding. In general, the results indicate that funders in San Diego valued empirical data, including outcome information, and credible leadership as the major influences in funding decision-making. They also look for service-population data, output data, including depth of program effectiveness and the breadth of individuals touched by the organization, and measured improvement (statistical significance).