Professional Grant Writers develop and write grant proposals and requests-for-funds on behalf of various organizations and individuals. Grant proposals range from filling out very simple 2 or 3 page documents to fully developed 20 to 50 page proposals that include personnel, operating budgets and project outlines. Check out writing-grant-proposals to see what elements are involved in a proposal and to check out samples of successful grant applications.
Grant writing is a recession proof business. Individuals, companies and organizations are always looking for money!
Many writers think that writing grant proposals is a low paying proposition. NOT! As with any writing specialty, there is a wide range of areas in which you can position yourself and a wide range of income possibilities. Full time grant writers can make anywhere from $40,000 to $150,000 a year. Surprised? Look at it this way … grant writers bring in BIG BUCKS to the organizations they work for. There is a lot riding on the grant proposal, so organizations, businesses or individuals are willing to pay for someone with a proven track record. Some grant writers generate millions of dollars for their clients.Some charitable organizations are well funded, well staffed and have money.
Grant Writer Fees:
Here are the ways grant writers charge for their services.
Hourly Rate. Rates range from a low of $30/hour to $100+/hour depending on the grant writers level of experience and track record of success in securing grants. Of course everyone is going to ask, “how long will it take?” and will only hear the lowest number you quote!
By the Project. After a thorough assessment of the full range of the job many grant writers prefer to quote by the project. Depending on the length and complexity of the document fees range from $1000 to $15,000. Many writers offer differing rates that depend on the source of the grants.
Commission Based. You really have to be careful here … procuring grant money on a commission base is illegal in many states/provinces. And of course you are taking a big risk tying your compensation into the success of getting a grant.
Grant Writing Services:
- Writing Grant Proposals. The individual/organization already knows what grant they are applying for and needs the proposal(s) written by a professional.
- Grant Proposal Review. You assess a written proposal to ensure completeness and compliance with the guidelines. You are responsible for proofreading, offering suggestions to overcome weaknesses and if necessary revising the document.
- Grant Proposal Evaluation. You can perform an evaluation of the proposal without doing rewrites or revisions. Offer suggestions for improvement and point out areas that are weak.
- Grant Research. Identify funding sources that are compatible with an organizations/individuals goals. This could include letters of inquiry to various granting bodies.
What Does It Take To Be a Grant Writer?
Strong Research Skills. You may be asked to find grants that are appropriate to your client. You should be able to quickly identify potential sources and analyze the fit between your client and the donating organization. The closer the fit, the greater are the chances of your client getting a grant. Their success is your success!
Strong Interpersonal Skills. You will have to get basic information from your client. What is their mission, what are their goals. Why do they need the money. What are the specific projects or initiatives that they need the money for. What is the clients history, do the principles (board of directors) have resumes and/or bios, who is developing the budget for the project and on and on … depending on the nature of the grant. You may be dealing with committees and board members who are not all on the same wavelength!
Strong Organizational Skills. Most grants have deadlines. Can you meet them? You may also be responsible for following up on grant applications. Assuming you have more than one client, you must be able to juggle the time demands from multiple sources.
Knowledge of the Grant Process. You should have an understanding of the grant proposal process. It is up to you to develop your clients missions, goals and ideas into a workable plan that results in a workable proposal. As the bridge between your client and the grant provider you are responsible for putting the project on paper so that the dream becomes real.
Patience. Lots of it. Waiting for information. Working with committees. Ideas that are all over the map. Volunteers or staff members with differing agendas.
Management Skills. You must have the ability to DRIVE the project. There are deadlines and information requirements that have to be met. The reason your client is hiring YOU to do this is because they didn’t want to. You must be able to push them to give you the information and resources you need to do a great job.
Interested in getting started as a Grant Writer?
Here are two Highly recommended books.
This is an excellent guide for anyone interested in making money writing grant proposals. It steps you though the process and talks about how to set up your business, get business and sell your services.
This book focuses on HOW to write grant proposals.
Here’s what one happy reader had to say:
Has all the information a newbie to the Grant Writing world needs to get started, and more. Information in this manual is helpful for other applications, such as writing business proposals. Information is cataloged in such a manner it makes this a valuable reference book long after the initial reading.
Check out the following websites to see the various kinds of grant writing services professional grant writers offer.
Here are some other resources you may want to check out: