Only eight percent of grant proposals receive funding, and with odds like that, this is not something you want to DIY. If you hire a professional grant writer, you can increase your chances of getting that much-needed funding, since they know the nuances involved in grant proposals and can make your proposal shine. Here, we will look at why you should hire a professional grant writer instead of writing the proposal yourself.
Is it Worth it to Hire a Grant Writer?
Nonprofits and small businesses need grant money to remain open, but when you run an organization, it can be hard to find the time to sit down and work on a grant proposal. It makes sense to hire a grant writer to help you get this funding, so you can focus on the day-to-day tasks that keep your organization running smoothly. The grant writer knows how to put together a winning proposal to help you succeed and has the time to make sure it is done right. You may not always need the help of a grant writer, but there are many situations where hiring one can be beneficial to your organization.
5 Reasons to Hire a Grant Writer
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you should consider hiring a grant writer.
1. Increases Your Likelihood of Winning the Grant
There is a lot of time, research, and energy that can go into applying for a grant. It can be difficult to receive a grant because of how many people apply for them, so why not increase your chances of succeeding? A professional grant writer can help increase your chances of success, because they have experience in determining what the organization offering the grant is looking for. While there is no guarantee that you will receive the grant, even when you hire a writer, your chances of succeeding will go up with the help of a professional. In fact, a grant proposal that is written by a professional has a 60 percent chance of approval.
2. Saves You Time
Writing a grant proposal is time-consuming, and you might not have the time to fill out everything for the grant. Grant applications can take an average of 15-25 hours or more. If you only have a few minutes per day to work on your grant application, it is not getting the attention it needs to help you make it a winner. Putting one of your employees on the grant proposal can also be helpful, but then they are juggling their time between their regular duties and the grant proposal.
When you hire a grant writer, you can spend your time focusing on the rest of your business, while the expert you hired gets to work on the grant. You do not have to worry about your proposal being an afterthought or hastily put together at the last minute; they will spend the time necessary to ensure it is done right. You only get one chance at the grant, so you want to make sure you have the best chance.
3. Helps You Decide Which Grants to Pursue
Not every grant is worth pursuing. While a grant may look good to you on the surface, a professional grant writer may see something in the criteria that reduces your chances of receiving the grant or makes you ineligible. This will also save you time that you would have wasted working on a grant application that is not right for your organization. Your grant writer can help you identify the best grants to apply for.
4. Ensures Your proposal Stands Out
A professional grant writer is an expert at putting together excellent proposals. They know all of the ins and outs of grant writing, and they know what organizations are looking for in an application. Your application will be well written in a way that makes it stand out. Since the grant writer is not a member of your organization, they can see what you have to offer in a different light, and that new perspective can give them insights that will help make the grant application stand out.
5. Experienced at Meeting Deadlines and Requirements
Grants usually have strict applications and requirements, which can be difficult to keep track of. A professional grant writer is excellent at meeting deadlines on time and meeting any requirements. All you need to do is provide the grant writer with the necessary information to put together the grant, and the writer will do the rest. The application will be ready by the deadline, and every single requirement for the application will be met perfectly.
Make sure that if your grant writer asks you for information that you get it to them quickly. While you might be hesitant to give your grant writer documents about your budget or special projects, without that information, they cannot do their job. So, even if you might be hesitant to hand them all of this information if you want the grant money, you need to trust the writer.
Hiring a Professional Grant Writer
When you hire a grant writer, you want to make sure they are vetted and have the experience needed to write for you. When deciding on the grant writer for you, look at their track record for success, how compelling their arguments are in applications, and how clear their writing is. You will want to ask for writing samples of grants they have worked on and references from other organizations they worked with.
When you hire your grant writer, keep in mind that they do not know your business the way that you do, so you want to find one who is willing to take the time to learn everything about your products or services so that they can accurately reflect you in the application. If they have experience in your field, that can help even more, because they can draw from their own knowledge when working on your proposal.
Before you begin your search for a grant writer, determine what information they may need from you in the process. If you have a specific grant in mind when you hire them, put together the paperwork they might need to write your grant. This can help them get started sooner once you hire the right writer for you.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Grant Writer?
There are three ways that grant writers are usually paid: hourly, a flat rate per grant, and by retainer for a specific amount of time. How much you pay your grant writer will be determined based on their experience and your budget. Many professional grant writers have their rates in mind already, and some might be more expensive than others.
The hourly fees for professional grant writers are between $20 per hour and $150 per hour, based on their experience level. A retainer for grant writing can range from $2,500 per month to $10,000 per month, depending on the experience level and the scope of the work.
If you find a grant writer that works on commission only, we do not recommend that you hire them. Some may only require payment if they win you the grant, but they want a specific percentage of the total grant money. This goes against federal funding guidelines, and it is unethical. There is a chance that you could lose the grant if the organization that gave it to you learns of it, and there is a potential for legal consequences as well.
Where Can I Hire a Grant Writer?
You can post an ad for a grant writer in a local paper, a publication that is related to your organization, or an online job board. You can also talk to other organizations in your area to see if they might have someone who they would recommend. You can also go to a large fundraising group like the Association of Fundraising Professionals or the American Grant Writers Association, which have job boards for grant writers.
A grant for your small business or nonprofit organization can give you the funds to help you grow and thrive. Applying for a grant takes time, and a certain skill set, which is why hiring a grant writer is a good idea. With the right writer on your side, you are more likely to win the grants you need.
If you need help looking for grants, the Fundid grant marketplace is free to use.