5 Things to Look for When Hiring a Professional Grant Writer
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The challenge, then, becomes one of finding the right grant writer for your organization. Don’t worry: there are many qualified grant writers out there. In order to make your life easier, we have outlined 5 things that you should look for in your grant writer.
Using these criteria, you can find the perfect partner to help you apply for business grants.
Read our complete guide to business grants
Grant Writer Responsibilities
A grant writer is responsible for conducting research, writing grant proposals, and submitting them to the appropriate institutions. They also service the grant, which means that they periodically provide updates to the funder.
A grant writer’s responsibilities include crafting a cover letter, writing a proposal, and filling out supporting documents as required by the funding party. The proposal must also highlight the ways that your organization intends to use the grant money, if it is awarded to your business.
Benefits of Using a Grant Writer
There are many benefits to partnering with a grant writer. They can support you during your search for grants and can even identify potential funding opportunities that you may have overlooked. In addition, they can help you to speed up the process and receive funding sooner.
However, perhaps the biggest benefit to using a grant writer is that they improve your odds of success. According to LinkedIn, only about 8% of grant applicants receive funding. A professional grant writer should have a success rate that ranges from 30% to 40% for new grants. This number increases to a staggering 80% success rate when they are expanding existing grants.
5 Things to Look for in a Professional Grant Writer
Hiring a professional grant writer is the clear choice if you want to improve the odds of securing funding. Think of them as the right partner for your business.
When you’re searching for a good grant writer, look for someone that is:
You must ensure that the grant writer that you choose has relevant experience. When consulting with prospective grant writers, find out whether they have worked with businesses similar to your own. If they have, then the entire proposal and funding process will likely be more streamlined.
For instance, if you are pursuing government grants, then you need someone that has written successful proposals for this type of funding before. Any reputable grant writer will be forthright about their experience and skill set. If you encounter someone that is not, then you should continue your search.
Proficient at Research
Part of the reason for hiring a grant writer is that they can help you find additional funding opportunities. With this in mind, make sure that the grant writer you choose is proficient in research.
During the interview process, ask them about their research methodologies. Do they have a proven, intentional approach that produces results? If so, then they might be a great fit for your organization.
A Strong Communicator
When you partner with a grant writer, you should expect to work with them for months or years. That is why they must demonstrate strong interpersonal skills.
If you frequently encounter communication issues during the interview process, you may not be able to maintain a long-term working relationship with that writer.
In addition to being a strong communicator, a grant writer should also be a great listener. They should take the time to understand your organization’s needs and funding goals.
As with all things in life, you get what you pay for, and this holds true when it comes to grant writers. Look for a solid mix of value and talent. Go too cheap, and you will probably get a subpar proposal that won’t help you reach your long-term goals. However, paying for a topflight grant writer can cost you thousands of dollars and it still doesn't guarantee that you will receive funding.
Generally, we recommend finding a grant writer that has a proven track record of success at a price that you are comfortable with. For reference, grant writers cost between $20 and $150 per hour. The $20 rate is for a brand-new writer, while $150 will buy you industry-leading talent.
Great at Crafting a Story
If you want your grant proposal to stand out from the crowd, then you need it to tell a story. The best grant writers will convey your company’s goals and mission in a meaningful way that resonates with funders. They can clearly demonstrate why your organization is a great candidate for the funding, and this story can sway decision makers into awarding your business with the requested funds.
Preparing to Work with a Grant Writer
Before you start working with a grant writer, it is important that you have clearly defined expectations and goals. While working with a grant writer greatly increases your chances of acquiring funding, the results are not guaranteed.
When you’re preparing to work with a grant writer, you should make sure that you are committed to the process. The writer may have to research and apply for multiple grants before you acquire the desired funding.
Although the grant application process can be tedious and drawn out, a dedicated writer will be able to help you to secure funding much faster than you could on your own.
Grant Writer Job Description
When searching for a grant writer, you need to compose a clearly constructed job description. That way, any potential candidates understand what their roles and responsibilities will be if they are selected for the position.
As you’re writing the job description, include responsibilities such as:
- Conducting grant research
- Preparing a unique proposal for each grant
- Gathering required information
- Writing drafts
- Obtaining final approvals
- Attending strategy meetings
These are some of the most common responsibilities of grant writers. Make sure to adjust your job description as needed so that it suits the requirements of your organization.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Grant Writer?
Most grant writers elect to be paid on an hourly basis. This hourly rate can range from as little as $20 to as much as $150, depending on the writer’s experience.
As an alternative to hourly billing practices, some grant writers prefer to be paid a flat fee. This means that they receive payment for every grant that they submit.
The third option is to be paid on a retainer basis. This practice is common for organizations that have several grants that must be serviced.
As you’re composing your job description, you can choose a payment format or list the maximum hourly rate that you are willing to pay. Make sure to specify that pay is dependent upon experience. This prevents you from overpaying for a grant writer that has little to no previous experience.
Where Can I Hire a Grant Writer?
There are plenty of options out there when you are ready to find a good grant writer. You just have to know where to look!
Many grant writers are freelancers. This means that they do not work for any single company and can take on projects at their leisure. In order to find freelance grant writers, you should check out online sites such as:
All you have to do is create an account and post your job description. Grant writers can apply for the position and submit the requested portfolio or work samples. Once you have reviewed their work, you can either hire them for the position or continue your search.
Another option for finding a grant writer is through networking. Reach out to fellow business owners and find out whether they have a go-to writer that they have successfully used in the past.
Choosing the Best Grant Writer for Your Business
Now that you know how to find a great grant writer, it is time to find potential funding opportunities for your business. One of the easiest ways to do just that is through the Fundid grant marketplace.
Whether you need to start, grow, or maintain your business, we can connect you with funders that want to offer their support.
Fundid is driven by a mission to empower business owners on their growth journeys by simplifying business finance & access to capital.
We spend our time thinking about what the world would look like if the 80% of businesses that have under 10 employees had access to the capital they needed to grow and thrive. We're solving this with our Business Capital, Business-Building Card, and Resources that include our business Grant Match Program.