Building Your Grant Writing Career
Questions from Grant Writers and Nonprofits
I hear a lot of questions from both grant writers and nonprofits. Nonprofits are trying to figure out what’s a fair way to pay the grant writer, and grant writers are trying to price their services fairly.
Grant writers are asking me:
- Should I work for free?
- How much do I charge?
Grant writing requires a highly specialized skill set. Believe it or not, though, you probably have a lot to work with already, even if you’re new to grant writing.
Let’s make that gap as small as possible so you can feel good about what you have to offer. If that’s where you are, then join me on the Fast Track to Grant Writer at teresahuff.com/vip.
Nonprofits often ask me:
- Do you know of any volunteer grant writers?
- Do you work on commission? Or performance-based grant writing?
- How much should we expect to pay a grant writer?
If this is where you are in your nonprofit, then fill out the application and we’ll map out a plan for you at teresahuff.com/nonprofits.
How Should a Nonprofit Pay a Grant Writer?
I wish I could just tell you that grant writing is $____ per hour and call it good. But that wouldn’t be fair from any perspective.
I can, however, give you a few things to consider:
- What’s the extent of the work? Will the grant writer strictly be writing proposals, or will they be researching prospective opportunities, gathering all the info, compiling data, conducting interviews, helping flesh out program design, implementing the evaluation process, and so on?
- What types of grants will be involved? Grant applications can range from a few hours to 100+ hours. Small local foundation grants are much less complex than a federal grant, and the required skill level varies accordingly.
- How much experience does the grant writer have, and what kind of grants have they written?
The pricing and agreement needs to be a win-win for both sides.
Should a Grant Writer Work on Percentage Fees?
This type of payment structure may be referred to as contingency fees, commission, or percentage-based. Oddly enough, this is the most widely assumed payment structure by nonprofits, but also the most blacklisted in the field.
A grant writer percentage fee is not considered among best practices because:
- Many variables of a grant award are outside the grant writer’s control. Listen to Episode 14: Grant Writer Success Rates for more explanation.
- Commission-based nonprofit fundraising goes against recommended ethics of the Grant Professionals Association and Association of Fundraising Professionals.
- Grants don’t cover fundraising. Grant writing is a type of fundraising that occurs well before the grant is awarded. Services should be paid at the time of service.
Bottom Line for Grant Writers:
Bottom Line for Nonprofits:
Grant Writing Is a Long-Term Investment
Other Episodes Mentioned:
- Episode 14: Grant Writer Success Rates: Am I a bad grant writer if I don’t win the grant?
- Episode 52: The Tech Tools I Use Most in My Grant Writing Business
- Episode 53: Business Building: Tips for Grant Writer Consulting Contracts with Danielle Liss
- Episode 54: LinkedIn Profile Tips for Success
- Episode 55: Grant Writer Strategy Call – How to Start Freelance Grant Writing
More Grant Writer Strategy Calls:
- Is Grant Writing for Me? with Lisa Ortman
- Do I Have What It Takes? How Do I Get Started in Grant Writing?
- Starting a Grant Writing Business from Scratch
Join me over in the Grant Writing Simplified LinkedIn community. Let’s make LinkedIn the place where the cool kids hang out!