Nonprofit organizations, school programs community services and other projects need to obtain funding to operate, and as a grant writer, you can help these groups get the funding they need.
Writing a good Grant Proposal
The first step to getting involved in the grant writing industry is to learn how to write a good grant proposal. By taking a course, you can usually also find out grant funding resources at the same time – as well as tips on how to get your proposals approved (something only experienced grant writers know).
You do not need a degree in writing grants, but you need to be a decent writer and pay close attention to detail. Taking a course in grant writing and getting educated in running a business is all you need to launch your fundraising business.
As a grant writer, you can provide your clients with a proposal writing service, but you will also help them greatly by knowing the right funding resources.
You can also use your local library and the internet to located funding resources. Your state may also publish a list of available grant funding sources, which is worth checking into.
During the grant application process, start a file where you can keep records of all correspondence, contact information and completed tasks.
Follow the Guidelines of the Grant
When writing a grant proposal, closely follow the guidelines set by each funding resource. Be clear and concise, make sure that your spelling and grammar is correct and that you answer all necessary questions without being vague. Since foundations and government agencies receive many requests for grants, make their “reading” job easier on them, such as a table of contents on a larger grant proposal.
Ask for money to fund specific projects rather than just a contribution. Specific requests tend to get approved more often. Include pictures if possible, demonstrating who will benefit from the funding.
The Flexibility of being a Grant Writer
A nice benefit to starting a grant writing business is that you can work from your home. The cost of leasing office space and hiring employees is eliminated, making this a low-cost and low-risk business to start. You can also start part-time. Many freelancers take this route, as a successful grant writing business can take time.
Something that you want to be aware of is that the grant approval process can sometimes take several months and require many hours, compared to article writing or letter writing. Having determination and focus to follow through on each project is important.
Apply for multiple sources of funding
You also want to apply for more grants than you need, since you will not get approved for every grant that you apply for. There is lots of competition, and you want to be prepared. The more quickly and effectively you obtain funding for one client, the better you look to the next client, and so on.
Getting started as a grant writer, focus on building a track record – a portfolio of funding successes you have achieved for past clients. The better your track record, the easier it becomes to get hired by clients.
Generally, grant writers get paid on an hourly basis or up front per grant writing project. However, when you are just starting out, you may want to consider negotiating with clients on payment, so you can build your portfolio. Good luck!