October 7, 2022

What is a Grant Writer?

what-is-a-grant-writer

what is a grant writer

As the name suggests, a grant writer is responsible for writing proposals that land grants. Grant writing also includes researching the grants. These professionals seek funds by crafting high-level letters of intent. And they need to look for funding opportunities from multiple public and private sources.

What Does a Grant Writer Do?

A grant writer crafts proposals by assembling and sending out information on behalf of his/her clients. Many writers work for a company specializing in writing grants. However, there are freelance grant writer options available.  The goal is to turn as many grant applications into secure funding as possible.

Grant Writing Job Market

The government doesn’t collect labor statistics on grant writing. Although some of the anecdotal information they’ve put together says most current grant writers are self-employed. They charge hourly rates somewhere between $20 to $100 dollars for grant writer services.

Other information puts the job growth to 2030 at 9%. The median salary for this year for all grant writers was $49,554.

Popular industries for grant writers include government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Other more specific places like community health centers need consistent funding too.

Here’s an outline from the bureau of labor statistics.

 

READ MORE:  how to get a small business grant

 

Benefits of a Career Writing Grant Proposals

A grant writing career can be rewarding. Maybe you’re looking at working with research grants, and opportunities for nonprofits or small businesses. Becoming a grant writer has some great advantages. Here’s a list of some of the things that you’ll enjoy about working at grant writing and coming up with grant proposals.

You’ll Be in Demand

Many different industries are looking for grant writers. You might also be able to work for a nonprofit organization. Another specific industry that hires to write grants is government organizations. Snd technical writing, which includes grant writing, is expected to grow.

You Can Be Your Own Boss

Grant writers generally set their own schedules. As sole proprietors, they can pick the clients they work with and set their own prices.

You’ll Be Learning Something Everyday

You might be drafting proposals for a nonprofit organization, or you might be working at getting grants for small businesses. Regardless of the approach, you’ll be writing grants and learning something new every day. It’s a challenging and rewarding career. Grant writers interact with a wide range of people and organizations as well as other grant writers to make it more interesting.

You’ll Make a Difference

Securing grants can help an organization’s mission. Grant writers help individuals and businesses get the cash they need for a cause.

 You’ll Make a Good Income

The average base salary for a grant writer in America is $56,251 a year.  This of course depends on the organization you work for. If you freelance, you can make a different hourly rate and more money.

How to Become a Grant Writer

Do you want to write grants for a living? This is a good career path if you want to be self-employed. Along with strong organizational skills, you need to follow these steps to get started as a grant writer.

1.  Get The Right Education 

Employed grant writers usually have degrees in communications or English. An undergraduate degree in journalism helps. This type of education can give you a competitive edge. And help you to develop your writing skills.

Getting an education from community colleges helps too. A vocational diploma can help you land a first job doing volunteer work for public foundations.

2. Hone Your Grant Writing Skills

Writing a good grant proposal is a skill. Enroll in an online grant writing course. Best to look for one that will supply you with a grant writing certification. Here’s an overview of some of the options you have online.  Starting out with creative writing skills builds a foundation to get crucial funding for clients.

You might be able to skip getting a higher education by taking this route to become a grant writer. Either way, you’ll need to follow grant guidelines carefully.

3. Put A Portfolio Together

Nonprofits and others will want to see your work. Don’t forget to include at least three references. Make sure to add this to any applications you send out in a file or a link. Are you new at grant writing and you don’t have a portfolio? Consider volunteering at a non-profit. That shows passion, commitment, and interest in grant writing.

4. Pick an Employment Model 

Writers in this industry can work on a full-time, part-time, contract, or on freelance basis. You can also be self-employed. If you decide to work at grant funding for yourself, you’ll need to decide how much to charge.

5. Advertise 

There are several ways to advertise your services. A grant writer should have a website and other social media profiles. You can focus your efforts on nonprofit organizations and small businesses. Make sure to highlight your attention to detail and communication skills.

Don’t forget your interpersonal skills matter too. Whether you’re trying to attract work from a nonprofit organization or another industry, you need to work with prospective donors.

Small Business Opportunities for Grant Writers

Now you know how to become a grant writer. You’ve spent time researching grants and learning how to write a grant proposal. The next step is to work for someone or start your own business.

If you are an experienced grant writer, you can start a business. Here’s how.

Define the market. Maybe grant money for nonprofits? Maybe you’ll be securing funding for SMBs? Then you need to research the sources for funding. Then grant writers need to market their organization. See #5 above.

What Skills Are Needed for Grant Writing?

The grant writing process requires certain talents. Like the following.

  • You need to understand how data entry can make a difference to a grant application. Both historical and future numbers should be blended in the application process.
  • A typical day will make the most of your writing skills. You’ll need to use business language and emotional words and phrases.
  • This is project-based work. That means you need to be both process and detail orientated.

How Much Money Do Grant Writers Make?

You’ll be in line to make a decent amount using your grant writing services. The average base salary according to Indeed is $56,297 dollars per year. At the top end, successful grant writers working for places like Friends of the Children make $88,478 yearly. Other organizations like BRAZOSPORT COLLEGE pay $69,021 per year.

You can make more by honing your skills to attract more potential donors. And add to your profits by working for more than one organization as a freelancer.

Image: Envato Elements

This article, “What is a Grant Writer?” was first published on Small Business Trends

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