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Looking to hire a grant writer? Here’s an exhaustive guide to get you started.
A grant writer is a professional who helps an organization complete the elaborate process required to secure funds from grant makers or sponsors offering a grant. These could include corporations, businesses, nonprofit organizations, or government agencies.
However, the work of a grant writer is not limited to simply writing proposals, but also conducting intensive research on the proposed project, the grant-making agencies and foundations. They must thoroughly understand the goals of the organization seeking funding, maybe even finding a suitable organization that has funded similar projects in the past in order to research the requirement.
They also have to undertake a deep understanding of the requirements and conditions of grants, ensuring that the organization meets them down to the last detail. The grant writer is responsible for showcasing why the grant should be awarded, what the organization intends to do with the grant, a detailed plan to execute the project, metrics to evaluate the project, and a timeline for completion of the project. They need to possess strong skills in writing skills, data analysis, planning and organization to ensure that the firm receives the grant.
Why do you need to hire a grant writer?
Grant writers undoubtedly play an indispensable role in your grant needs. But how do you decide if you need one and why?
Well, it has been found that only 8% of grant proposals receive funding, owing to stiff competition and limited grant-making agencies. You have to be ready to invest immensely in time, energy, and research to apply for a grant. This can distract you from carrying out your day-to-day tasks and keep you from managing your firm smoothly.
Outsourcing these duties by hiring an expert grant writer can prove to be a cost and time-effective solution here. Hiring a freelance grant writer also puts the responsibility into the hands of someone who has catered to the niche market of grant needs of various organizations.
Finding an expert grant writer
Freelance platforms such as Kolabtree and Upwork, amongst others, have a huge network of independent grant writers who offer expert guidance and consulting services. These platforms provide a secure and confidential workspace to connect and collaborate with these writers, ensuring a cost-effective option for organizations to hire freelance grant writers for specific projects.
Depending on expertise, experience, location, and market, there are mainly three levels of grant writers- beginner, intermediate, and advanced. To decide which level of professional to choose you will have to take a look at your organization and the type of project for which you are seeking to raise funds.
If you are a relatively young firm and are hiring a grant writer for the first time then you will have to splurge on an intermediate or seasoned grant writer. Your firm cannot afford to direct its limited resources toward such a complicated and demanding task. But you can save costs by hiring professional freelance platforms to increase your chances of receiving much-needed funding.
If you are an established firm with some experience in this arena and have some close-knitted funders then you can afford to go with a beginner or intermediate. Next, you will have to take a look at the type of project you are envisioning to execute. This involves evaluating if your firm is structurally and fiscally sound, which plays a pivotal role because funders usually evaluate the ability of a firm to execute what it is proposing. Then, you need to perform a grant-readiness self-assessment before paying a consultant to write a grant. This would mean detailed listing and evaluation of the program/project, steps to realistically execute it, budget, manpower requirements, tasks to be assigned to teams/people, mode of execution, data requirements, and the mark of stages of completion.
These details will help you narrow down your search and hire the right grant writer for your business.
What are the charges/fees to hire a grant writer?
Before we discuss the right remuneration to hire a grant writer, let’s take a look at the wrong ways of remunerating them. The foremost “don’t” is to not include the costing in the grant proposal and charge it to funders. This has not only been deemed an unethical practice by the professional grant writer’s association, but it is also unfair to grant writers and their efforts in the event that a grant is not awarded.
Since the grant writer fee will not be considered as a reason for funding, you could end up not only returning the awarded funding but also paying heavy fines and penalties.
Another no-go approach to paying them is via commission. Paying grant writers a percentage of the grant has also been discontinued and is considered an unfair practice for the same reasons as aforementioned.
Now, to the next vital question, what do grant writers charge? While new grant writers usually charge $20-$40 per hour, intermediate ones charge $50-$60 per hour and highly experienced ones charge $125-$150 per hour.
However, hourly rate is only one part of it, as the total cost of grant writing is decided by the grant writer’s fee structure. This is where freelance platforms like Kolabtree come in handy. The profiles of independent grant writers listed on these platforms have detailed cost structures varying with the type of projects they undertake. This transparency in rate and fee structure will help in your decision-making process.
Grant writing fees can also vary depending on the kind of project and the sector you are targeting your work. For example, Federal grant writing fees can range from $8,000 to a whopping $10,000 per grant, depending on the grant requirements.
The reason behind these values is that some grant proposals require in-depth technical knowledge while others may require people management experience or good relations with authorities. For example – The departments of Defense, Energy, and Commerce need expertise in those subject matters to complete it successfully. Similarly, foundation proposals range from $1500 to $3000 while state proposals would cost you anywhere from $3000-$6000.
A grant writer’s rate also varies from country to country. In the USA, the average price to hire grant writers is $34 per hour while in Australia it is $50 and in the UK it is £22 per hour. For more clarity, you can simply shortlist a few grant writers based on their profiles and send them relevant materials to elicit a quote from them.
Open talent platforms put you in touch with various freelance grant writers, making this whole process very cost-effective and reliable. Such platforms provide immense transparency as well and gives you the freedom to hire anyone from any corner of the world to meet your budget constraints and specific requirements.
Looking to hire a grant writer? Post a free project and get quotes within 24 hours here.