What to Look for in Grant Writer
Many organizations don’t have the time or resources to write their own grant proposals, especially if they are seeking larger grants that often require a more involved, detailed writing process. Hiring a grant writer is a great solution for these organizations. The expertise of a good grant writer increases the chances of receiving funding and boosts the overall quality of the proposal. But what makes a good grant writer and how will you know when you’ve found one? Here’s what to look for in a grant writer:
You’ll want a grant writer who has experience in your sector, population, and region. If they’ve worked with organizations similar to yours, the process will go more smoothly. They should also have written for grants similar to the ones you are seeking. If you’re seeking a government grant, look for someone who has experience applying to government Requests for Proposals (RFPs).
A Solid Resume and Writing Samples
A grant writer’s samples can tell you a lot. Grant writing may be serious, but a writer’s proposal should not be overly technical or boring. A large part of grant writing is connecting with potential funders, who may or may not be familiar with the more technical side of your organization’s work.
Some grant writers charge by the hour, some by the contract. A grant writer should not charge clients based on a commission paid from the grant itself. This is considered unethical. Evaluate their pricing against your own needs and budget. Consider that a higher priced grant writer may be worth it if your organization is seeking larger grants.
A Proven Track Record
A good grant writer should have a lot of experience writing grants. Try not to judge based on the number of grants the writer has won. This is not necessarily an indicator of good or bad grant writing. There are many instances where well-written grants do not ultimately receive funding for reasons that are out of the grant writer’s control.
Those Who Take The Time
Some grant writers will attempt to cut corners by submitting the same proposal to multiple funders. Every funder has unique guidelines and missions, and will require a proposal tailored to their guidelines. The grant writer should also be interested in sitting down with your team and learning more about your organization, mission, and project goals. If they are reluctant to learn more about your organization or project, their writing will not reflect your organization’s goals and vision.
As with any hiring process, finding a good grant writer with the expertise and background to meet your organization’s needs can be a challenge. In the end, it will be worth evaluating all of your options to find that perfect fit.