Grant Writing Pays Well
Writing Grants is Exacting, but
Grant writing is big business. Almost every non profit, from your local
theatre group to huge, planet 'round foundations need to raise money from
What is Grant Writing?
In its simplest form, a grant is a gift of money or other property of value
given to fulfill a specific purpose. Organizations demonstrate they can fulfill
the grantor's purpose through a grant proposal.
All, or part of this proposal often falls to a freelancer who is paid for the
Is Grant Writing for You?
As with any type of specialized writing, grant writing isn't for everyone.
Consider the following:
- Are you good at working as part of a committee? Most grant writers work
directly with others in the organization. This usually involves meetings that
can be tedious.
The committee will also scrutinize your writing in sometime infuriating
- Can you synthesize complex ideas from multiple sources? Grant writing
requires you take chunks of disparate information and boil it down to fit the
grantor's proposal requirements.
- Are you good at long-term projects that are often spiked with seeming
emergencies? The actual process of writing a grant proposal can take months.
Conversely, almost every proposal has strict deadlines - not just for the
final submission, but benchmarks along the way. It's often difficult to get
the information you need until the last minute.
- Are you good, really good, at reading, understanding and following written
instructions? You'll often find the instructions the potential grantor sends
are a bit obscure. Good grant writers are truly detail people - with a
Learn the Grant Writing Process
If this sounds like you, the next step is to do some research. You'll want to
study the grant writing process. There are some great resources here at:
5 Tips for Writing Grants
Market Yourself as a Grant Writer
The next step is marketing yourself. Get started with these approaches:
- Call the non-profits in your immediate area. Tell them you're interested
in learning how to write grants and ask them who you should talk with. This
can lead to anything from a brush-off to the organization's grant writer, or,
if you're very lucky, an assignment. Most of the time you will learn something
worth knowing. Your goal is to get some experience under your belt, even if
it's only a little or as a volunteer.
- If you're passionate about a cause, that's a good place to start looking
for grant writing work. Just call or email and see what happens.
- Do a search on Google or other search engine using terms like grant
writing and grant writing jobs. Poke around. You'll see everything
from books on the subjects to agencies offering to represent you in one way or
- Keep an eye on the employment opportunities in your local newspaper. Most
nonprofits are required to advertise any positions, including grant writing
opportunities. Often, these jobs will go to someone the organization already
knows, but responding to the ad can give you a networking opportunity.
Once you get a credit or two, you'll find marketing yourself much easier.
There's lots of work out there. The trick, as always, is finding it.