All About Freelance Grant Writing Jobs
Grant proposal writing is all about showcasing the pet project of a non-profit
organization in a way that makes people want to contribute money. Sound simple? It really
isn't, but grant writing can be one of the more gratifying types of freelance writing if
you aren't afraid of some hard work.
How much money can I make writing grant proposals?
If you can get your foot in the door, freelance grant writing can mean big money.
How big is big? Well, if you charge a flat fee, you can earn anywhere from $100 to
$1000, depending on the project's complexity. Alternatively, many freelance grant writers
choose to take a percentage of any funds their proposals generate. If you charge 5 percent
and the grant is worth $50,000, then that's $2,500 in your pocket!
You may prefer to charge on a percentage basis when you're just starting out because
non-profits like the idea of no upfront costs. If the organization agrees to hire you
under these terms, then you'll get some experience that will make it easier to charge
upfront fees in the future.
What exactly does a freelance grant writer do?
In some cases, you just write the grant proposal. The best grant proposals are the ones
that stick out from the crowd. Remember, potential donors usually have stacks of proposals
asking for cash; your grant proposal needs to shine to get a donor's attention.
In every grant proposal, you need to include:
1. The non-profit's vision statement
2. Detail of the project
3. How the project will make a difference in the community
4. How the non-profit will spend the grant money
5. What the non-profit will contribute (money, labor, etc.)
In many cases, the organization will want you to do much more than write their
proposal. Don't be surprised if they expect you to do all the research related to the
proposal, find grantors, send the proposals, keep track of what's gone where and who's
said what, and prepare presentations - just in case the organization is asked to pitch
their idea live and in person. You should include all of these tasks in your fee, so make
sure you quote accordingly.
What skills do you need as a freelance grant writer?
Strong writing skills are important, but they aren't as important as solid research
skills and over-the-top enthusiasm for the project. Grant donors say repeatedly that
passionate grant proposals with spelling mistakes interest them more than
grammatically-perfect documents with feigned interest.
You need to convince the non-profit that it's better to hire you than to write the
grant proposal themselves. To win the job, you'll need to display superior research,
organizational, and critical thinking skills, coupled with a genuine desire to help.