What is a grant writer?

A grant writer is a professional writer who helps secure funding from the Government and other philanthropic sources.


What does a grant writer do?

Grant writers normally gather documentation and fulfil the necessary requirements of various funding bodies depending on organisational needs.

They usually work with non-profit organisations and businesses with the aim to secure funding for projects, services, or goods that the organisation needs on behalf of their agency.

Grant writers can also work as consultants to various businesses, foundations, corporations, and government agencies to find contract and work opportunities.


What skills should a grant writer have?

There are some key skills required by a grant writer:

  • Excellent written communication skills
  • Top-shelf research skills
  • Ability to understand the needs of both the agency in need of funding and the organisation that is offering the grant money
  • Great organisational skills
  • Excellent data analysis skills
  • Ability to plan projects with a keen focus on details
  • Being able to understand and execute complex instructions
  • Ability to know how to properly appeal to the funding organisations board.
  • Able to find the funding organisation who grants match with their non-profit


Do you have to have a degree to be a grant writer?

For most jobs, applicants will need a bachelor’s degree. They also require having strong communication skills in order to generate effective grant proposals and to create compelling grant proposals that result in funding for a project.

Grant writing is one career where a more advanced degree may not be required but will certainly be seen as preferable to candidates who only hold a bachelor’s degree.

Any undergraduate program that involves heavy use of writing and persuasive tactics will also give grant writers the ability to practice this skill. The majority of Grant Writers have a bachelor’s degree in journalism, public relations, marketing or communications. Besides, English, technical writing and professional writing programs or majors can also provide other useful qualifications to apply grant writer positions.


How to become a grant writer? What does it take to become a grant writer?

Step 1: Bachelor’s degree
Grant writers require excellent communication skills to create compelling grant proposals that result in funding for a project. Any program that involves heavy use of writing and persuasive tactics gives grant writers the ability to practice this skill. Coursework programs in journalism, public relations, marketing or English can also provide useful qualifications for grant writer job position.

Step 2: Take Courses in Grant Writing
If you do not have bachelor’s degree, some colleges and universities also offer certificate programs in grant writing, which cover beginning, intermediate and advanced proposal writing, as well as identifying potential sources of grant funding for a project. These professional development certificates are designed to help grant writers attain a strong set of skills so that they can immediately put into practice.

Step 3: Acquire Grant Writing Experience
Although some employers may specify degrees in a certain field of study, most only require that candidates have a bachelor’s degree. Most employers would require a minimum of two years of grant writing experience on the job descriptions, even for part-time and temporary positions. The prior experience might be more important than the discipline in which an individual has earned a degree. To acquire the experience needed to gain employment, individuals should volunteer or complete internships in this field. The more experience acquired, the more opportunities for employment.

Step 4: Gain Industry Experience
Besides the grant writing experience, many employers might look for grant writers who have familiarity with the industry in which they are writing grants to fund. For instance, healthcare organisations seek grant writers who understand the workings mechanism of the medical industry. Colleges and universities prefer grant writers with higher education industry experiences. Many grants fund projects for nonprofit organisations and those organisations prefer grant writers who have worked with nonprofits in other capacities. The reason that employers looking for grant writers with high industry familiarity is because it would be easier for writers to produce a more successful grant proposal.

Step 5: Join a Professional Association
Membership in a group for grant writers can allow an individual to gain access to more training and job opportunities. It also allows individuals to attend conferences and network with other grant-writing professionals.

Grant writers typically have a bachelor’s degree, and at least two years of writing experience is a common minimum requirement.


What is the grant writers challenge?

Grant writer itself is a tough job
There are grant writers who work exclusively for a non-profit organisation while others work as freelancers and accept writing tasks from many interested grant applicants. Their primary task is to make a good write-up that can help fund projects and improve the condition of many beneficiaries. This alone is such a tough job to deal with.

Knowledge about grant writing
There are grant writers who work exclusively for a non-profit organisation while others work as freelancers and accept writing tasks from many interested grant applicants. Their primary task is to make a good write-up that can help fund projects and improve the condition of many beneficiaries. This alone is a tough job to deal with.

Working relationship with the client
The relationship between grant writer and their client is a common issue among freelance grant writers. While they may not find it hard to understand the project, some experience difficulties working or communicating with their clients. Miscommunication or misrepresentation not only hinders project completion but also affects the working relationship with their customers.

Government application
Among the various types of grant proposals, the government application is the most difficult one to make. Funders are very precise with compliance. A writer has to read the rules and apply them into the document. Also, there are processes more difficult than the standard proposal that the funders ask for.

Technological evolution
Due to advances in technology and popularity of the Internet, many funding groups now require applying online. However, this is bad news for older grant writers and non-profit organisations because they are not familiar with technology and the internet. Therefore, they might struggle to get through the tough application process and boost their chances of winning the grant.

Boring and tiring
Grant writing, unlike other forms of writing, demands a lot of time. They might spend a long time in it, which require they have to be patient and dedicate to their project. While it may be easy to create proposals for some writers, other grant proposal writers don’t get to master it. In fact, some people find it boring and tiring.


How much money can you make as a grant writer?

Compensation for grant writers may vary based upon location, experience level and assignment length.

The hourly rate for grant writer can be in the area of $25 to $50 if they are employed internally in an organisation.

More specifically, an entry level grant writer (1-3 years of experience) earns an average salary of AU$66,193. On the other end, a senior level grant writer (8+ years of experience) earns an average salary of AU$113,890. The average grant writer salary in Australia is AU$92,143 or an equivalent hourly rate of AU$44. In addition, they earn an average bonus of $2,451. Salary estimates based on salary survey data collected directly from employers and anonymous employees in Australia.


How much do grant writers cost?

If they are employed as a consultant, they can cost between $100 +GST to $350 + GST per hour.

This typically translates to a grant cost of $5,000 + GST to $15,000 + GST depending on complexity and time required.


Do you need a grant writer?

The grant writer will have a better understanding of the company’s situation if the company could provide enough information and resources, so the grant writer will better to help you clarify the end goal. In order to hire a grant writer, there is some paperwork you have to prepared before you hire one. The first thing is to determine whether the targeted person will research and apply for grants or apply to grants already determined by your non-profit. Then, you might have to prepare the following documents:

  • Financials (P&L, budgets, etc.)
  • Job descriptions for positions you’re looking to fund with grant money
  • Any other planning documents pertinent to the grant
  • Other grants are written for the organisation in the past (include whether or not you received funding)
  • Contact information for a point person at your organisation
  • What you plan to use the grant money for
  • Whether you’re interested in foundation or government grants.

Post job advertisement
In order to hire the most desired grant writer for your company, you have to post an accurate job description with your specific requirements. Normally the job post ad should include:

  • Description of your organisation
  • Summary of the position
  • Job duties and responsibilities
  • Desired qualifications
  • Additional requirements

Select a suitable grant writer
Once you finalise all your documents, you can then post a job description online for hiring. To hire a grant writer best suited to work with the company and the entire team, be specific about what is the experience of the grant writer has for writing grants, does the grant writer have clear communication skills, what is the area of expertise and is this in your particular field, what is the pay rate of the grant writer, whether the grant writer, can responds within a reasonable amount of time. Once you read through all of the grant writers’ profile, you will then select based on these areas and select a suitable applicant as your grant writer.


What is the process to writing a grant?

Grant writing is time-consuming. There are several factors to be considered:

  1. Agree on the Problem: For a proposal to receive funding, the grant writer must be convinced that funding your program will have a positive and measurable effect on your community and identify a need. To develop successful writing, it’s important to involve all of the stakeholders and develop a clear, concise description of the problem or situation and try not to use jargon. Since different stakeholders might have a different level of participation, the diverse group is important to gather all the stakeholders and consider the interests for each side and make a common understanding of grant writing or satisfies most of the stakeholders.
  2. Understand the grant: Understand the grant properly with a deep understanding of the grant application and what exactly the grantor needs could be helpful to prepare necessary documents and to support the grant application. Then the grand writer should organize a comprehensive summary statement of the project in order to use as a proposal with the basic outline and fill with the specific details and easy to fill the grant application form. Before submitting, always check and go through the entire application process and ascertain whether the problem falls under the specific category that the grantor is willing to support.
  3. Write Your Proposal: Once you have a written description of your program, needs, outcomes, and activities, use this as the basis for numerous grant applications. Tailor each proposal to each funder. Use the style and format that the funder prefers. Carefully read through all of the directions and ask about any that seem unclear. Afterwards is to follow the instructions, so pay attention to details, such as application criteria, page limit, or even font size. For instance, if there is a ten-page limit, stick with ten pages and do not go beyond that. Otherwise, the grantor might feel that you cannot be trusted with funding. Most grant programs have deadlines that are specific and unyielding. Make sure to have plenty of time for delays, because they invariably happen during the proposal writing process.


How long does it take to write a grant?

The answer might be it will take as much time as you have. It will definitely depend on what else should you do during this period of time. Of course, the grant writing can be finished within several days, however, it might not be your best work. Based on personal suggestions and online resources, it would be good with at least six weeks. In this way, the grant writer can pay attention to details, write, receive feedback and revise, and thus to have an excellent grant proposal.


Why can a grant writer write better than me?

Since grant writer normally with their professional writing qualifications and excellent research and communication skill, they could be more professional to do an extensive search of available grants and noting differences in the types of a project financed by various funding bodies in order to increase the likelihood of funding success. Furthermore, a professional grant writer with its ability to understand the needs of both the agency in need of funding and the organisation that is offering the grant money may help the party to identify which awards are a good fit and which aren’t. The successful proposal will closely align with a foundation’s strategic goals and have a higher chance of getting funded.


What does a grant writer know that my team doesn’t?

A lot of early-career researchers often find those rejections really tough to take. But the rejection would help you to learn more from the rejected grants. Therefore, experienced grant writer may learn more things from practice and therefore understand more situation than your team do.