How to Become a Good Grant Writer


Authored by Geoff Vaughan in Writing and Publishing 
Published on 09-24-2009

Grant writers help various organizations get money for their cause by writing proposals. This can be a very profitable part-time job or career. Some people get paid per proposal they write ($1000 to $8000 per project), others get an hourly rate ($50-$100 an hour), and others earn a monthly salary (varies per company). Other businesses will pay grant writers a commission of how much money they are able to get the company from writing the proposal (1%-5% of the total amount awarded). The organizations that need good grant writers include non-profit organizations, colleges and universities, churches, and other businesses, and these monetary awards can pay for equipment, jobs, and services.

The first thing that you will need to do to become a good grant writer is to develop your writing skills, as in order to get a job, you have to first prove that you can write. The best writers are usually the ones who get the grants because the people who can clearly communicate how the money will be used to benefit the organization are more likely to get the money. You can get better at writing by practicing. Some people take college level writing classes, and you can also start writing articles for smaller publications to practice your writing technique. Another way to improve your grant writing skills is through reading other good proposals. Many books are available on this topic, and you can also find examples of proposals and successful grants on the Internet. By writing more often and reading good proposals and grants, you will become a better grant writer.

The next thing that is essential to being a good grant writer is to research the business for which you are writing the grant. You need to be able to convince the grant funder that the money they provide is going to the best possible objective. They should read the proposal and want to give money to support the organization. This often involves a very good imagination, as you will need to describe how the money will be used over the course of the project, and sometimes this can be over a time period of several months or several years. In addition, as the grant writer, you will need to follow-up and write progress reports, so you will need to stay involved in the process.

Often, you will also be responsible for researching and locating sources of money to fund the projects, which can be a huge challenge. You will need to ensure that these donors have enough of an interest in the proposal to want to contribute money. Through research, you can determine which grant funders support which organizations. It is important to know enough about both organizations to ensure you are submitting the proposal to the correct business.

As you become better and better at writing proposals, you can expand your business into other areas, including grant research, grant proposal evaluation, grant funding search, and grant proposal review. By continually researching, writing, and following up on projects, you can have a very successful career in this industry.


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