Not everyone finds the idea of writing for a living exciting and compelling. However, those who do, try to find a career where writing is one of the main requirements for the job. Grant writing is one of the careers in which you won’t only use your passion for writing, but also, you’ll be able to change lives by writing grant proposals that serve a good cause.
Keep reading if you’re looking for an answer to the question “How to become a grant writer?” and learn more about this profession.
What Is Grant Writing?
Grant writing is the profession in which an individual writes to organizations on behalf of others, asking for monetary funding. What does this mean, you may ask? It implies that grant writers compose proposals on behalf of profit and nonprofit organizations to apply for grants from governmental or non-governmental agencies or organizations.
While the title might suggest a heavy emphasis on the writing aspect, a grant writer’s job is much more than that. They’re responsible for every part of the grant writing process—starting with the thorough research on the grant itself, meeting project deadlines, and collecting information about the application process.
Why is it good to become a grant writer?
If you want to learn how to become a grant writer, you probably want to make a difference in your community or help society in general. Grant writing is fulfilling because you are assisting groups that provide critical services such as homeless shelters, free medical treatment, and aid to single mothers, among other things.
Moreover, a grant writer connects with nonprofits, small businesses, and individuals who need assistance in making their goals a reality. When you utilize your skills and experience to assist a client looking for a grant, you increase their possibilities of getting the funds they require for their cause. Nothing beats the satisfaction of watching your client receive the money they need.
Another great benefit that comes with this job is creating strong networking relationships. A career as a grant writer allows you to meet and network with various organizations that provide different services. As a grant writer, you can locate a position with a specific organization about which you are enthusiastic and assist them in making a difference using your work.
As a grant writer, you need to learn continuously. Since research is the most significant aspect of grant writing, continuous learning is essential. First and foremost, you must educate yourself on what a nonprofit organization is and how it operates. Moreover, you need to know a lot about the people you work with. It’s essential to understand the people or locations the nonprofit assists so you can translate everything you learn into why a funder would want to provide money to that organization. Understanding the people in charge, what they do daily, and the nonprofit’s goals is also critical.
In addition, grant writing may be a good fit if you like flexibility and creating your schedule since you can work from home, giving you greater freedom and flexibility than in a regular workplace.
Finally, once you’ve established a reputation as a grant writer and gained enough experience, you may earn satisfactory salaries since you can set the amount of work you complete based on how much money you want to make. When it comes to earning, the average wage for a grant writer is $54,145 annually in the United States.
How to Become a Grant Writer?
Like any ordinary job position out there, grant writing has its requirements. They’re not too many and we’re going to go more in-depth about each of them right now.
A prospective grant writer should have a certain level of education. All those that see themselves as future grant writers can become one with the condition they have a Bachelor’s degree in their hands. The study field isn’t that relevant to the job. However, a degree in English Language, Marketing, or Government Contract Management is an advantage towards your journey to becoming a grant writer.
Key skills of a grant writer
You may be wondering what makes a grant writer good at his job. Well, wonder no longer. The secret is having the right combination of social and technical skills. By all means, you’ll need to know the whats and hows of the job while also being an excellent communicator with your potential clients and staff members if you have any. The lack of one of the skills could jeopardize your grant writing career.
Research is an essential part of the whole grant writing process. Firstly, a grant writer needs to get informed on what grants are available to apply for. They do so by conducting thorough research on all the grants out there. Afterward, they make a list of the grants their client qualifies for and have more chances of receiving. After they find the right grant for their organization, grant writers prepare a proposal in which all the information required by the funding body is included. Through a grant proposal, they try to convince the grant-giving agency that their organization deserves to receive the funds.
In case of a successful proposal— the organization gets the funding that they asked for—it’s the duty of the grant writer to make sure that it’s spent for the designated purpose.
Organization and efficiency
Grant writers usually deal with more than one project and client at a time. That’s why at times you can be at risk of running late to submit the grant applications or forgetting altogether. However, those who think of pursuing this career need to make sure they can handle the ever-present pressure and stress that characterizes this job.
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One of the keys to being a successful grant writer is to learn to be on top of the tasks that need to be finished. You can use any system that suits you best to keep track of what needs to be completed and when. The system can be a digital spreadsheet or a dry erase board. You need to make sure that there’s enough time to focus on each one of the grant projects you have taken upon. Here are some other key skills you need to succeed in the field.
The job wouldn’t be called grant writing if one of the primary skills a potential candidate should have wouldn’t be writing itself. Don’t take this as a message that you have to be one of the best writers out there because this isn’t how this works. Still, you need to master enough of this skill so that you know how to express your case clearly, logically, and succinctly to the grant board.
Surely, not all people can do what this job requires. However, if an individual has doubts about whether this career path is the right one for them or not, it’s the writing skills that have the final say on the matter. If the thought of writing makes you feel stressed and anxious, then maybe you should go for a job where writing doesn’t play this big of a role in the job’s success.
Despite the fact that most of this job consists of doing research and writing, that doesn’t mean that some social skills won’t be of use. You’ll need to talk to plenty of people throughout work. Starting from the people who work at the government body, which you want to convince to give you the grant, staff members with which you coordinate over the detail and information that needs to be included on the proposal and the clients for whom you’re trying to get the grant. It’s not like you’re always going to be having conversations with people, but having those skills will certainly make your job easier.
Salary of a Grant Writer
A grant writer’s income depends on whether they have an employment contract or are self-employed, on the educational background, certificates earned, and on the job experience. Contractually employed people with a few years of experience on the professional level can get paid annually from $48,331 to $114,930, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics.
However, there’s hope for everyone, as the better you become at this job and the more proposals you can squeeze in your schedule, the more you’re going to earn. If you’re a quick researcher and writer and bring results to your clients, you can get paid up to $100 per hour. However, a beginner on the job in their first years earns from $40 to $60 per hour.
Grant writing is a gratifying career, not only financially but also morally. You’re not the only one that benefits from the job. You’ll help many organizations to earn funding that will potentially help to give back to the community. This job mixes writing with philanthropy—two passions which if you have, then this job is the right one for you.