You have identified a community need and have proposed a program of resolution. After thoroughly researching potential foundations you pinpoint a foundation(s) whose mission and vision aligns with your organization. You have submitted a “Letter of Inquiry” and have been given approval to submit a full proposal.
Now you are ready to write the grant!
• Who is going to write the proposal?
Select a designated person who will write, compile the documentation and manage the writing process. This individual must be detail oriented, a good writer, highly organized and have adequate time to prepare the grant, collect the supporting documents and meet the deadline. If a capable person exists within your organization, select her to prepare the proposal. If such an individual is not available inside your organization, consider hiring a grant writer.
• Things to consider when hiring a freelance grant writer
To write a good proposal, a freelance grant writer will have to be brought up to speed about your organization, the program you want funded and the issue(s) you are addressing. This step will require an investment of your time, as well as, the time of the grant writer. If possible, try to find a freelancer, who has experience in your specific field. Finding a writer with specific experience may reduce the amount of time needed to fully understand your organization.
If you chose to engage a professional grant writer, be prepared to discuss the needed services in detail and to be charged the going rate.
• Why are grant writers expensive?
Excellent proposals require close attention to details, accuracy and concise writing skills. Good grant writers create strong proposals that present a compelling reason for award. The going rate can vary. When selecting a grant writer, keep this in mind; “It is never wise to pay too much, but it can be problematic and very wasteful to pay to little.” Most importantly, hire a good grant writer at a fair price.
• Good contract, good business
As always, have a written contract that describes the scope of the work to be done. Today most submissions, (the grants, the supporting documents and financial statements) are submitted electronically. In the contract determine the number of drafts, who is responsibility for collecting the supporting documents, who (what, where, how) is responsible for the approval process, the date of the final review, who is responsible for the final review and who will “push the submit button”.
The agreement should also include the fee for service and any other relevant details including responsibilities for sharing information, expenses for preparation of the application and the submission.
Grants are awarded for specific programs or projects. Most grants do not allow reimbursement for costs incurred prior to the award. You cannot expect to pay the grant writer out of the money awarded.
Good luck and best wishes,
Believe in possibility and in yourself!