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Start a Freelance Grant Writing Business | Freelance Sprout | Find, Start, and Grow Your Dream Freelance Business
Read the six part series on creating a freelance business plan
 

Start a Freelance Grant Writing Business

Date February 6, 2008


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When I hear the word grant money, I instinctively think of that crazy guy jumping around in a suit spackled with question marks spouting about all the cash the government can’t wait to throw your way.

But, grant writing can be a lucrative opportunity. And, for all those who aren’t interested in writing for the corporate sector, you’ll be glad to know that grant writing is 99% non-profit.

 According to Preethi Burkholder in her new book Start Your Own Grant Writing Business, “Skilled grant writers are one of the most in-demand professionals today. Prompted by the increasing demand to find new sources of funding, nonprofit agencies are always looking for help…”

Of course, the more success you have in winning grants, the more you can charge. From research, hourly rates are all over the place. I saw rates as low as $20 per hour all the way up to $150 per hour.

Other grant writers—those very confident in their abilities—charge a percentage of the total grant awarded. The writer gets paid from 1 to 5% of the total grant but only if and when it gets awarded.

Grants are awarded to individuals, non-profit organizations and (occasionally) to corporations. While the majority of grants are given out by the government, they’re also the most competitive. Burkholder recommends researching overlooked grant areas such as private foundations and individuals.

To break into this field, you either need prior experience or, lacking that, you may have to work as a volunteer in a nonprofit organization.

Grant writing is a cross between creative copywriting—trying to convince funders to part with their money—and objective, logical prose. You have to be persuasive without hype or jargon.

The great part about being a grant writer is that you can work from anywhere. Once you build experience, you’ll be able to write from home or the local cafe if you choose.

Once you’ve written a few winning proposals, you’ll be able to offer workshops and training to other potential grant writers or nonprofit organizations.

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