How to Identify a Good Grant Writer
Finding a good grant writer may seem like an impossible task. One of the many complaints I’ve heard from non-profit organizations is the difficulty associated with finding a grant writer who is ethical. To make the process of finding an ethical grant writer much simpler, it would be wise to know what to look for. This will help you avoid a grant writer who is unethical. In this blog I discuss three ways to identify a good grant writer and determine if they are right your non-profit organization.
- Skill/Experience – A good grant writer will be able to provide you with proof that they have written grant proposals. Usually, a grant writer will not be able to show you the grant proposals they have written (for privacy reasons); however they can provide letters of recommendation. The letters of recommendation should come from past clients and those clients should be easily reachable. You should be able to call each person and speak with them about the skills and experience of the grant writer you want to hire.
- Process – Good grant writers will have an organized, well thought out process of collecting the information needed from you to write your grant proposal. This process should consist of the grant writer determining if you have the proper organizational designation, (i.e. a 501c3), for the grants that you are applying for. It should also include asking you a series of detailed questions that will enable them to develop a good understanding of the projects and/or programs that need funding. The grant writer should know everything about how your non-profit organization operates and its mission and vision and be able to put it on paper. Knowing all the details of your non-profit organization will enable them to find and apply for grant opportunities that make sense.
- Fee Structure – This is the most important aspect of finding good grant writers. Most people that approach me about finding good grant writers always want to pay fees on the backend (after the grant is awarded). However, paying grant writers out of the funds your organization is awarded by a grantmaker is considered unethical by theS Puget Sound Grant Writers Association (and other prestigious grant writer associations) for several reasons. Firstly, grantmakers frown upon commission based compensation and finder’s fees for grant writers. Most grantmakers will not provide you with funds to hire grant writers. Unethical grant writers and non-profit organizations often try to hide the grant writer fee in a line item apart of the program budget. This is considered unethical. If a grantmaker requests an audit to determine how the funds they awarded your organization was spent, they will likely find out that you used the funds to pay a grant writer. You could ruin your relationship with the grantmaker and be required to pay those funds back. The right thing to do is pay a grant writer for writing the grant proposal, upfront. Writing a grant proposal takes significant time and work. It is a service being offered. The service of writing a grant proposal is what you are paying for. You are not paying for grant funding. No grant writer on the planet can guarantee that you will win a grant. (And if they do, that is not an ethical grant writer). You have to realize that hiring grant writers and applying for a grant (that you may not win) is a risk. All businesses (whether for profit or nonprofit) come with some risk. To learn more about the how it’s unethical to pay grant writers out of the funds awarded to your non-profit organization by a grantmaker, click here to read an article by the NonProfit Times.
QT Business Solutions is a Good Grant Writer
If you need a good grant writer, you’ve come to the right place. QT Business Solutions e
embodies everything I have outlined in this blog. We can provide you with recommendations from past clients, we have developed an effective process for writing grant proposals, and we implement the ethical practice of charging a fair fee for our grant writing service. If you want to work with an experienced, organized, and ethical grant writing company, QT is right for you. Contact us today for more information.