What is a Grant Writer?

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  • Written By: Cathy Rogers
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 04 March 2020
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A grant writer has many duties that involve researching and writing grant proposals for funding for a corporation, nonprofit organization, or government agency. Because this person must have a broad knowledge of what the business or organization provides, he or she must understand the program, its financial details, and where to find appropriate funding. Due to the knowledge base required, he or she may choose to specialize in a particular field, such as educational grant writing or medical grant writing.

First and foremost, a grant writer must understand the grant application process. He or she should have superior writing and grammar skills, as well as the ability to work independently and meet deadlines. Also important are an attention to detail and the ability to understand financial and budget matters.

Many of these professionals work on a freelance basis, while others work for an organization or business as a staff member. No matter which type of employment is procured, this person assembles the pertinent information from which to write the grant proposal. After a proposal is submitted, it is the writer who maintains contact with the grantor to verify that all the necessary information is supplied.


Grant writers may come from a variety of backgrounds. Many have a a degree in English or communications, or they have experience working with similar organizations in a similar capacity. Courses that are beneficial to these people include technical writing and editing classes. In the past, applying for grants was an inexact science — organizations filled out an application and then waited to see if they were successful — but now, a great deal of information is available to writers who want to give themselves an advantage in the process.

A grant writer is likely to spend a great deal of time using a computer for research and email, but he or she also needs to have excellent communication skills for visits to the clients and the grantors. Some are paid a percentage of the amount that they secure for their organization or business, but more commonly, they receive compensation by the hour or the project if a freelancer, and by salary if a full-time employee.


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Post 6

I need someone to write grants for my business. I must be looking in all the wrong places for this service. Please help. Where can I find someone who knows how to find applicable grants and then write a winning grant application?

Post 4

@ Parmnparsley- Once you have gained experience, you can find grant writer jobs on most of the online job boards. You can also check local listings in the paper, or on sites like craigslist (although there are some opportunities on this site that are nothing more than frauds).

As for pay, a grant writer with an excellent record of accomplishment will earn much more than a grant writer that is just starting out. Hourly pay can range anywhere from $20 per hour to $100 per hour. If the organization pays by the project, you can expect $800 to $5,000+ depending on experience and complexity of the grant proposal. Commission writers can expect anywhere from 1% to 5%+ depending again on the complexity, amount of time, and award amount of the grant.

Post 3

@ Parmnparsley- Grant writer qualifications will vary by organization, but there are a few guidelines. Besides a bachelor's degree in English or a related field (as the article stated), you can work towards a degree in business administration with course work in non-profit administration. You can also take courses, or seek a certificate in research writing to compliment any other humanities or liberal arts degree.

Once you have completed your educational requirements, you will need experience. Most grant writers either work for social NPOs, NPOs that specialize in the arts, and research institutions. You will most likely need to start out in some other position within an organization to understand how they work. After gaining a few years experience, you

can then seek a position writing grants.

Once you have won grants, you can add them to your resume, and build your resume up that way. They path to a career in grant writing varies, but your success will ultimately be based on grants you have won.

Post 2

How would I work my way into a grant writer career? What type of education do I need and what type of experience should I have on my resume? In addition, what type of organization hires grant writers, and where can I find these career opportunities?

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