A contract grant writer can be hired.

The grant application process often requires a lot of time, research, and attention to detail, but a successful grant award can help your organization realize much loftier goals than it would otherwise be able to.If your organization is eligible for certain grants, federal or otherwise, and you are at the stage of organizational development that you can make a compelling case for such a grant, it is worth considering hiring a dedicated grant writer who can complete this lengthy and resource- intensive process while you focus on otherIf you can't afford to hire a full-time staff grant writer, or you simply want to try before you buy, consider the following.

Step 1: Define the project you want the grant writer to work on.

Before you begin the process of hiring a grant writer to help with your fundraising efforts, you will need to have a clear idea of the project that needs funding.The type of project dictates the grants for which your organization is eligible, which informs you of the knowledge and experience your future grant writer should possess.Community organizations have different needs than larger research institutions.Once defined, the project's size and complexity will give you an idea of the skills you will need in a grant writer.

Step 2: You can research the grant-writer market in your area.

It will be easier to set and meet your expectations if you have more information.Get an idea of what grant writers in your area charge based on the complexity of the grant proposal and the level of expertise and experience required to complete it by spending some time.If you know of other organizations that have hired grant writers in the past, ask what they paid and if they were satisfied with the work they received.Asking several organizations in your area about grant writers with different levels of skill and experience will give you a good idea of what the market looks like.Ask the professional fundraising and grant-writer affiliations in your area what the market rate is for a grant writer that matches your project's needs.If you can find a survey of salaries for professional grant writers in your region, compare these figures to the type of grant writer you need.The more prepared your organization is to begin the application process and to manage a grant writer, the less time and money the project will take.

Step 3: The grant writer has a budget.

A contract grant writer should be treated the same as any other professional consultant.It is unethical to compensate a grant writer with a contingency-pay scheme in order to get them to write an application.It is important to pay the grant writer promptly after she completes her work, without regard to when the actual grant decision is made, or the success or failure of your application.A grant writer is an investment in your organization's future, so don't be afraid to spend the money required to acquire such an asset for your team.If you already have robust fundraising efforts in place, you could direct a portion of these to finance your new grant writer.The writer's cost should be weighed against the grant amount.The grant writer will be paid hourly or per project.It is easier to control the total amount spent on the grant writer than it is to determine if your organization has any experience with writing grant applications.You have to decide which pay scheme works best for your organization.How long will you need the grant writer for?Will this be a single project or will you apply for more grants in the future?

Step 4: Ask around using your network.

Asking people you know and trust is one of the more reliable ways to find a grant writer.They would recommend any that they have worked with before.It is more likely that a grant writer will be capable, professional, and reasonable when it comes to compensation if you value someone's opinion.This can save you a lot of time and energy in the interview process, and give you some confidence in your new hire before they even say a word.If you want to know if anyone in your area has worked with a grant writer, ask them if they know of any.If someone in your network knows someone who has worked with a grant writer in the past, they can provide an indirect referral.You can ask around at organizations similar to yours that have successfully raised money for grant writers who have previously worked for them.

Step 5: You can attend a professional-fundraising networking event.

Attend a networking event for professional fundraisers in your area if you don't get any results from asking around.Even if you don't find the perfect grant writer amongst the crowd, you and your organization will still benefit from meeting like-minded individuals, expanding your own network, and learning more about the industry as a whole.There are events and conferences listed on the website of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.You can join one of these organizations to receive regular newsletters and updates, as well as access to their publications and resources.

Step 6: You can find grant writers in your area through the websites of professional fundraising and grant-writing affiliations.

If you're looking for a grant writer in this way, you don't need professional contacts or travel fees.

Step 7: There are more traditional sources for placing ads.

You can place an ad for a grant writer in local newspapers.Make sure you tell the grant writer what you expect and how much you're willing to pay.Contact information for your organization should be included.

Step 8: There are a number of potential candidates to interview.

Asking for references and work samples is important when soliciting new grant writers.The best indicator of how successful your new grant writer will be is these.A proven track record is important for more complex, technical work.If possible, you should review the previous grant applications of the prospective grant writer.If you plan to apply for federal grants, it will be helpful if your new hire has experience drafting proposals specifically in the federal context.If your organization wants to receive federal money, it will take a lot of resources to complete the process.

Step 9: Look at the writer's style.

Many pages detailing your organization's specific objectives and how it intends to meet them are required in most grant applications.Make sure the grant writer has the ability to write clearly and concisely, and that their work is free of any errors.Someone that takes pride in their work will be a good hire.

Step 10: Consider the education and experience of the writer.

It will take less time for a writer who has previously drafted grant applications in a similar field to get up to speed.

Step 11: Conduct interviews with potential candidates.

You will want to sit down with each of them and assess whether or not they meet your organization's needs after narrowing down the pool or prospective grant writers.The questions you ask during the interview should address the more intangible aspects of what makes a good grant writer.Try to get a sense of the grant writer's enthusiasm and passion for the project.A writer who cares about your organization's goals will be able to write more compellingly in order to get the funding you want.Pay attention to the questions the grant writer asks.Less time will be spent on managing them if they know more about your organization and the grant-writing process.

Step 12: Start the grant-application process by selecting a candidate.

When you choose the best grant writer from the bunch, it's a good idea to draft a contract detailing the responsibilities of both you and the writer.To establish deadlines for what needs to be done, be sure to include timelines.It's a good idea to tell the grant writer how long it will take him or her to learn about and understand your organization.The contract for which you hired the grant writer can be started once expectations have been set.Good luck in the application process!

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