If you have valuable writing skills and want to use them to earn a good income, consider becoming a grant writer. Grant writing offers many significant rewards, especially since you will be working for the welfare of non-profit organizations. Grant writers arrange money to help NGOs and social welfare communities for their projects and programs.
Who & How to Become a Grant Writer
Grant writers are independent professions who create proposals on behalf of NGOs, universities, schools, churches, etc., based on extensive research. They aim to raise funds or grants from various businesses and corporates for a philanthropic goal. The best perk of grant writing is that you will be writing for a cause and changing the lives of people.
A background in journalism and content writing will certainly help you in the pursuit of this career. You need an excellent command over the English language and excellent research and documentation skills, apart from creative writing, to develop successful grant proposals.
The essential tools for this job are limited to your skills and the way you utilize them. With an internet connection, a computer and a creative mind, working as a grant writer should not be a problem, even if you do it from your home.
Grant Writer Career
Grant writing can be a freelance career or a full-time job. You may choose to work with one particular client round-the-clock or work for many as a self-employed profession. The job work may slightly differ with the position. For instance, if you choose to work for a particular client, you may be required to spend time investigating different grants to apply for.
On the other hand, as a freelancer, your focus will remain only on developing the grant documentation with the provided information.
How Long Does it Take to Write a Grant
The answer depends on how many hours you spend on writing it. You can write small grants within a few days. But if it is for a more significant project, you must give yourself time for research, drafting, feedback, and revising. For the benefit of the doubt, give yourself six weeks or 60 to 80 hours to write a grant.
Grant writing salary
Grant writing is a lucrative, freelance career. However, the pay structure differs based on your position and devotion. The average yearly salary a grant writer can make is $69,577. And, an average hourly fee he can earn is $40.
Grant writing certification
Although grant-writing certification is not compulsory, you must have specific skills and qualifications in place to begin this career. Let’s see the steps involved in becoming a grant writer.
[Also Read: How To Be A Freelance Content Writer ]
How to Become a Grant Writer?
The steps for becoming a grant writer are rather relaxed and straightforward. However, you must learn specific skills, such as marketing, communication, and survival instinct, to excel in this career.
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree or Equivalent
Earning a bachelor’s degree will broaden your career horizons. If you are looking for a full-time career, gaining a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, mass communication, and social studies will help. If you don’t wish to take on a degree, you can also consider enrolling in part-time courses in related fields of study, such as journalism, print media, creative writing, English, public relations, and content marketing.
Step 2: Assess Your Skills
To survive in this career, you must develop specific non-academic skills, such as creativity, marketing and management, and interpersonal skills. You must write your grants persuasively and, therefore. Persuasion skill is essential. You have to explain to third-party granters why your clients need the money and why they deserve it.
Solid content writing, editing, and proofreading skills, apart from attention to detail, and organizational skills are also crucial for this career. Since it will be a freelance career, you would have to juggle between many tasks, which makes multitasking and time management two remarkable talents to acquire.
However, the essential skill for this career is research skills. A grant writer is accredited based on his research ability because, for each proposal you submit, you have to spend days in research and study.
Step 3: Study a Course (Optional)
Grant writing, just like story writing, is a fine art. So, apart from gaining a bachelors’ degree, you can also consider enrolling in an excellent online grant writing training program and learn more about the techniques and approaches to grant writing. Many online institutions and even some colleges and universities in the US offer certified courses in grant writing. Extensive research on the internet will help you with some quick answers.
For instance, The American Grant Writers’ Association provides certified courses in grant consulting and management and proposal writing. They are efficient but go easy on the pockets. If you have just passed out of school or college, these courses will help you hone the required skills and get your career started more effectively.
Step 4: Gain Writing Experience
Employers generally look for a minimum of 2 years of experience for all positions in grant writing, be it part-time, full time, or even a contractual one. You must also have familiarity with the industry for which you will be writing proposals. For instance, healthcare providers seek candidates who understand the healthcare industry and management. Many organizations also look for prior experience in fundraising, social work, and other non-profit services.
The best way to gain a first-hand experience is by interning, volunteering, or working in a specific industry for at least a year or two.
You can also join professional associations(1) and subscribe for membership in grant writers groups for job opportunities. Networking and attending meets, seminars, and conferences are the key to career growth and development.
The bottom line is if you have the skill, don’t let them get wasted. You may have more skills required for this career than you realize. So, give it a try and see how the career unfolds.