Finding your position in the freelance grant writing market is challenging. You have to compete with several other applicants.
You need to manage your business as a freelancer by offering unique services to distinguish yourself.
The good news is that you don’t need to have grant writing experience to break into the industry.
Having excellent writing, communication, and research skills can propel your chances of earning a spot in the grant writing industry.
Aside from that, you can have budgeting or public policy experience that’ll push you into the grant writing business as well.
We’ll discuss what it takes to be a freelance grant writer. You’ll also understand the role’s income details and how you can get a gig.
- What Is a Freelance Grant Writer?
- What Does a Freelance Grant Writer Do?
- Top Freelance Grant Writer Jobs and Careers
- What It’s Like to Be a Freelance Grant Writer
- Do Freelance Grant Writers Make Good Money?
- Requirements, Skills, and Education Required for Freelance Grant Writers
- How to Become a Freelance Grant Writer
- Similar Careers to Check Out
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
What Is a Freelance Grant Writer?
As a freelance grant writer, your prime responsibility is to create a winning grant funding proposal for businesses requesting grants from a public or private organization. The role falls in a niche category in the freelance writing industry.
When writing the grant, you could be assisting multiple types of clients. They could stem from the education or public policy sector. You may also offer your services to charitable and animal welfare organizations.
In most cases, you’ll likely target small businesses and startups hoping to kickstart their organization with additional funding.
What Does a Freelance Grant Writer Do?
Freelance grant writers devote their working hours to extensive research that’ll allow their clients to secure a grant request.
Your client may already have a rough draft, and they’ll ask for editing services.
Research-wise, freelance grant writers locate potential funding sources from governmental or non-governmental providers.
They collaborate with project managers to finalize a budget, funding intent, and goals. Lastly, they submit their work to the grant providers.
What Does a Freelance Grant Writer Usually Focus On?
A freelance grant writer’s focus comes from the industry they’re working in. For instance, they could exclusively provide funding proposals for non-profit companies or startups.
That way, they’re more familiar with some funding sources and crafting a successful letter of intent. Freelance grant writers can also produce cover letters, letters of endorsement, and project narratives.
Freelance Grant Writer Job Description
Due to the job’s diverse clientele, you’ll likely find varied job descriptions. In most scenarios, a successful grant writer will:
- Research the company’s goals, objectives, mission, and vision to establish a matching voice.
- Craft a persuasive funding proposal.
- Communicate with the organization’s project managers and finance department to determine necessary funding requirements.
- Search for grant provider opportunities in governmental and non-governmental sectors.
- Answer queries submitted externally and internally regarding the grant.
- Establish professional relationships with public and private grant providers.
Top Freelance Grant Writer Jobs and Careers
The freelance grant writing business holds plenty of opportunities in several departments. When becoming a grant writer, you can choose between
- Education Grant Writer: Schools and higher education facilities consistently search for funding sources to finance a project or purchase more resources, such as books and technology. Your role is to address relevant stakeholders and seek the required amount.
- Business Grant Writer: Small business grants are essential to startups looking for a head start. The role requires you to research the industry’s requirements and resources to dictate the business’ funding needs.
- General Non-Profit Grant Writer: Rather than stick to a niche in the grant writing market, you can market yourself as a general non-profit writer. Nevertheless, it’ll require additional research if you approach an industry you know little about.
Where Can a Freelance Grant Writer Work?
Freelance grant writers can work at:
- Animal welfare facilities
- Local government agencies
What It’s Like to Be a Freelance Grant Writer
Working as a freelance writer comes with a range of responsibilities.
Your workday will likely start with researching viable grant providers for your client’s organization. It’ll involve reviewing the grant’s guidelines, requirements, and funding amount.
Then, you’ll dedicate most of your time to proposal writing and creating the ideal funding strategy. Each draft sent needs to align with the grant provider’s requirements. You’ll need to cater your points to persuade them.
Afterward, you’ll review ongoing grant submissions and follow up with grant providers. The task necessitates effective external and internal company communication between board members, company heads, and funding organizations.
Is Being a Freelance Grant Writer Hard?
Freelance grant writing is a challenging role. It requires several skills, like researching, interpersonal, networking, and persuasive writing. Besides that, winning a grant isn’t an everyday occurrence.
On top of that, the freelance aspect makes it more challenging to search for a role and market yourself. Overall, breaking into the industry will require lots of patience.
Is a Freelance Grant Writer’s Job Stressful?
The job’s role is multifaceted, making it stressful for multiple people. Think of it this way: you’re trying to stand out among a sea of applicants vying for the same funds. Your chances of securing a grant are around one in ten.
Additional stress comes from approaching stakeholders and making a successful first impression. Creating these networks is essential for your credibility among employers.
The job’s stresses can come from:
- High competition
- Establishing and maintaining beneficial relationships with providers
- Studying the company’s vision and goals
- Formulating a budget requirement
Common Freelance Grant Writer Work Day
Your typical workday can consist of:
- Researching the organization’s mission and objective
- Communicating with internal stakeholders to create a budget
- Creating a proposal based on research of company and grant provider guidelines
- Communicating with company leaders and funding sources
Freelance Grant Writer Tasks & Duties
Freelance grant writers carry plenty of responsibility. Initially, they need to contact companies and offer their services.
Once they receive a gig, the research begins. They’ll need to gain knowledge of why the organization needs the funds, how they’ll spend it, and their values and mission.
Next, the freelance writers will thoroughly analyze potential funding sources and formulate compelling statements that’ll reflect the provider’s interests.
After submission, grant writers should monitor the application status while managing other proposal writings.
Freelance Grant Writer Work Hours & Schedule
As a freelance role, grant writers work flexible hours. You can expect to push around 20 to 40 hours per month. Scheduling is up to your lifestyle choices.
Does This Career Field Embrace Work/Life Balance?
Working as a freelance grant writer will allow you to embrace a healthy work-life balance. You don’t have to work for set hours or a standard nine-to-five, giving you ample time to explore other careers.
Do Freelance Grant Writers Make Good Money?
Freelance grant writing has good money potential. It usually depends on the number of projects you work for.
One grant can take around six to eight weeks to complete. Not only will you be writing, but gathering documents and researching also take up time.
That said, if you charge an hourly $20 to $40 rate, depending on your experience, you can gain a decent salary. Some professional grant writer jobs can charge $100.
How Much Do Freelance Grant Writers Make?
How Do Freelance Grant Writers Get Paid?
Freelance grant writers can get paid through hourly or monthly retainers. You can also opt for project-based payments.
The amount depends on their experience level. The freelance writers can invoice their clients or set up an online payment channel to receive their salary.
Besides that, it’s worth noting that grant writers don’t get a percentage or commission fee from the grant money.
Requirements, Skills, and Education Required for Freelance Grant Writers
After knowing what the job entails, you’ll want to know what it takes to become a freelance grant writer. The role requires specific skill sets and educational background to get into the field.
Who Should Consider a Freelance Grant Writer Career Path?
Grant writing is a suitable career path if you’re an impeccable persuasive writer with top-notch communication skills.
You can consider the role if you’re detail-oriented and research-driven. Plus, you might want to work for a cause such as animal welfare.
Who Should NOT Consider a Freelance Grant Writer Career Path?
Freelance grant writing won’t give you as much satisfaction as a typical writing role because you’re working behind the scenes. Your contributions won’t be as well-recognized due to the multiple other team members working on the document with you.
For this reason, avoid grant writing if you’re motivated by recognition and creating work that is exclusively yours.
Plus, the role doesn’t offer much career growth. If you’re hoping to jump as a manager for a non-profit, grant writing won’t get you there as much as being an assistant project facilitator would.
Is It Hard to Become a Freelance Grant Writer?
Becoming a freelance grant writer can be more challenging for those lacking in research, communication, networking, and writing skills. The grant writing process will require these skills.
Entering the market through online platforms and marketing your business will likely take time as you build credibility. Once you complete two to three projects, other organizations can better trust your service.
What Do I Need to Become a Freelance Grant Writer?
Skill-wise, freelance grant writing requires exceptional writing and collaborative skills. You need to master storytelling to distinguish your application from hundreds. Grant writers also need to have reliable networks of potential clients and funders.
Requirements for Becoming a Freelance Grant Writer
Requirements of freelance grant writers vary based on the niche you’re targeting. For instance, if you’re assisting a school, extensive background knowledge of education stakeholders and resources is beneficial.
Meanwhile, a business freelance grant writer should study the company’s funding requirements and values. They need to understand why the business chose a grant alternative to a loan.
What Skills Does a Freelance Grant Writer Need?
The skills of a freelance grant writer include:
Freelance grant writing doesn’t necessitate a formal education, but earning one will increase your chances of landing a project. A bachelor’s degree in creative writing, communication, or journalism is sufficient.
You can opt for certification, such as the one offered by the American Association of Grant Writers.
You don’t need exclusive grant writing experience to work in the field. You can start with experience from other departments, such as budgeting, communications, and fundraising.
We suggest gaining experience from entry-level pro-bono positions or internships in non-profit organizations. You can also initiate a networking system among grant writers, which will allow you to better understand its responsibilities.
How to Become a Freelance Grant Writer
Whether it’s for the flexible work-hour benefits or your passion for a non-profit cause, freelance grant writing offers several advantages.
Becoming one requires skills such as writing compelling proposals and communicating effectively with grant providers. Now, entering the grant writing market will require a lot of time, dedication, self-motivation, and marketing.
Where to Find Freelance Grant Writer Opportunities
When finding a grant writing job, you’ll need to advertise your services via several platforms, such as.
- Upwork: After creating your profile on Upwork, you can specify what field of grant writing you specialize in. You’ll find several titles like “Grant Writer for Non-profit Childcare Center.”
- Fiverr: Create an account and post your relevant experience to attract organizations. You can also search for projects to work on.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn allows you to filter through contract-based grant writing gigs in your area. You’ll find roles from different departments, such as education and health.
Applying for the Gig(s)
After creating a profile on a platform as your prime advertising channel, it’s time to apply. Now, on top of all your job listings on online platforms, you can seek organizations directly, especially the ones you’re passionate about.
For example, if you’re interested in working for a child welfare organization, you can submit your resume to groups like “Bridge for Youth” or “Buckner International.”
We suggest creating a list of all the organizations you’d like to work for and integrating them into your funding strategy.
What Is a Funding Strategy?
A funding strategy is a visual of all the grant requests you’ll pursue. You’ll want to include a schedule with deadlines for each proposal.
You can secure between three to five grant contracts in a 12 to 18-month period. We recommend using grant databases like Instrumentl and GrantScape when searching for opportunities.
Interviewing for the Gig(s)
After applying for gigs and getting a callback, you’ll need to adequately prepare for your interview.
Interview preparations involve researching the company’s values, goals, and funding requirements. We suggest bringing a writing sample along with you.
Once you’ve gained enough knowledge about the role’s job description, create a list of questions. Not only will they help you better understand the position, but you’ll also seem better prepared and engaged in the interview.
How Do I Prepare For Freelance Grant Writer Gig(s)
You’ve received the offer and task description. The first thing you want to do is create a timeline of all the deadlines needed.You can divide the tasks. The initial objective can revolve around company research and what the funds will be used for.
You’ll then want to create a list of potential funders and devise methods to appeal for a grant.
Next, collaborate with the finance department to formulate the amount requested.
Overall, the roadmap can stretch as long as eight weeks. It’ll allow you to become more organized and manage your time efficiently throughout the project.
Similar Careers to Check Out
Rather than deal with all the extensive networking requirements of a grant writer, you can opt for other freelance positions.
- Freelance Writer: The writing gig allows you to explore various industries through content creation in website portals, social media channels, and press releases.
- Freelance Teacher: The teaching job allows you to work in one or two schools and get paid at an hourly or per-class rate.
- Freelance Accountant: With freelance accounting, you get to provide your service to specific clients rather than work for a specialized accounting firm or company.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Grant Writers in Demand?
Grant writing is in demand. Organizations are consistently searching for methods of financing their business. The more versatile your writing niches, the more in demand you become.
For instance, if you’re a skilled technical and persuasive writer in the health and education sector, you’ll likely get more offers.
How Many Hours Does It Take to Write a Grant?
It depends on the project you’re working on. A foundation grant can take 30 to 50 hours. A higher-level state grant may need 60 to 80 hours.
Federal grants can consume over 120 hours of your time. These hours are usually stretched to six to eight weeks.
Freelance grant writing offers an exceptional opportunity for networking with non-profit organizations.
You get to work for a cause and advance your professional writing and communication skills.
The difficult part is starting your business and finding clients. You can do so by directly applying to organizations and perfecting your profile.
Once that’s over, you can plan your grant requests in a year-long timeline and start researching, writing, and building profitable relationships.
Overall, freelance grant writing is a rewarding gig worth checking out.