Perhaps you have considered becoming a freelance grant writer. After all, what could be more fulfilling than helping non-profit organizations secure the funding they need to do good work in the world?
As a freelance grant writer, you would be able to work from anywhere, set your own hours, and get paid to make a difference. Plus, there is always demand for grant writers, so you would never have to worry about finding work.
If you are thinking about becoming a freelance grant writer, or if you are already a freelancer who is interested in adding grant writing to your repertoire, then this blog post is for you!
How to Become a Freelance Grant Writer
What are Grants?
Grants are typically awards of money given by foundations, businesses, or government agencies to non-profit organizations for specific projects or programs. Grants generally do not have to be repaid and grant money can be used for a wide variety of purposes, such as:
- Hiring staff
- Paying for program expenses
- Purchasing supplies
- Training volunteers
- Funding research
- And much more!
Types of Grants
There are many different types of grants available. Some common types of grants include:
These are awarded by the United States federal government and can only be used for projects that fall within the scope of the government’s mission.
Examples include the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Education where grants are awarded for scientific research, healthcare, and education projects.
These grants are funded by the individual states in the U.S., and their focus can vary widely depending on the state’s priorities. For example, the California Arts Council offers grants for arts education programs.
These are awarded by private foundations and can be used for any charitable purpose. A well-known foundation grant is the Gates Foundation Grant.
What Is Grant Writing?
Grant writing is the practice of applying for funding from organizations that award grants. Grant writers typically work for nonprofits, educational institutions, and government agencies, but they may also be hired by individual researchers or businesses to write grant proposals.
The goal of grant writing is to secure funding from a granting agency to support a specific project or program, whether it’s research, a medical study, or launching a new business venture.
What Does a Grant Writer Do?
A grant writer is responsible for researching and writing persuasive proposals that will convince granting agencies to award funds to their organization. This includes developing the project idea, collecting data and evidence to support it, presenting the proposal in an organized and compelling manner, and submitting the proposal to a granting agency.
Additionally, grant writers often follow up with agencies after a proposal has been submitted in order to provide additional information or answer any questions they may have.
The role of a grant writer is highly specialized, as they must be well-versed in both writing skills and the particular field for which they are applying for funding.
Grant writing can be a complex and time-consuming process, but it can also be extremely gratifying. Securing funding for a worthwhile project or program can make a significant difference in the lives of those served by the funded organization. For many grant writers, the satisfaction comes not only from helping others, but also from knowing that their work has made a tangible difference in the world.
Benefits of Becoming a Freelance Grant Writer
As a freelance grant writer, you have the potential to make a real difference in the world. Grant writers play an important role in securing funding for vital programs and initiatives, and they can have a direct impact on the communities they serve.
When you become a freelance grant writer, you can choose to work with the organizations that mean the most to you, and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that your work is making a positive difference.
In addition to the personal fulfillment that comes from grant writing, freelancers also enjoy a number of other benefits. Freelance grant writers are typically their own boss, which means they can set their own hours and work from home if they desire.
They also have the potential to earn a good income; according to The Balance Careers, the average grant writer earns $48,000 per year. If you’re looking for a way to use your talents to make a difference in the world, becoming a freelance grant writer may be the perfect fit for you.
Last but not least, becoming a freelance grant writer can open up a world of possibilities for networking and professional growth. Working with different organizations, you’ll have the opportunity to gain valuable insights into various industries and meet interesting people who can help further your career.
In short, becoming a freelance grant writer can be both personally rewarding and professionally advantageous.
How to Become a Freelance Grant Writer
If you’re looking to make a difference and get paid to do it, then a career in grant writing may be for you.
Skills and Education You’ll Need
First, although some experience in writing is helpful, it’s not necessary to have a degree in English or journalism to be a successful grant writer. What’s most important is that you have excellent research skills and are able to write clearly and concisely.
Additionally, it’s helpful to be familiar with the format and requirements of grant proposals, as well as the deadlines associated with them.
For this reason, many aspiring grant writers pursue a professional certificate in grant writing. Many universities or organizations offer these programs either online or in-person. Taking courses or workshops on grant writing can help you gain an understanding of the field and hone your skills as a grant writer.
Have Strong Research and Writing Skills
As a freelance grant writer, you must be able to identify potential funding sources and craft proposals that align with the goals of both the funding organization and the proposed project.
You must also have a working knowledge of budgets and financial reporting requirements. Successful grant proposals typically include a detailed budget that outlines how the funds will be used.
Thus, having a good understanding of financial documents and spreadsheets is essential.
Network and Build Your Portfolio
Once you have acquired the necessary skills, the next step is to start building your portfolio of clients. You can do this by attending relevant industry events and conferences, as well as reaching out to organizations and companies in your local area.
It’s also a good idea to have your own website to promote your services and showcase your grant writing portfolio. An SEO-optimized website can also help you to get more clients and build your visibility.
Finally, you should consider joining professional membership organizations such as the Grants Professionals Association or the Foundation Center. These organizations provide access to resources and training opportunities that can help grant writers stay up-to-date on best practices in the field.
Perform Your Management Skills
Although many freelance grant writers work independently, others work for organizations that provide funding for various causes. Therefore, if you’re looking to work for an organization, you should be willing and able to manage projects and coordinate with other staff members.
Additionally, grant writers must often collaborate with others when crafting proposals and ensuring that all the necessary information is included. As a result, having strong organizational and communication skills is essential for any grant writer.
Find Freelance Grant Writing Opportunities
Once you have the necessary skills, the next-and-of-course-most-important step is to find freelance grant writing opportunities.
One way to do this is by researching potential organizations or programs that may be in need of funding. It’s important to research both local and national organizations, as well as government-funded programs that may have grant-writing opportunities available.
You can also reach out to grant-making foundations or create a profile on job boards and freelancing platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr. These sites may help you find grant-related jobs quickly and efficiently, although I personally will NOT recommend these two platforms due toits nature of “low-paying” jobs.
Ultimately, having your own website to showcase your skills and portfolio will be the best way to attract potential clients. It’s your house to show them what you can do, and to make it easier for them to reach out to you.
Keep Learning and Growing in the Field
The grant writing field is constantly changing and evolving, so it’s important to keep up with any new trends or changes.
Networking is also key when it comes to staying on top of the latest news and developments in the field. Attending conferences and webinars, as well as joining relevant online communities such as LinkedIn, can help you build relationships with other professionals in the industry and stay updated on trends.
Finally, make sure to keep honing your skills and expanding your knowledge. The more experience you have researching potential funding sources and crafting compelling proposals, the better chance you’ll have at being successful in the field of grant writing.
Tips for Succeeding as a Freelance Grant Writer
As a freelance grant writer, there are a few key things you can do to set yourself up for success.
First, make sure you have a strong understanding of the grant-writing process. This means knowing how to research potential funders, develop compelling proposals, and track deadlines.
Additionally, it’s important to be a good communicator and have strong writing skills. After all, your job is to convince strangers to give you money for good causes! Therefore, you need to be able to explain why funding should be given in a clear, concise, and persuasive manner.
In addition to these hard skills, it’s also critical to be organized and self-motivated, as you’ll be working independently most of the time. And of course, even when you work for nonprofit organizations or any other kind of employer, you’ll still need to be able to manage your time and prioritize tasks in order to stay on top of deadlines.
Finally, make sure to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and resources in the field by attending conferences and workshops, joining online communities such as LinkedIn, and following trusted experts on social media. Doing so will help you stay ahead in the game and give you a better chance of success.
Resources for Freelance Grant Writers
If you’re a freelance grant writer, you know how important it is to stay up-to-date on the latest resources and tools. After all, the more knowledgeable you are about the grants process, the more likely you are to secure funding for your clients. To that end, here are some of the best resources for freelance grant writers:
The Foundation Center
The Foundation Center is a comprehensive resource for information on philanthropy, fundraising, and grantmaking. They offer an online database of over 990,000 foundations and corporate giving programs, as well as a wide variety of educational resources.
Grants.gov is the online portal for federal grant opportunities. It’s a great place to search for open grants, as well as get information on upcoming deadlines and eligibility requirements.
Philanthropy News Digest
Philanthropy News Digest is an online publication of the Foundation Center. It provides timely news and information on philanthropy, fundraising, and grantmaking. In addition to original articles, they also offer a grant opportunity database and calendar of events.
If you’re looking to stay ahead of the curve in the grants world, these are three essential resources for you. Stay informed and keep your clients’ funding goals top of mind, and you’re sure to be successful in your freelance grant writing career.
Become a WAHM Freelance Grant Writer
If you’re a work-at-home mom who wants to get ahead in her career, becoming a freelance grant writer is a great way for you to achieve your goals. This type of work offers the flexibility and freedom to set your own hours and take on projects that you are passionate about. Plus, it’s a growing field with lots of opportunity for advancement.
As a WAHM freelance grant writer, you’ll be able to take on projects from nonprofits, government agencies, and private companies. You’ll need to be knowledgeable about the grant-writing process, have strong writing skills, and be organized and self-motivated—those are skills that any WAHM can and will develop over time.
If you’re ready to start your career as a WAHM freelance grant writer, here are some tips to get you started:
- Take advantage of training opportunities. There are many online courses and workshops that will help teach you the ins and outs of becoming a successful grant writer.
- Learn the basics of grant writing. Familiarize yourself with the various types of grants and organizations that offer them. Understand what information should be included in a proposal, and research potential funders to determine which are the most likely to approve your request.
- Build relationships with granting organizations. Reach out to local organizations that provide funding for projects similar to yours. Connect with them on social media, attend their events, and inquire about any potential opportunities.
- Create a portfolio of your writing work. Start collecting samples of your work so that when you’re ready to apply for grants, you’ll have the materials you need to show off your skills.
- Develop an online presence. Use websites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and even YouTube to share your interests and accomplishments. This will help you make connections with potential funders and showcase your expertise as a grant writer.
- Start applying for grants. Begin by targeting smaller grants that are more likely to be approved. As you gain experience, apply for larger grants with higher payouts. Be sure to follow the grant guidelines carefully and submit all required materials.
Becoming a WAHM freelance grant writer is an exciting way to make money while working from home. With the right training and dedication, you can become an expert in your field and help many organizations achieve their goals, which will turn out to be beneficial for you in the long run.
Becoming a freelance grant writer is a great way to make money from your writing skill, and, at the same time, help out various organizations in need of funding.
The resources above provide a starting point to get you up to speed on the grant writing process, and by following the tips outlined here, you’ll be able to take your career as a freelance grant writer to the next level!