by Lisa Jo Rudy
Answer: it sounds a whole lot harder than it is.
If you can think in a straight line and follow a set of written guidelines, you’ll probably do just fine as a grant writer. Of course, you’ll want to hit the deadlines, fill in all the blanks, and be sure you’re writing the correct number of words in the right font.
Outside of that, there are just a few keys to success.
* Make it absolutely clear to your client that you are a writer, not
an accountant. No, you don’t do budgets or money management!
* Know the difference between a marketing piece and a grant
proposal. Tearjerker tales (if not for X non-profit, little Janey
would have DIED) have no place in a grant.
* Be specific. Not good: Y non-profit reaches many people with
wonderful programs. Good: Y non-profit reaches 20,000 children
each year with programs that improve both grades and fitness.
Best: Though Y’s programs, 20,000 children per year improve their
grades by an average of a full grade.
* Be positive – but make no promises. You can tell the client their
program is terrific, but never promise them the grant before it’s
Oh – about your pay: again, no commissions! My suggestion: agree on a project fee based on an hourly rate and your best guess of how long the project will take. Then get paid half up front, and half upon final submission.nb