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Hiring A Grant Writer To Tell Your Story

July 24th, 2009

Benefits of Using A Grant Writing Professional

Fresh Ideas

A grant writer illuminates your group’s good work and gets grant makers to take notice. Although your staff and Board understand your agency well, a good grant writer brings fresh ideas and a keen understanding of what funders are looking for.
A good grant writer, especially one with a wide variety of fund development and non-profit experience, will take a hard look at how you tell your story, tune-up your case for giving, and persuade funders to give to your group now.

Timely and Professional Proposals

Because staff may be consumed with the urgencies of other duties, deadlines and technical funder requirements can get overlooked. Respected grant writers know how to build deadlines in to their schedules and submit timely, accurate and complete proposal packages to make a strong case for your group. A winning grant writer demonstrates:
• Professionalism,
• A solid track record of achievements,
• An ability to meet deadlines,
• A commitment to professional development and education
• Up to date technology and software
• And, an understanding of increasingly complex funder requirements.

Wise Use of Resources

Staff costs may be higher than consulting contracts when the ongoing costs of recruiting, training, salary increases and benefits are included. Unless grants are a large part of your existing funding, your staff may not be able to put grant research, development, writing, editing and submission into their overloaded schedule. For staff, other fund raising activities often have a higher return on investment — for example, major donor cultivation. Contract grant writers can do the job your staff may not be ready or able to do right now. With contracts you have the flexibility of setting a fixed budget and can start and/or end a consulting agreement with relatively short notice.

You want to know that hiring a grant writer is the best use of your organization’s money, so you will want to consider cost as well as overall return on investment. The cost of grant writing, like the overall cost of fundraising, varies between organizations. Generally, the average Cost to Raise a Dollar (CTRD) for foundation and corporate grants is 20 cents . Grant writing costs are much lower than events with a CRTD of 50 cents and direct mail acquisition with a CTRD of $1.00 to $1.25.

A Strategic Approach

A good grant writer will customize a grants program to your budget, timeline and project scope. Whether you choose a short project or long-term arrangement, work with your grant writer to co-create a plan that gives you tangible deliverables and milestones. Some of these include:

• Research, recommendations and planned timeline to submit proposals
• Reviews of existing grants, case statements and mission/vision statement.
• A new case statement of support that includes:
o Problems/causes;
o Strategic solutions;
o Customer markets;
o Program objectives and outcomes;
o Performance measurement/verification;
o Organizational structure/systems;
o Financial/resource needs, and
o Project budget and fundraising plan.

The new case statement of support is generally the foundation document for a template proposal and a template letter of inquiry. These templates can be updated and customized as a basis for future proposals.

Strengthening Your Organization

A grant writer can help your organization submit a winning proposal. At the same time, a good grant writer can help your group recognize and develop fundable programs, those with a high likelihood of success. A few successful proposals can bring an organization much higher visibility within the philanthropic community where, understandably, success breeds success.

“If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.”
Somerset Maugham

Please call if you have any questions. I’m here to help.
Karen D’Or (707) 548-7959

Fund Development, Grant Sources, Grant Writing Resources, Non Profit Groups , , , , , ,

  1. March 7th, 2013 at 05:09 | #1

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  2. March 7th, 2013 at 05:06 | #2

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