When Should You Hire a Grant Writer?
This is a great question that doesn’t always have a clear answer. Fortunately, there are some basic questions you can ask yourself to make the right choice.
TL;DR, If you’re new to grants, hire a grant writer, even if just for a few hours to answer your questions. In general, find the balance between your available time and money to outsource all, some, or none of the work of applying for a grant.
Is it your first time applying for a grant?
If you have experience with the grant you’re applying for, you probably don’t need help. But if it’s your first one, or your first time with a new program, you’ll likely run into issues. This isn’t a knock on your intelligence or resourcefulness. Most grants are highly bureaucratic and have illogical steps or unclear instructions. A grant writer with specific experience will know how to navigate this. A little upfront cost could save you serious time and money in the long run.
Are you short on time?
A grant application can be a lot of work, and you might not have time to do it yourself. Hiring a consultant a great way to outsource this effort, but as with any outsourcing, you shouldn’t be absent. By setting expectations and communicating with your grant writer often, you can save time and submit a competitive application.
Are you short on cash?
Just like lawyers, designers, etc., hiring a grant writer costs money. They typically charge hourly or by project, and don’t work on commission. If you have zero capital available, it’s very possible to find, write, and submit a grant yourself. Be prepared for a steep learning curve and a significant investment of time and effort.
How do you find the balance?
The most common recommendation we make is to find the balance between DIY and outsourcing. Grant writers are flexible, so make the choice that fits your budget, time, and needs. There are endless ways to adjust the equation and make it work. Don’t have much cash? Hire a grant writer for a few hours to ask questions and learn about the program. Have capital but no time? Hire a grant writer to do everything, under your approval.
Hopefully this gave you some context on if and why you should hire a grant writer. If you’re ready, search the OpenGrants Talent Finder and send a message to a grant writer who has experience in your field.