If you love writing and want to know how to become a grant writer to make money, this article is a must-read.

It reveals a lot of helpful tips on exactly how to become a grant writer and best ways for really earning money writing grants.


Why Become a Grant Writer?

Why not, right?

Especially if you have the love and/or talent for writing.

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Not for profits play a critical role in our community.

Through community support, they can provide for the basic needs of the underserved in their community.

Examples of that service can include food, utility assistance, emergency shelters, clothing, hospice care, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and so much more.

Any basic life service that you can think about that an individual requires is made available to individuals who do not have the financial resources to care for themselves.

Not for profits depend upon the charitable contributions of a generous community.

Those donations include the giving of money, items that can be given to individuals or sold with the money going to provide support, corporate donations, special events, etc.

Another major line item to a not for profits budget is the writing, submission, and successful awarding of grants.

Sometimes these grants are written to offset operational support while sometimes grants are written to start new programs that meet a specific need of those individuals that are served.


22 Ways/Tips to Help You Become a Grant Writer and Make Money


1. Know all Being a Grant Writer

A grant writer is either an employee or someone whose service is utilized on a contract basis.

Their primary responsibility is to be well acquainted with the not-for-profit and what the agency accomplishes.

The needed research would include the organization’s history, the services they offer, the effectiveness of the programs, funding sources, the mission and vision of the agency, etc.

The grant writer will meld all this information together and begin to research which grants might be available out in the community.

The granting entities may be either local, regional, or national level.

It is up to the grant writer to write the proposal and others on how the successful grant money will be administered.


2. Know the Professional Requirements

The person aspiring to be a grant writer should have certain professional requirements in place.

They should have the ability to be precise and detail oriented.

These qualities are necessary because the grant needs to be succinct in its writing and be able to reflect the passion of the agency and request money to touch and change the lives of people.

The grant writer should have excellent writing skills and be able to capture the history, vision, goals, and objectives of the organization.

The aspiring grant writer should also be detail-oriented because a number of the grants require specific information.

It is important to provide this information to ensure a complete package and not be declined due to insufficient data or documentation.


3. Know What a Grant Writer Does

A quality grant writer will be able to explain to the grantor what the program or purpose of the grant is through clear and concise written language.

The grant writer should be logical in their writing approach and be able to identify the challenge, explain the agency’s ability to meet the challenge, and compel the grantor to participate by being a stakeholder in the solution.

In essence, they will be taking an idea and sharing that idea through words to gain possible financial support.


4. Get the Right Formal Training

The first training that a potential grant writer can engage in is to go through formal training.

That would include attending a university or college and possibly majoring in a writing degree, business degree, financial development degree, etc.

In addition to getting a degree, it would be recommended that they take courses that are specific to becoming a grant writer.

These courses can be accomplished online or through various seminars or courses held in the community.


5. Other Method 

The other method of becoming a grant writer is by jumping in at the deep end of the pool and learning how to write grants.

There are resources in the community that can be taken advantage of such as joining an association known as NSFRE (National Society of Fund Raising Executives).

Also, in most communities, there is a community foundation that will provide resources such as books, networking, etc.


Researching Grants


6. Searching for Grants

One of the critical components in realizing a successful grant is finding out which foundation or granting entity is available for your grant.

The reality is you just can’t write a grant and send it off to any foundation or company in hopes that they will fund your proposal.

The focus is clear of companies and foundations as to what programs and causes they wish to support.

As a grant writer, it is your responsibility to find out what they will fund and whether that is something that falls within the purview of the organization.

For example, if the mission of a foundation is to provide educational support for underserved children and you do not operate such a program then it would be a futile effort to submit a grant to them because that doesn’t align with their mission.

When searching for possible grants to submit to a company or foundation, the individual can go to an organization’s webpage and find submission guidelines in requesting money.

Often, the submission requirements include certain topics or subjects to be addressed which could include what the funding will be used for, whether it is a startup project, what sort of benchmarks will be in place to monitor the success of the program, the goal and mission of the organization, objectives, etc.

Also, a foundation will request supplemental information which can include the list of the members of the leadership board, financial statements, certification of being a 501(c) (3), management team, and more.

Related: Best Websites and Sources for Getting Grants For Single Mothers.


7. Searching

Another way to locate a grant is to conduct a word search utilizing a search engine and use keywords.

The keywords could be grants, foundations, etc. Once a return on that search is made on your screen a listing of the internet sites of foundations will appear.


8. Public Library or Community Foundation

Other resources that the grant writer can access are their public library or community foundation.

Often these resources provide digital access to the researcher which may provide a listing of foundations that match the intent and purpose of the grant being written.


9. Directory

Also, there are specific foundation websites that provide the name of the foundation, where they are located, their assets, the average amount of grants disbursed, etc.

Some may provide access to this information at no cost while others require registration and/or payment to research this information.

One such site is https://fconline.foundationcenter.org/.


10. 990

As a grant writer, the real “nuts and bolts” of what information you wish to see is the foundation’s tax filing or their 990.

Within these tax forms is significant and public information that includes what grants were awarded and to whom.

This is great information as you will be able to identify what programs resonate with the foundation’s vision and mission and what are the amounts of the awarded grant.

One such website can be accessed here to see the 990s of various foundations.



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11. Searching Companies Giving Requirements

Another method of looking for foundational support is by researching various companies to find out what their contribution requirements are.

Many companies have set up a foundation and on their page, you as the grant writer can look under community support and find such a link that will specify what they fund and what is required to submit a funding request.


Types of Grants


12. Operational 

There are many types of grants that can be written.

One of those types of grants is requesting to a granting entity money that can be used for day-to-day operations.

Of all of the categories, this is probably the most difficult due to the reality that foundations and companies are reticent about providing operational support.

Unfortunately, this is most likely the greatest need for a not-for-profit.

It is important, therefore, that you identify whether the grant that you are writing is for this purpose and maintain your expectations accordingly.


13. New Program 

A new program grant is a powerful grant that can be written because your agency has identified a need in the community that is not being addressed and your agency has the history, skill set, and other resources to make this program happen to meet the challenge.

With this grant, you are requesting support for the program by possibly using the money for training, purchase of equipment, etc. to make the program work.


14. Building

Another type of grant that can be written is for bricks and mortar.

This grant typically asks for money to invest in a capital campaign in the building of a new facility, remodeling, or another type of structure.

A wise grant writer will certainly want to add to their narrative something to the effect of the annex or building wing being named after the foundation as a major contributor.


15. Equipment

An equipment grant is requesting monies to purchase specific types of equipment that are not in the operational budget nor are there any assets to make this purchase happen.

An equipment grant could include a kitchen stove to be placed in a community kitchen that feeds the homeless, purchase of a vehicle, HVAC system, etc.




16. Federal

One type of grant is a federal grant.

With a federal grant, there is generally a significant amount of paperwork and documentation that needs to be provided.

Also, being federal money, there is considerable oversight as to how the money is expended.

If you receive a certain level of money, it automatically will involve a formal audit as required by the government.


17. Corporate 

Some corporations and businesses also provide grants.

Sometimes these grants are given monetarily, and some grants are given in the form of the products that they provide to the community.

For example, if you approached Microsoft for a grant, they may not provide money, but they may provide computers, setting up a network system, software, etc.

Again, it is dependent upon the purpose of the grant and what successful accomplishment looks like.


18. Private 

In the mix of grantors are private foundations or family foundations.

These foundations have generally been set up to manage the assets of an individual who was prominent in their community, made their wealth, and now have set up a private foundation to give back to their community by providing grants.

These are excellent candidates for receiving money because they commit to giving back to their community and helping support the community that supported them.

In other words, they are invested.


19. Community Foundation 

Another foundation option to apply to is a community foundation.

A community foundation resides in a particular community and is generally comprised of several estates, trusts, and individuals who have provided or invested their assets in the community foundation to manage.

Additionally, the community foundation entertains applications from community agencies to help others and support the community as well.

The community foundation is charged with properly managing and investing the assets that have been provided to them.


Maintain Relationships


20. Reports 

Once the grant writer is successful and receives an award for their agency, it is important to remember to report back to the granting entity how that money has been utilized, how it has affected the lives of others, and any other information that you wish to present as well or what is required by the foundation.

This process should have been written in the grant as to how the successful awarding of the money would be managed and how the agency would be held accountable for the proper use of the money.


21. Relationship 

It is important to remember that people give to people.

Therefore, in reaching out to the foundation or company, you have started establishing a relationship.

It is important to maintain and cultivate that relationship.

Even though you have the money in hand, newsletters or other informal and formal correspondence must be sent to the foundation to maintain that relationship and allow the grantor to know what is continuing to happen in your community.


22. Getting Paid

If you have been hired to be a grant writer and are on staff, you should be able to command a good hourly salary.

A quality grant writer is worth their weight in gold as it relates to obtaining grants.

Another option for a grant writer to be involved with an agency is through a contract.

The contract can be at an hourly wage, and you should be offered a good wage based on the number of hours you devote to the contract through your writing, researching, and submission of the grant.




How Much Does a Grant Writer Earn?

A grant writer can earn anywhere from $20 per hour up to $150 per hour and is dependent upon their experience.

The median average for a grant writer ranges anywhere from $30-$75 per hour


Is It Best to Hire a Grant Writer or Work With the Contract?

Depending upon how aggressive the agency is going to be in pursuing grants, is dependent upon the route you should go in utilizing a grant writer.

If you hire a grant writer as a staff member, you will be paying them an hourly wage as well as benefits.

Whereas, if you utilize a grant writer on a contract basis and have them write grants as needed, this may be a better use of the money.


You Can Do It

Being a grant writer is a challenging occupation.

It takes a blend of being a sleuth in identifying granting organizations that will resonate with what your agency does as well as utilizing the powerful medium of the written word.

You are helping others by raising monies through grants.

Don’t be discouraged.

It is just a matter of persevering and even if the foundation says no, it doesn’t mean that it is no the next time when an application is submitted.



Being a grant writer is an extremely rewarding profession.

Not only do you get to utilize your skills as an excellent writer, but you have the opportunity to utilize research skills towards the achievement of getting successfully funded.

The satisfaction comes in knowing that your hard work in obtaining money is adding to the quality of lives in others.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

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Apart from being a seasoned Personal Finance expert who has written for top publications around the world, I bring significant personal financial experience. Long story short... through bad financial choices... I found myself $100,000 plus in debt. I was able to dissolve this indebtedness and regain financial solvency. This financial turn around was accomplished through reading, studying and implementing a financial plan. My financial plan included paying down my debt through budgeting, being cognizant of where my financial resources were being spent, changing my attitude about money and understanding the binding chains of the improper use of credit. Today, and for 10 years, I have been debt free and have invested wisely to enjoy my current retirement. This is allowing me to write to help others make, save and grow money wisely!