If you have a passion for writing or have a journalism background, and you aspire to help organizations get funding for their projects, then, working as a grant writer from home may just be the perfect job for you.
Writing is very broad.
There are several writing job opportunities out there to choose from. You can work as an online content writer, an essay writer, a ghostwriter, a blogger, a copywriter, or you can opt to work as a grant writer, and the list goes on.
You see, there are, indeed, a lot of writing job opportunities. No wonder why in a report published by Statista, in 2019 alone, there were more than 45.8 thousand writers and authors working in the United States of America. The number has slightly increased from the previous year.
This year and the years to come, we won’t be surprised if the number continues to grow — especially those writers who opt to work from home.
The work from home setup has really emerged over the years. In fact, in another Statista report, from 2014 up to 2019, there were 57 million people reported doing freelance work (where the majority are working from home) in the country.
With the recent turn of events, with no definite answer when the pandemic stops, the freelance industry will surely boom, and a lot of opportunities will open up. After all, at the moment, working from home is the safest way to make a living.
Now, going back to writing job opportunities, as mentioned, there are a couple of choices to choose from. However, today, we are going to particularly focus on one – that is becoming a grant writer.
Grant writing is not your typical writing job. It requires tons of research, and the passion to help companies grow and make a difference.
So, if you think you have what it takes to be one, then, you are in the perfect place. We are going to share with you some of the most important things every aspiring grant writer needs to know.
In particular, we are going to tackle the following essential information:
- What is grant writing?
- What is a grant writer?
- What are the tasks of a grant writer?
- Who qualifies to become a grant writer?
- How much does a grant writer make?
- How to become a grant writer?
- Where to find grand writing jobs from home?
- What are the pros and cons of becoming a grant writer?
WHAT IS GRANT WRITING?
First of all, it is important to be fully knowledgeable of what grant writing is all about. Basically, what makes it different from other writing jobs?
To put it simply, grant writing refers to the practice of writing proposals on behalf of a particular client or company to be able to apply for grants from either government or non-government funding institutions. The grants are usually awarded to help certain organizations to be able to pursue a project, which could be researching, developing a new product, or providing essential needs to remote communities. Basically, any project with a purpose.
If you want to know more about grant writing, we highly recommend checking the video below by ArtReach. In this video, ArtReach education manager Irfan Ali and multi-talented youth advocate/project manager Amber Morley give a crash course on the basics of grant writing absolutely for free.
WHAT IS A GRANT WRITER?
So, you already know what grant writing is all about and how important it is to be able to reach certain goals.
Now, what is a grant writer?
The professionals who put together, rather, write the proposals are called grant writers. They are the ones who are responsible for gathering documentation and fulfill all necessary requirements set by the funding institution to be able to get funding.
As a grant writer, however, your primary role is to craft proposals that will help get funding for the client or company you are servicing for.
Unlike other types of writing, being a grant writer is crucial because the grant depends on you. Funding institutions will base their decision not only on the depth of the project but on how you, as a grant writer, was able to put everything together.
As a grant writer, you need to be able to present the need and the request in an effective manner.
In the next section, we are going to tell you more about what is expected from a grant writer, and what your tasks are as a grant writer. Let’s proceed —
WHAT ARE THE TASKS OF A GRANT WRITER?
Although a grant writer’s primary job is to write proposals, as we have mentioned earlier, generally speaking, the tasks of a grant writer vary depending on the position they work in.
For example, if you work for a single client, your task may include spending time researching grants to apply for. Meanwhile, if you work as a freelance grant writer or a work from home grant writer, your task is focused on crafting the grant paperwork required for grants your clients wish to apply for.
To give you a more thorough idea of what grant writers do, read below tasks:
- Reading and understanding of grant guidelines. – As a grant writer, it is your job to read and understand the grant guidelines before you start crafting the proposal. You have to read over information about the grant, and you have to make sure that you are following all listed rules when it comes to drafting the proposal.
- Researching grants, and making sure the client’s project fits the requirements. – The very purpose why we write proposals is to be able to receive grants or the money required to be able to do a certain project or research, etc. As a grant writer, it is your task to allot time to determine which grants are worth going after, and which ones are not. Again, you will have to base your decision on your client’s project.
- Working with clients and donors. – As a grant writer, you need to be able to communicate with your clients efficiently, at the same time answer questions in a timely manner. Apart from that, grant writers are expected to talk to prospective donors, too, on a regular basis.
- Writing effective proposals. – As mentioned, among all the tasks of a grant writer, this is the most common, and the most important of all. The grant from funding institutions will greatly depend on how you have crafted the proposal. As a grant writer, you need to ensure that your proposal is entirely based on facts. It also has to be informational, at the same time, motivational, and interesting. It has to stand out and must convince the funding institution that the proposal deserves their support — that it deserves funding.
May we just reiterate that while there are a couple of tasks mentioned, it doesn’t always mean that you are going to do all of them. Your task/s will depend entirely on the client’s needs. Thus, it is important that when you are applying for a grant writer job (work from home or not), you check the requirements first. If you’re okay with it, then proceed with your application. Otherwise, look for another opportunity.
WHO QUALIFIES TO BECOME A GRANT WRITER?
So, you already know what grant writing is all about, and what a grant writer does.
In this section, we are going to share with you the common requirements clients are looking for when looking or hiring a grant writer.
Generally, clients look for the following key skills:
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Exceptional research skills
- Excellent organizational skills
- Has the ability to understand the needs of both the client and the funding organization
- Has the capability to understand and execute complex instructions
- Outstanding computer skills
- Attention to detail
- Solid proofreading skills
Apart from skills, some clients may require experience – while grant writing experience is an advantage, most clients prefer any type of writing experience.
Meanwhile, ideally, you must also have the ability to write persuasively or are willing to learn the craft. After all, grant writing is about convincing funders to approve the proposal and provide money to be able to run the project. As a grant writer, you need to be able to explain why your client needs the money, and why your client deserves the grant approval.
HOW MUCH DOES A GRANT WRITER MAKE?
How much you make as a grant writer depends on a lot of factors like your experience and expertise, as well as the tasks you are entitled to do.
However, according to Glassdoor, currently, professional grant writers earn anywhere between $25 and $100 per hour and could make an annual average salary of $51,000 for those with beginner or intermediate experience. So, if you think about it, if you are more experienced in this field, you can definitely make more money.
Also, we would just like to reiterate that if you are working remotely or from home or as a freelance writer, you do earn based on what your goals are. As a freelancer, you can work on one or more projects depending on how much you want to make. So, if you want to earn more, you just have to work on a couple of projects with different clients (yes, that’s possible if you work independently).
HOW TO BECOME A GRANT WRITER?
At this point, we are going to share with you a guide on how to kick off your career as a grant writer. This is particularly helpful for those who want to pursue a professional grant writing career and make money out of it.
There are four easy steps to take, and these are:
STEP 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
While anyone can be a grant writer — provided you have excellent communications skills, which is one of the main requirements to be able to craft compelling grant proposals — regardless of the bachelor’s degree you earned, it would be a plus point, though, if you have coursework in mass communication, journalism, marketing, public relations, or English programs. These programs can definitely help you stand out from the rest.
STEP 2: Take Grant Writing Certificate Programs
If you are serious about pursuing a grant writing career, but you do not have enough knowledge of this, you may consider taking certificate programs instead. Some colleges and universities — depending on what state you are from — offer such courses. Normally, these courses or programs cover beginning, intermediate, and advanced proposal writing. Additionally, how to identify potential grant funding sources are also included. What’s nice about it is, some of these courses are offered online, which makes it more convenient for course-takers like you.
STEP 3: Earn Grant Writing Experience
Most employers or clients require at least two years’ work experience as a grant writer. So, if you want to up your game, you better work on acquiring as many grant writing experience as you can. You may consider volunteering or doing an internship as a grant writer in different institutions. Although, ideally, choose to work for institutions that belong to the industry where you want to pursue such a career.
STEP 4: Be Part of a Professional Association
To have access to more grant writing training and job opportunities, make sure to join in different groups for grant writers. This also allows you to widen your network not just with other grant-writing professionals, but also with potential clients.
WHERE TO FIND GRANT WRITING JOBS FROM HOME?
There are a couple of places where you can find grant writing job opportunities from home, which is good because that means you have a lot of choices to choose from. Some of the places where you can find grant writing jobs from home are:
1. Online Freelance Job Listing Sites
Like any other job out there, you can absolutely find grant writing job opportunities from home from the different job listing sites like FlexJobs, LinkedIn, Monster, Freelancer, Glassdoor, Craigslist, and many more.
To start your search, just type “grant writer” on the search box, and you will be bombarded with a lot of openings, for sure.
2. Social Media Groups
Apart from online job listing sites, another place where you can find grant writing jobs is through social media groups like Facebook. Search for grant writers’ group on Facebook, join in those groups, and surely you will find fellow professionals or clients posting job openings, which you can leverage on.
3. Local Organizations
Another option to get your first grant-writing job is to check on small, local organizations around your area or in the city where you belong. This will definitely help make finding work as a grant writer easier for you, and essentially, gain your initial experience.
4. Attend Conferences, Training, Events, etc.
From time to time, grant writing groups initiates conferences or offer training, which can definitely help you not just earn knowledge on grant writing, but also gain your professional network. In a lot of cases, going to grant-related events is an ideal way to network, and look for potential clients to work for.
If you have friends in the industry or you have a family member or relative who works for an organization who always seek funding, then, ask his or her help. It’s definitely one of the best ways to get into a grant writing job especially if you are a newbie, with less experience.
WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF BECOMING A GRANT WRITER?
Grant writing or becoming a grant writer from home does have its share of advantages and disadvantages, too, and we thought, you must also be aware of these. That way, it’s easier for you to gauge if indeed this is the right path for you.
Here are some of the pros of being a work from home grant writer:
- High-income potential since you are in control of how much you are going to charge your client, and how many clients you are willing to work for in a certain period of time.
- You own your time, which means you are able to work on your pace.
- As a grant writer, you are able to use your writing skills and expertise to help causes that you care most deeply about.
- You can work anywhere you want to as long as you have your laptop with you and there’s a strong internet connection.
- You work independently, which means, you are your own boss. You follow your own rules.
Meanwhile, here are some of the cons of working as a grant writer from home:
- You lack socialization since you work alone all the time. Especially for extroverts, this can get really challenging.
- For some, especially those who have kids to attend to, there may be a couple of distractions to work on.
- Since you are technically self-employees, you need to pay for your own benefits, at the same time, care for your own taxes.
- Working independently from home may lack work stability (unless you are employed by a company), as well as essential benefits that regular employees have like health and disability insurance (unless you get one for yourself.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON BECOMING A GRANT WRITER
Working as a grant writer from home is a great way to help organizations or institutions further their mission. At the same time, it is also a way to make a living without having to leave the comfort of your home.
Generally speaking, grant writers are highly sought after by not-for-profit organizations. These organizations need them to craft proposals, and in return get funding for their projects.
If you think about it, in the nonprofit world, grant writers play a very important role. A huge part of the success of a project depends on the grant writers. In fact, there will be no project if not for grant writers’ compelling work.
While for some, grant writing may be a very challenging profession, for some, it’s actually more fulfilling.
How about you? Do you see yourself writing proposals and helping organizations secure funding for their projects while at home?