Screening Grant Writers for Hire

Sometimes you just don’t have the time (or resources) to write that grant. In these cases, you might consider contracting with a grant writer – but then again, you’ve heard horror stories of large retainers with no revenue.  How do you steward your organization’s resources, and still create additional revenue streams?

Just like hiring an employee, you should be prepared to interview potential grant writers. In his book “How to Win Grants,” Alan Silver suggests asking these questions to see if the candidate is up to the challenge:

  • What do you know about our agency, our services, and our operating environment?
  • Given the needs we’ve described, how would you approach this project?
  • How long have you been in the business? Why are you in this business? What did you do before you were a grant consultant?
  • How would you do work with us? Do you disappear with the signed contract and reappear the day before the deadline with a finished product?
  • Do we get to review and approve a draft well ahead of the deadline?
  • What kind of success rate do you have overall and with this kind of proposal?
  • What kind of operational experience do you have? (It is one thing to forecast budgets, another to live under them.)
  • How do you charge for your services? (Let’s see your contract proposal.)

About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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One Response to Screening Grant Writers for Hire

  1. Debbie says:

    These are great questions….I would also add that someone seeking a grant writing consultant should ask if the consultant is a member of the Grant Professionals Association as all members agree to adhere to a code of ethics. In addition, they may also want to see if the individual is credentialed through the Grant Professionals Certification Institute.


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