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.)