Are you considering grant writing as a career? It is one of the best ways to start your profitable business online. Grants are also very lucrative and can cover up to 75% of your total project costs. However, before you dive into the deep end without knowing what’s needed to win one, take a look at these basics about how they work and what you need to do to get one.
What do you need to know about grant writing before you begin?
Grant writing is simply the process of requesting money from a foundation, government, or other types of organization. The potential funder then backs your idea, providing you with a sum of money or some kind of service in exchange.
How much money can you get?
There is no set amount. It all depends on what your project needs and how much the grant giver is willing to spend on it. However, unlike loans, grants are not normally paid back.
What do you have to do?
• Be creative! The purpose of this grant is to help you or your group get a new project off the ground and running. It helps your organization grow as well as sharing your message with the potential funding source.
• Research. The grant writer will need to know exactly what you want to do to write a solid and compelling proposal. Your proposal should be long and detailed, especially if you want the money front-loaded into the first 12-18 months rather than spread out over several years.
• Know your numbers! First, the government normally bases their grants on your projected need and last year’s population base. Then they decide how much money they think you will need for each member of your group. If you don’t have numbers, that will be an automatic exclusion for you. So count and tally everything up.
• Be honest with yourself. It is not about a big check from the government or foundation anymore; this is about what you need to make your project work and what you can afford to do without other funding sources (i.e., private donors or grants).
How do you become a Grant Writer – Tips and Tricks
If you want to become a grant writer, you need to know what a grant is. It is an agreement between the government or foundation and your organization that allows them time and money to help you create the project of your dreams. Grants can take many forms, whether it be time, money, or services. You and your group can receive grants for anything from building a school, rehabilitating children with special needs, starting a community center for elderly clients, or sponsoring foreign exchange programs.
- Get the training. The best way to become a grant writer is by attending conferences, seminars, and workshops. Go to local libraries and explore their numerous resources. Research upcoming classes. If you are ready to go deeper in the industry, take a master’s degree program with an emphasis on grant writing at a local college or university.
- Get real experience. No one ever became a grant writer because they learned everything from an article on the internet. You must get into the field and test your knowledge through actual experience. Start off at a small nonprofit organization if you have to gain experience first-hand.
- Get started. One of the best things you can do is get a written grant proposal sample to tweak for your own use. The best way to do this is by doing research online or in libraries and other resources for free sample grants.
- Have an interest in research. All grant writers must be very good at researching. The entire process takes a lot of time and research on your part.
- Never give up. You will most likely have to get turned down many, many times before you can get one you need and one that is enough to cover all of the expenses for your project. However, you will never know unless you try.
Remember, grant writing is a very specialized kind of writing. The more research you do now, the better you will be at winning down the road. All of these tips and tricks will help you become a stronger grant writer in no time at all.