Business Overview

Owners of grant writing businesses are adept at finding foundations, government entities and other funding sources and applying for funding on behalf of their non-profit clients. You will, in short, serve as a matchmaker, putting together funding sources and needs. You’ll continually seek grant opportunities and write succinctly, persuasively and in an organized manner in filling out requests for proposals (RFP) to win funding.

Who is this business right for?

Your talents will involve business writing and a clear understanding of the non-profit and funding worlds. In your writing, you must be able to take direction well because each RFP to which you respond requires clear and direct answers and attention to such details as word or page counts, writing style and, on occasion, even font and type size regulations.

It also helps if you currently volunteer, or have done so in the past, with non-profit organizations, or can network comfortably within that environment.

What happens during a typical day at a grant writing business?

You’ll maintain regular phone, digital and face-to-face contact with nonprofits and grant makers at foundations and other funding sources. You’ll spend significant time researching new funding opportunities and nurturing relationships in the funding community.

You should also have a regular social media presence to salute your nonprofits and foundations with which you’ve established contact and to promote your own achievements in securing funding.

During busy times, much of your day will be spent researching grant makers and filling out RFPs. You should also meet other grant writers at networking events with whom you could strike up successful partnerships or seek contract help during busy times.

What is the target market?

You’ll want to meet decision makers at non-profit, community and civic organizations, and occasionally even for-profit entities and others seeking to raise funds through grants. While some grant writers seek clients of all kinds, others focus on a preferred type. That might be organizations working to treat specific medical conditions or to advance a political or civic objective, or perhaps non-profits based within your geographic region.

How does a grant writing business make money?

You’ll generate revenue by charging clients a per-hour or flat rate for your various services. As you win grants and your reputation grows, more businesses will come in and you can increase your hourly or project rates.

What is the growth potential for a grant writing business?

The more clients you add to your roster, the more income you might generate. Success breeds success in this industry. While every grant request is a longshot since so many nonprofits are competing for the same funding, grant writers who are recognized as being particularly successful are best positioned to win new business. That’s why it’s incumbent upon you to publicize your wins through social media and self-marketing opportunities.

As your business grows, you can consider hiring additional writers or others who are networked into the non-profit or funding communities to help you generate additional clients or grantmaking sources.