How to Find a Grant Writer

by Sabrina Ashley; Updated September 26, 2017

A grant writer is an expert is drafting grant applications and proposals. Many non-profit organizations seek grants from corporations, the government, wealthy individuals and charitable foundations. These grants are gifts that never have to be repaid. The money is used to fund an organization’s various projects. Many freelance writers devote a portion of their business to grant writing while other freelancers work exclusively in this specialized field. There are several ways to find a grant writer.

Step 1

Place an ad. One of the best ways to find a grant writer (freelance or full-time) is to place a job ad. If you are a small organization, Craigslist (http://www.craigslist.com) is an excellent place for your ad. In many cities job ads are still free to post. Other free places for your ad are Absolute Write (http://www.absolutewrite.com) and Writers Weekly (http://www.writersweekly.com). All these web sites cater to writers and have sections for job ads. If you want to hire a local grant writer you can also place a small classified ad in your local newspapers.

Step 2

Try bidding sites. If money is tight you can have writers bid on your grant writing project. Many sites like Guru and Upwork (see Resources below) allow customers to place job ads. Grant writers then send you proposals that detail their experience, provide samples and quote you a rate for their services. After reading through all the proposal you can then award the project to the grant writer of your choice.

Step 3

Contact your local university. Many large universities now offer degree programs in non-profit management. Coursework usually includes classes in grant writing. As part of career services for these degree programs, the department may have job listing available to the students. This is an excellent way to get a trained grant writer with the resources of her departments. The writers will also charge lower rates because they don’t have as much experience. Another option is to contact the instructors of the grant writing classes. Some of these experienced people maybe available for freelance work.

Step 4

Ask friends and family for recommendation. Getting referrals is the best way to find a person for any job, including grant writing. Be certain to ask anyone who works in a non-profit organization for leads.

Step 5

Read non-profit publications. This is an excellent source of information on how the grant making process works. You will also find articles about grant writing. The writers of these articles may be grant writers available for freelance work. Read the “The Chronicle of Philanthropy,” “Non-Profit Times, “Non-Profit World,” and “Grantsmanship Center Magazine.”

Step 6

Visit the web sites of fundraising organizations. There are professional associations that may have a job board or a directory of grant writers. One place to check out is the Association of Fundraising Professionals, or AFP.

Step 7

Contact local non-profits. Many non-profits have websites with the email addresses of staff members. In the development departments of the large non-profits there may be grant writers who can do freelance work on the side. Contact them discretely. If they are unavailable they may be able to recommend someone. If the organization has no staff grant writer, speak with the Director of Development and ask if she can suggest a freelance grant writer.