How much does engaging a grant writer cost?
That’s a question we hear often. And the answer is, it depends!
Things that typically influence the price include:
- How complicated the application process is, as this adds time.
- How ready your organisation is to apply – have you completed a project plan and are ready to go, or is it still at the idea stage?
- Are supporting materials required (business case, feasibility study, community consultation evidence etc) – have you prepared them or do you need help?
- How much you are you able to do in-house, as this can reduce time.
Understand your budget
Defining what you need
First consider: are you looking for a grant writer, or a consultant plus a grant writer? If you are unsure, a good consultant will be able to support you to define what you need.
You’re looking for a grant writer if you’ve got a project or program fully planned and costed. You need someone who can take your plan and translate it into a compelling case to funders. It is not the grant writer’s job to design your project. After all, your organisation is the one that knows what needs doing and will be implementing it.
If you haven’t completed your planning, then you are probably in need of a consultant plus a grant writer (this might be the same person/company). Depending on the scale of the project, you might need a project plan (ranging from simple to complex) through to a feasibility study, needs analysis or business case. Or you might need a combination of these things.
The secret to maximising your chances at winning a grant is being prepared. Whether it’s a business plan, a project plan or a business case, you need to have a robust piece of work that shows you’ve thought through how the idea will work in practice and have managed any issues. You can read more about being grant ready here.
How much work you are able to do
The more work you’re able to do, obviously the more you will save.
For small grants it is often not cost-effective to engage a professional grant writer (unless you are completely unable to tackle it due to a lack of time).
For large grants, if you have the time and experience, you could choose to prepare your application in-house and use an independent, expert review. Our Grant Review and Advisory Service allows us to support clients who choose this option.
Ultimately, if you can plan in detail (and it makes sense!) the grant writer will have to spend less time trying to understand what you want to do in order to communicate it.
Ask for a quote early
If you’re considering engaging a grant writer and/or consultant, seek a quote early. This will help you budget as well as flagging to the business to keep a spot open for you. Good consultants and grant writers are often booked out months in advance or you might get gazumped by another organisation who’s already booked in. If you leave it to the last minute to get a quote, the grant writer might be able to squeeze you in, but they might also charge you a premium rush rate as they’ll likely be cancelling personal commitments and burning the midnight oil to get your application done on time.
Looking for funding? Get our free Grant Funding Info Pack
Includes: Comprehensive Pre-Application Checklist, Case studies, Grant Writing FAQ & a Price Guide for our grant writing services.
A version of this blog post first appeared on Anna Dixon Consulting’s website, our previous brand.