Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: February 2013

Based on a fresh review of grant writing consultants’ websites, hourly rates and flat rates (also called per-proposal rates or per-project rates) vary widely in 2013. Later posts will discuss: retainer rates, prospect research rates, proposal review and editing rates, and other related topics.

 

Proposals submitted to corporations or foundations tend to be significantly less complex (and thus generally less costly for clients) than those submitted to units of local, state, or federal government. Consequently, some consultants vary their rates based on the type of grant maker. Other consultants do not differentiate among types of grant makers.

 

Hourly Rates:

Hourly rates for writing grant proposals vary greatly. According to PayScale.com, as of early 2013, the hourly pay rates for a self-selected sample of salaried Grant Writers vary by years of experience. For less than 1 year, the range is $9.79 to $39.15; for 1-4 years, the range is $11.77 to $31.37; for 5-9 years, the range is $16.48 to $59.80; for 10-19 years, the range is $15.26 to $52.40; and for 20+ years, the range is $14.54 to $77.28. Interestingly, this site reports zero bonuses regardless of years of experience.

 

Consultants’ hourly rates tend to be higher than those of salaried Grant Writers. In early 2013, based on a review of websites of consultants doing business across the United States, the standard rates billed to clients for grant writing and related consulting services range from a low of $50 per hour to a high of $200 per hour. Most rates range between $65 and $80 per hour. The midrange of hourly rates equates to $1,300 to $1,600 per 20 billable hours.

 

Some consultants state lower rates for non-profit clients versus other types of clients, and for grant writing versus other kinds of grant-related services. In addition, some consultants specify a minimum number of hours (e.g., 10 hours at $150/hour) or a minimum not-to-exceed amount (e.g., $9,000).

 

Flat Rates:

An alternative to charging by the hour is to charge a flat rate (also called a per proposal rate or a per project rate). The consultants often indicate that they will need to do a thorough analysis of the details of a grant opportunity before quoting a flat rate.

 

Consultants’ actual flat rates vary by such factors as the lead-time to prepare and turn around the proposal, the complexity of the project, the proposal’s length, the amount of the grant request, and the time needed to complete the assignment. Most consultants vary their rates by the type of grant source: foundation, corporation, state, federal. Some consultants also vary their rates by the nature of the proposal document, with a letter of inquiry, a letter of intent to apply, and a corporate solicitation letter costing considerably less than a grant proposal.

 

Grant Writing Services

Minimum

Maximum

Consultant/Firm A

$400

$5,000

Consultant/Firm B

$500

$3,300

Consultant/Firm C

$500

$15,000

Consultant/Firm D

$600

$4,000

Consultant/Firm E

$1,000

$8,000

Consultant/Firm F

$1,250

$12,500

Consultant/Firm G

$1,500

$3,500

Consultant/Firm H

$1,500

$8,000

Consultant/Firm I

$3,000

Unstated

Consultant/Firm J

$3,000

$12,000

Consultant/Firm K

$3,500

$6,500

Consultant/Firm L

$5,000

$12,000

Consultant/Firm M

$5,000

Unstated

Consultant/Firm N

Varies ($80/hour)

Varies ($80/hour)

 

As the table indicates, the floor quoted for a basic proposal may be as low as $400 or $500. Some consultants set the floor as high as $3,500 or $5,000. The ceiling quoted for a more complicated proposal may be as high as $8,000; however, such flat fees may surpass $12,000 or even $15,000. Beyond such variations in quoted flat rates, consultants may charge a premium for preparing a proposal with a very short lead-time before it is due, regardless of its source.

 

In 2013, grant writing consultants often required advance payment in full if the contracted flat rate fell below a predefined threshold. The most frequently specified threshold was $3,000 plus or minus $500. If the flat rate exceeded a given threshold, consultants generally required 50% of the total contract to be paid in advance. They made the balances due either upon delivery of the completed proposal or within either 15 days or 30 days afterwards.

 

Related:

A new post on the same topic is at https://grantresults.wordpress.com/2016/02/20/grant-writing-as-a-career-hourly-rates-and-flat-rates-in-2016 

Choice of voice in proposal writing should reflect the nature of the funder, the type of grant sought, and the nature of the proposal component. This post offers several tried and tested general rules for the choice of voice in writing competitive grant proposals.

 

General Rules:

As general rules for choice of voice in writing competitive grant proposals:

 

  • If applying to a Foundation of whatever type — on behalf of an organization — use the first person plural (we/us/our).
  • If applying to a State or Federal grant program — on behalf of an organization — use the third person singular (it/its, the hospital/the university/the school district).
  • If applying for a grant for an Individual — in a proposal to whatever funding source — use the first person singular (I/me/my).
  • If describing anyone’s Background and Qualifications — in a proposal to whatever funding source — use the third person singular (he/she, his/her, Dr. Garcia/Dr. Garcia’s).
  • If submitting a Letter of Transmittal or a Cover Letter — to introduce a proposal to whatever funding source — use the first person singular or first person plural — as appropriate to each statement in it.

 

Caveat:

These are general rules only. As with most rules in grant seeking, exceptions may occur. If you know of any exceptions, please share them.

 

Professional grant writers appear to command relatively high salaries in Canada. Such conclusions must remain subject to revision, however, due to the limits of pertinent, readily available, and timely data.

 

This post explores available data on the average and median salaries of grant writers in Canada. Occasional later posts will explore grant writing as a career in other parts of the world.

 

Average Salaries:

Data from Salaryexpert.com indicate that for a grant writer with one year of experience, the average salary for all of Canada is C$53,721. For the selected cities for which Salaryexpert.com reports data, the averages range from a low of C$45,636 in Fredericton, NB to a high of C$62,585 in Yellowknife, NT. For the 25th percentile, the averages range from a low of C$33,956 in Fredericton, NB to a high of C$46,568 in Yellowknife, NT. And for the 75th percentile, the averages range from a low of C$58,307 in Fredericton, NB to a high of C$79,963 also in Yellowknife, NT.

 

Note: All data presented here are in Canadian dollars (C$). As of the week of this post, the C$ has been trading at or near parity with the US dollar (US$) in international exchange rates; consequently, reporting conversions to US$ would be redundant.

 

City and Province

25th Percentile

Average

75th Percentile

Calgary, AB

C$44,857

C$60,286

C$77,025

Edmonton, AB

C$39,277

C$52,787

C$67,443

Vancouver BC

C$42,660

C$57,332

C$73,251

Victoria, BC

C$38,603

C$51,882

C$66,288

Winnipeg, MB

C$36,234

C$48,697

C$62,218

Fredericton, NB

C$33,956

C$45,636

C$58,307

Yellowknife, NT

C$46,568

C$62,585

C$79,963

London, ON

C$39,126

C$52,583

C$67,183

Ottawa, ON

C$46,338

C$62,276

C$79,567

Toronto, ON

C$45,773

C$61,516

C$78,597

Montreal, QC

C$38,958

C$52,358

C$66,896

Quebec, QC

C$36,785

C$49,438

C$63,165

Regina, SK

C$37,554

C$50,471

C$64,485

Saskatoon, SK

C$36,719

C$49,349

C$63,051

Canada

C$53,721

 

Median Salaries:

Other information sources also present a fairly rosy picture for grant writers in Canada, but the sample sizes generally are too small to be reliable. PayScale.com indicates that the national median salary for grant writers is C$41,081, with a range of C$23,270 to C$61,825. For the only province for which it reports data — Ontario — the range is C$30,000 to C$67,000. Data for other provinces and for cities are not available.

 

Fringe Benefits:

PayScale.com indicates that vacation time varies with years of experience. Grant writers with 1 to 4 years of experience report 1.4 weeks (or 7 days); those with 5 to 9 years of experience report 1.5 weeks (or 7.5 days); and those with 10 to 19 years of experience report 1.0 weeks (or 5 days) of vacation time. The median bonus reported for grant writers in Canada is C$100 with a range of C$0 to C$550.

 

Compared to their counterparts in the United States of America, professional grant writers appear to command somewhat lower salaries in the United Kingdom. Such conclusions must remain subject to revision, however, due to the limits of  pertinent, readily available, and timely data.

 

This post explores available data on the average salaries of grant writers in the United Kingdom. Occasional later posts will explore grant writing as a career in other parts of the world.

 

Salary Ranges:

The Institute of Fundraising, based in the United Kingdom, published a report in 2009, which indicated that the most prevalent salary ranges for fundraisers of all types, among survey respondents, were: £20,000-£25,000, £25,000-£30,000, and £30,000-£35,000. For all fundraising positions advertised on five recruitment websites over a 12-week period, the two most prevalent salary ranges were £25,000-£30,000 and £30,000-£40,000.

 

The same report from the Institute of Fundraising, also indicated that the advertised salary range for a ‘Trust/Grants Fundraiser’ in the United Kingdom was £18,000-£41,000 while that for ‘Development’ was £18,000-£55,000.

 

Salaries by Region:

A second resource, mysalary.co.uk, published salary data for 2011. It reported that average salaries for Grant Writers varied by region in the United Kingdom. They ranged from £20,912 in Yorkshire and the Northeast to £28,492 in London.

 

The table below presents the 2011 salary data; for purposes of aiding international comparison, the table also applies an exchange rate as of the date of this post (£1.00 = $1.5563).

 

Grant Writer Salaries by Region in the United Kingdom

Region

British Pounds (£)

US Dollars ($)

Northwest

£23,003

$35,799.56

London

£28,492

$44,342.09

Yorkshire and Northeast

£20,912

$32,545.34

Southwest

£22,741

$35,391.81

Southeast

£26,924

$41,901.82

Scotland

£22,219

$34,579.42

Northern Ireland

£23,526

$36,613.51

Wales

£21,957

$34,171.67

Midlands

£24,310

$37,833.65

East of England

£21,696

$33,765.48

 

 

 

This post updates data posted last year. It covers what Grant Writers are paid as compensation in terms of median salaries. An earlier post covered average salaries for Grant Writers. Subsequent posts will provide updated data about Grant Writers’ compensation in terms of hourly rates and consultants’ fees. All data will be for the United States of America.

 

What Grant Writers earn reflects many factors. Among them are years of experience, level of educational attainment, geographic location, and the nature of the employer.

 

Median Salaries:

Nationally, Salary.com reported in January 2013 that median annual salaries for Grants/Proposal Writers were $58,737. The middle 50% of Grant Writers earned from $52,201 to $66,518. The bottom 10% earned $46,250 or less; the top 10% earned $73,602 or more. These base salaries represented about 70% of total compensation; the other 30% were fringe benefits and bonuses.

 

Calculated on a full 52-week year, the same median annual salary works out to $1,129.56 per week and the range for the middle 50% becomes from $1,003.87 to $1,279.19 per week. Calculated over a 2,080-hour work-year, the same median salary works out to $28.24 per hour, and the same range for the middle 50% becomes from $25.10 to $31.98 per hour.

 

Median Salaries By Selected Cities:

As of January 2013, ‘median annual salaries’ in selected cities searched on Salary.com ranged from $44,873 in Helena, Montana to $69,704 in San Francisco, California. Most of the medians for these cities fell in the range of $50,000 to $60,000.

 

The data from PayScale.com are presented for purposes of comparison; by themselves, they shed little light on the subject. (Note: A dash — indicates no data available.)

 

Median Annual Salaries — 2013 Data

  Salary.com PayScale.com
Boston, MA $64,215 $30,410 – $73,974
New York, NY $67,743 $33,221 – $59,598
Washington, DC $63,869 $31,538 – $70,000
Charlotte, NC $57,666
Atlanta, GA $58.043
Tampa, FL $54,871
Houston, TX $58,047
Dallas, TX $57,824 $20,134 – $59,598
Tulsa, OK $55,592
Nashville, TN $53,708
Cincinnati, OH $56,511
Indianapolis, IN $56,275
Chicago, IL $61,750 $27,090 – $66,977
Minneapolis, MN $58,126
Bismarck, ND $52,197
Lincoln, NE $50,517
Casper, WY $51,678
Helena, MT $44,873
Boise, ID $54,784
Seattle, WA $62,740
Portland, OR $59,013
San Francisco, CA $69,704 $30,913 – $96,570
Los Angeles, CA $63,717 $27,821 – $72,719
Salt Lake City, UT $55,392
Denver, CO $58,652
Albuquerque, NM $54,774
Phoenix, AZ $57,769
Anchorage, AK $65,479
Honolulu, HI $63,669
USA $58,126 $26,032 – $70, 643

 

Many grant seekers get a proposal rejected now and then. Most of them try to learn from their grant rejections and to use them as tools for improving future results.

 

This post discusses several ways that applicants for competitively awarded state and federal grants may use past denials of funding to ensure more success in winning future awards. Later posts will explore other more specific aspects of technical reviews.

 

Technical Review Forms:

State and federal grants commonly provide to all applicants the results of technical reviews. No matter the outcome, smart grant seekers will study the program review panelists’ technical review forms (TRFs) whenever they are available. Often the TRFs will note in detail a proposal’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as provide section sub-scores. In furnishing such forms to applicants, many government agencies may prove to be much more proactive than they used to be. Applicants often no longer need to request them, let alone submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for them.

 

In studying the TRFs, grant seekers may look for aspects and issues of clarity and content — both good and bad — which recur among the panelists’ comments. They may also look for hot buttons or scoring triggers in the review forms. These buttons or triggers are the repeatedly noted aspects of a proposal that most pleased reviewers or most distressed them.

 

Reviewers’ Hot Buttons:

Not only do grant programs have many hot buttons, so do technical reviewers. As examples: reviewers may want to see citations of data sources, not just the data; they may want to see data on the specific population to be served, not other data (e.g., census) that may or may not apply to it. Reviewers may want to see evidence of equal employment opportunity in hiring practices, not just general assurances that an applicant is an equal employment opportunity (EEO) employer; and they may want to see evidence of the reliability and validity of proposed evaluation instruments, not merely mention of some broad category of such instruments (e.g., surveys) in describing an evaluation plan.

 

Anticipating Reviewers’ Reactions:

By studying reviewers’ comments on TRFs — for both funded and rejected proposals — grant seekers can improve their ability to anticipate potential reviewer reactions to a proposal’s content, and they can use those insights to reduce or avoid provoking adverse reviewer reactions. Naturally, neither intra-rater reliability nor inter-rater reliability is perfectly consistent within or among proposal reviewers; yet, if a grant seeker studies its TRFs closely enough it can begin to discern which writing behaviors tend to trigger which reviewer responses, and then proceed accordingly.

This post updates data posted in 2012. It covers what Grant Writers are paid as compensation in terms of average salaries. A later post will cover median salaries for grant writers. Subsequent posts will provide updated data about Grant Writers’ compensation in terms of hourly rates and consultants’ fees. All data will be for the United States of America.

 

Average Salaries:

Data from Indeed.com, for cities across the country in January 2013, indicate that average annual salaries for Grant Writers ranged at least from $34,000 to $59,000; those for Grant Development Specialists in the same cities were 5.3% to 6.3% higher and ranged at least from $36,000 to $63,000.

 

Average Annual Salaries in Grant Writing — 2013 Data

  Grant Writer Grant Development Specialist
Boston, MA $54,000 $57,000
New York, NY $59,000 $63,000
Washington, DC $54,000 $57,000
Charlotte, NC $47,000 $49,000
Atlanta, GA $52,000 $55,000
Tampa, FL $41,000 $43,000
Houston, TX $46,000 $49,000
Dallas, TX $46,000 $48,000
Tulsa, OK $37,000 $39,000
Nashville, TN $42,000 $44,000
Cincinnati, OH $41,000 $44,000
Indianapolis, IN $38,000 $40,000
Chicago, IL $50,000 $53,000
Minneapolis, MN $42,000 $44,000
Bismarck, ND $37,000 $39,000
Lincoln, NE $34,000 $36,000
Casper, WY $42,000 $45,000
Helena, MT $41,000 $43,000
Boise, ID $37,000 $39,000
Seattle, WA $47,000 $49,000
Portland, OR $41,000 $44,000
San Francisco, CA $60,000 $63,000
Los Angeles, CA $49,000 $52,000
Salt Lake City, UT $41,000 $44,000
Denver, CO $42,000 $44,000
Albuquerque, NM $36,000 $38,000
Phoenix, AZ $40,000 $42,000
Anchorage, AK $38,000 $40,000
Honolulu, HI $34,000 $36,000

 

What Grant Writers earn reflects many factors. Among them are years of experience, level of educational attainment, geographic location, and the nature of the employer.

 

Also presented in terms of averages, a second online resource, PayScale.com, has reported that nationally, as of January 2013, the annual salary range for a Grant Writer was $26,032 to $70,643 per year. This range excluded fringe benefits.

 

Geographic Location:

Annual salary ranges for Grant Writers varied by geographic location. As of January 2013, San Francisco, CA had the highest maximum in its annual salary range of $30,913 to $96,570. Atlanta, GA had the lowest minimum in its annual salary range of $18,121 to $74,497.

 

Other American cities and salary ranges, sorted in ascending order by minimums, included:

  • Dallas, TX: $20,134 to $59,598
  • Houston, TX: $24,490 to $56,250
  • Pittsburgh, PA: $25,000 to $53,500
  • Philadelphia, PA: $25,199 to $44,962
  • Chicago, IL: $27,090 to $66,977
  • Los Angeles, CA: $27,821 to $72,719
  • Salt Lake City, UT: $29,000 to $35,871
  • Boston, MA: $30,410 to $73,974
  • Washington, DC: $31,538 to $70,000
  • Baltimore, MD: $32,844 to $44,337
  • New York, NY: $33,221 to $59,598
  • New Orleans, LA: $34,183 to $46,297
  • Phoenix, AZ: $39,278 to $49,910
  • Seattle, WA: $40,991 to $50,398

 

Highest Degree Earned:

As of January 2013, PayScale.com reported that annual salaries for Grant Writers varied by the highest degree earned:

  1. Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English: $24,490 to $54,721
  2. Master of Arts (MA) in English: $44,104 to $47,231
  3. Master of Business Administration (MBA): $24,490 to $70,000
  4. Master of Public Administration (MPA): $39,663 to $49,930
  5. Doctorate (PhD): $40,000 to $60,000

 

Type of Employer:

In addition, PayScale.com reported that annual salaries for Grant Writers also varied by the type of employer:

  1. Education: $28,108 to $58,919
  2. Healthcare: $28,883 to $59,411
  3. Social Services: $26,699 to $53,922
  4. Youth Services: $26,862 to $52,678

 

As with other types of professional work, the for-profit sector often paid more than the non-profit sector for positions related to grant writing.

 

Bonuses:

In late 2012, few Grant Writers reported getting a bonus. Reported bonuses most often were for less than 1% of salaries, which is less than $250 for every $25,000 in base salary.

 

Fringe Benefits:

On average, fringe benefits amounted to about 30% of total compensation. Aside from social security taxes (FICA), time off from work was the largest share of total benefits.

 

Data provided at PayScale.com also indicated that average annual vacation time for Grant Writers was 9.5 days (or 1.9 weeks) per year after 10 years of experience, and 8 days (or 1.6 weeks) with less than 10 years experience. Depending upon the nature of the employer and the specific contract, full-time salaried Grant Writers, after completing 20 years of service, could expect up to 20 days of paid vacation per year.

 

Further Information:

All factual material presented here is intended strictly for informational purposes only. If you’d like to know more about what Grant Writers or related positions earn, please go to Indeed.com, PayScale.com, eHow.com, or Salary.com.

%d bloggers like this: