Skip navigation

This post updates data posted early in 2013. It discusses grant-writing consultants’ retainer fees. It is part of an ongoing series. Other updated posts will discuss hourly rates and flat rates (also called per-proposal rates or per-project rates), prospect research fees, proposal review fees, and other topics related to the compensation of grant writers and to consulting.


Consultant Retainer Fees:

Many grant-writing consultants are willing to work under a retainer agreement for a small subset of select clients. Retainers work well when there is a steady flow of work and when the client and the consultant have a long-term relationship.


The client and the consultant both benefit from the predictability of the retainer arrangement. A typical retainer commits both parties to a specified minimum number of hours of service per month and to a specified number of months the agreement is to be in effect. Often the minimum number of hours is 10 hours per month and the minimum number of months is either 3 or 6. Often the retainer is paid monthly.


Services agreed upon in the retainer will depend upon the specific contract. Among such services may be one or more of:

  • Providing advisory and consulting services
  • Participating in planning sessions with client staff
  • Making presentations to client staff
  • Doing grant prospect research
  • Providing grant opportunity alerts
  • Preparing a set number of letters of inquiry per month
  • Providing assistance in proposal development
  • Developing a set number of proposals per month


Sample Retainers:

As the table below indicates, a retainer fee may cost as little as $1,250 per month or as much as $7,500 per month. Calculated on a quarterly basis, these extremes equate to a fee range of $3,750 to $22,500; on a yearly basis, they equate to a fee range of $15,000 to $90,000.


Retainers Minimum Maximum
Consultant/Firm A $1,000/month $3,000/month
Consultant/Firm B $1,250/month $7,500/month
Consultant/Firm C $1,500/month $3,000/month
Consultant/Firm D $2,000/month $4,000/month
Consultant/Firm E $3,000/month $5,000/month
Consultant/Firm F $850/month Unstated
Consultant/Firm G $3,000/month Unstated
Consultant/Firm H $3,000/month Unstated
Consultant/Firm I $100/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm J $150/hour Unstated



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: