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This post updates data posted early in 2013. It discusses grant-writing consultants’ prospect research fees in 2014. 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), retainer fees, proposal planning fees, and other topics related to the compensation of grant writers and consulting.


Prospect Research Fees:

Consultants often do prospect research for client grant-seekers. If the client can set some of the research’s parameters ahead of time (e.g., search terms, funding type, beneficiaries, grant award range), the search for potential funders is apt to be that much more efficient and less costly. Consultants may adjust their prospect research fees based upon:

  • The extensiveness and scope of the search for potential funders
  • The nature of the project concept
  • The amount of the anticipated budget request
  • The size of the client’s organization
  • The expected turnaround time to deliver search results


At the search’s end, consultants may deliver to clients a detailed and prioritized list of possible grant sources; an analysis of the chances of obtaining grants from each source; and a plan for what to do next to pursue grants from the best prospects.


Sample Fees:

As the table indicates, consultants’ charges for prospect research services vary widely. They range from $300 to $3,500 per funding report, and vary with its nature, scope, and complexity. The ultimate cost of such searches may observe a pre-established not-to-exceed amount. Evaluations of identified grant leads, either held on-site or conducted remotely with a client, may be charged at rates from $50 to $150 or more per hour, or from $300 to $3,500 per evaluation, plus a premium of 15% to 20% for expenses.


Research Fees Minimum Maximum
Consultant/Firm A $300 $400
Consultant/Firm B $500 $1,000
Consultant/Firm C $500 $3,500
Consultant/Firm D $2,000 $4,000
Consultant/Firm E $375 Unstated
Consultant/Firm F $750 Unstated
Consultant/Firm G $1,000 Unstated
Consultant/Firm H $1,500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm I $1,500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm J $2,500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm K $3,500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm L $50/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm M $60/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm N $90/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm O $150/hour Unstated



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