Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: May 2015

This new post discusses grant consultants’ fees in 2015 for such services as creating funding development plans or devising project evaluation plans. It is part of an ongoing series. Other new posts for 2015 will cover: hourly rates and flat rates, retainer rates, prospect research rates, and other topics related to how grant consultants earn an income.

Fixed Fee Assignments:

In 2015, beyond stating hourly rates, per proposal rates, retainer fees, and proposal review fees, some grant writing consultants also publish cost information about other services. The most frequently encountered rates for ancillary services are those for fixed fee assignments for private sector prospect research and/or private sector proposal development. The costs range from $4,000 to $7,500 – for finding 3 to 5 grant leads and/or for writing 3 to 5 proposals – to from $6,000 to $7,500 – for finding 10 grant leads and/or for writing 10 proposals.

Minimum Services Maximum Services
Consultant 1 $4,000 4 potential funders $7,500 10 potential funders
Consultant 2 $4,500 3 potential funders $6,000 10 potential funders
Consultant 3 $6,000 5 potential funders $7,000 10 potential funders

Funding Development Plans:

Fewer grant-writing consultants also offer to create funding development plans for clients. A funding development plan commonly considers grant seeking as only one element of a client’s overall plan for raising funds. Ancillary services vary greatly in terms of their specifications and conditions. Almost invariably, consultants indicate that their resulting plans will be ‘comprehensive’ and that actual costs for the plans will reflect the scope and detail of each assignment. Quoted fees run from $3,000 to $10,000 or more.

Minimum Maximum Services
Consultant/Firm 1 $3,000 $10,000 Create comprehensive funding development program
Consultant/Firm 2 $4,000 $6,000 Develop a comprehensive fund-development plan
Consultant/Firm 3 $100/hr Unstated Program development from concept to proposal

 

Grant Writing Workshops:

Still fewer consultants offer workshops for grant-related staff development. Perhaps one reason for the infrequency of such ancillary services is that they compete directly with associations of non-profits, universities, the Grantsmanship Center, the Foundation Center, and other providers of workshops and courses. The consultants’ workshops may last one or two days. Consultants may charge for them by the hour (e.g., $65/hour) plus expenses or by the day (e.g., $520/day) plus expenses. The most frequently cited expenses to be billed are those of travel, lodging, and office support (e.g., printing, copying, mailing, or shipping).

  Daily Rates Travel and Expense Surcharge
Consultant/Firm 1 $2,500/day Yes
Consultant/Firm 2 $520/day No
Consultant/Firm 3 $400-$800/day Yes
Consultant/Firm 4 $1,500/day Yes
Consultant/Firm 5 $1,500/day Yes
Advertisements

This post covers grant consultants’ retainer fees in early 2015. It is part of an ongoing series. Other new posts for 2015 will cover hourly rates and flat rates (also called per-proposal rates or per-project rates), proposal review and revision fees, and other topics related to how grant consultants earn an income.

Consultant Retainer Fees:

A retainer fee offers clients priority access to consultants’ services. Many grant 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. In setting their retainer fees, some consultants offer discounts off their standard hourly rates.

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 indicates, a retainer fee may cost as little as $1,000 per month or as much as $8,000 per month. Calculated on a quarterly basis, these extremes represent a fee range of $3,000 to $24,000; on a yearly basis, they represent a fee range of $12,000 to $96,000.

 

Retainer Fees Minimum Fees Maximum Fees
Consultant/Firm 1 $1,000/month $3,000/month
Consultant/Firm 2 $1,250/month $7,500/month
Consultant/Firm 3 $1,500/month $5,000/month
Consultant/Firm 4 $2,000/month $4,000/month
Consultant/Firm 5 $3,000/month $4,000/month
Consultant/Firm 6 $3,000/month $5,000/month
Consultant/Firm 7 $3,000/month $5,000/month
Consultant/Firm 8 $6,000/month $8,000/month
Consultant/Firm 9 $1,000/month Unstated
Consultant/Firm 10 $3,000/month Unstated
Consultant/Firm 11 $100/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 12 $150/hour Unstated

This new post discusses grant consultants’ proposal revision, review, and critique fees. It is part of an ongoing series. Earlier posts discussed hourly rates and flat rates (also called per-proposal rates or per-project rates), prospect research fees, and retainer fees. Other new posts for 2015 will cover: hourly rates and flat rates, retainer rates, prospect research rates, and other topics related to how grant consultants earn an income.

Proposal Reviews and Revisions:

At times, potential clients may already have a grant proposal available in a more or less inchoate form. Consultants may offer to proofread and edit a preliminary or pre-existing proposal rather than insist that they write it from its inception. They also may offer to play the role of third-party technical reviewers before a draft or a revision is made final. Consultants may furnish critiques of such unfinished proposals and may suggest how to improve them. Alternatively, they may contract both to provide a critique and to revise or rewrite a proposal entirely.

Consultants vary the rates they charge to critique, edit, and revise proposals based upon such factors as the proposal’s length and the complexity of its subject or focus. They may offer to charge for services up to a pre-determined not-to-exceed amount and/or to provide review and revision services for a minimum flat fee. Some consultants accept such review-and-revise assignments on a case-by-case basis and do not publish specialized rate schedules for such services.

Sample Review and Revision Rates:

As the table indicates, in 2015, fixed rates for review and revision – as quoted on consultants’ websites – range from $150 to $8,500 per proposal reviewed and/or revised. The most costly consultants charge a minimum of $2,000 (10 hours at $200 per hour) for each proposal they critique.

 

Review/Revision Fees Minimum Fees Maximum Fees
Consultant/Firm 1 $150 $300
Consultant/Firm 2 $200 $500
Consultant/Firm 3 $350 $750
Consultant/Firm 4 $400 $1,200
Consultant/Firm 5 $750 $1,200
Consultant/Firm 6 $750 $2,000
Consultant/Firm 7 $1,500 $8,500
Consultant/Firm 8 $2,000 $4,000
Consultant/Firm 9 $500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 10 $1,500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 11 $2,000 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 12 $60/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 13 $65/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 14 $65/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 15 $100/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 16 $120/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 17 $125/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 18 $200/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 19 $200/hour Unstated

As may be observed, consultants’ charges for reviews and revisions often approach what the same consultants will charge per hour for developing a brand new proposal from start to finish.

This new review of websites in early 2015 reveals that grant consultants’ hourly rates and flat rates (also called per-proposal rates or per-project rates) vary enormously. It is part of an ongoing series. Other new posts for 2015 will cover: retainer rates, prospect research rates, proposal review and editing rates, and other topics related to how grant consultants earn an income.

Proposals submitted to corporations or foundations are often significantly less complex (and thus generally less costly for clients) than those submitted to units of local, state, or federal government. Consequently, many 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 2015, the hourly pay rates for a self-selected sample of salaried Grant Writers vary by stage of career. For early career, the range is $11.86 to $36.42; for mid-career, the range is $16.30 to $50.37; for experienced, the range is $15.91 to $60.82; and for late career, the range is $14.81 to $83.19. The range of self-reported bonuses varied, with larger bonuses reported for mid-career than for late career or for early career.

Consultants’ hourly rates tend to be higher than those of salaried Grant Writers. In early 2015, 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 $45 per hour to a high of $200 per hour. The median for sampled rates is $95 per hour. Most rates range between $65 and $100 per hour, which is $1,300 to $2,000 for every 20 billable hours.

Some consultants offer lower rates for non-profit clients versus other types of clients. They also offer lower rates for writing grant proposals 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., $7,500).

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). 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 to be sent to a government agency.

Grant Writing Services Minimum Fees Maximum Fees
Consultant/Firm 1 $100 $3,000
Consultant/Firm 2 $195 $995
Consultant/Firm 3 $400 $15,000
Consultant/Firm 4 $500 $7,500
Consultant/Firm 5 $500 $10,000
Consultant/Firm 6 $950 $5,950
Consultant/Firm 7 $1,000 $4,000
Consultant/Firm 8 $1,000 $6,000
Consultant/Firm 9 $1,250 $12,500
Consultant/Firm 10 $1,500 $8,500
Consultant/Firm 11 $1,500 $10,000
Consultant/Firm 12 $1,500 $25,000
Consultant/Firm 13 $2,000 $25,000
Consultant/Firm 14 $2,250 $6,000
Consultant/Firm 15 $2,500 $9,000
Consultant/Firm 16 $3,000 $10,000
Consultant/Firm 17 $3,000 $4,000
Consultant/Firm 18 $5,000 $7,500
Consultant/Firm 19 $5,000 $11,000
Consultant/Firm 20 $5,000 $12,000
Consultant/Firm 21 $5,000 $15,000
Consultant/Firm 22 $5,000 $15,000
Consultant/Firm 23 $6,000 $15,000
Consultant/Firm 24 $12,500 $60,000
Consultant/Firm 25 $750 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 26 $1,000 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 27 $1,000 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 28 $6,500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 29 Varies ($150/hour) Varies ($150/hour)
Consultant/Firm 30 Varies ($200/hour) Varies ($200/hour)

As the table indicates, the floor that some consultants quote for a basic proposal (typically for a private foundation) may be as low as $100 or $400. Other consultants may start at $6,000 or $12,500. The ceiling quoted for a more complicated proposal may be $12,000 or $15,000; however, such flat-rate ceilings may be reach $25,000 or even $60,000. Beyond such wide 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 2015, grant writing consultants often require advance payment in full if the contracted flat rate fell below a predefined threshold. The most frequently specified threshold is $3,000 plus or minus $500. If the flat rate exceeds a given threshold, consultants generally require 50% of the total contract to be paid in advance. They make the balances due either upon delivery of the completed proposal or within either 15 days or 30 days afterwards.

This post discusses grant consultants’ prospect research fees in early 2015. It is part of an ongoing series. Other new posts for 2015 will cover hourly rates and flat rates (also called per-proposal rates or per-project rates), retainer fees, and other topics related to how grant consultants earn an income.

Prospect Research Fees:

Prospect research is the search for viable grant opportunities. 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 number of prospects to be identified
  • 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

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:

Consultants’ charges for prospect research services vary widely. As the table indicates, they can range from $295 to $7,500 per funding report. In 2015, the ultimate cost of such searches may observe a pre-established not-to-exceed amount. Evaluations of identified grant leads – held on-site or conducted remotely with a client – may be charged at rates from $50 to $150 or more per hour.

Prospect Research Fees Minimum Fees Maximum Fees
Consultant/Firm 1 $500 $3,200
Consultant/Firm 2 $500 $5,000
Consultant/Firm 3 $2,000 $4,000
Consultant/Firm 4 $2,000 $5,000
Consultant/Firm 5 $2,500 $5,000
Consultant/Firm 6 $2,500 $5,000
Consultant/Firm 7 $5,000 $7,500
Consultant/Firm 8 $295 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 9 $375 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 10 $500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 11 $500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 12 $1,500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 13 $1,500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 14 $50/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 15 $65/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 16 $150/hour Unstated

 

Charges for prospect research vary with its nature, scope, and complexity. Private grant makers are far more numerous than public ones. In general, grant seekers can expect to spend a bit less for a search for state and federal grant prospects, and a bit more for foundation and corporate grant prospects.

%d bloggers like this: