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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.


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