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Daily Archives: February 20th, 2016

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 2016 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 Some consultants accept such review-and-revise assignments on a case-by-case basis and do not publish specialized rate schedules for such services.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 2016, fixed rates for review and revision – as quoted on consultants’ websites – range from $150 to $6,000 per proposal reviewed and/or revised. The most costly consultants charge a minimum of $2,500 (10 hours at $250 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 $500 $1,500
Consultant/Firm 5 $500 $1,500
Consultant/Firm 6 $500 $2,000
Consultant/Firm 7 $750 $2,000
Consultant/Firm 8 $3,000 $6,000
Consultant/Firm 9 $3,000 $6,000
Consultant/Firm 10 $250 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 11 $500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 12 $520 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 13 $1,200 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 14 $1,500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 15 $1,500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 16 $2,500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 17 $2,500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 18 $65/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 19 $65/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 20 $125/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 21 $125/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 22 $250/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.

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This post discusses grant consultants’ prospect research fees in early 2016. It is part of an ongoing series. Other new posts for 2016 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 $500 to $5,000 per funding report. In 2016, the ultimate cost of such searches may observe a pre-established not-to-exceed amount. Evaluations of identified grant leads – held either 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 $7,500
Consultant/Firm 3 $1,500 $3,500
Consultant/Firm 4 $2,000 $4,000
Consultant/Firm 5 $2,000 $4,000
Consultant/Firm 6 $2,000 $4,000
Consultant/Firm 7 $2,000 $5,000
Consultant/Firm 8 $2,500 $5,000
Consultant/Firm 9 $795 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 10 $1,500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 11 $50/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 12 $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.

This post covers grant consultants’ retainer fees in early 2016. It is part of an ongoing series. Other new posts for 2016 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 $400 per month or as much as $8,000 per month. Calculated on a quarterly basis, these extremes represent a fee range of $1,200 to $24,000; on a yearly basis, they represent a fee range of $4,800 to $96,000.

 

Retainer Fees Minimum Fees Maximum Fees
Consultant/Firm 1 $400/month $800/month
Consultant/Firm 2 $950/month $4,500/month
Consultant/Firm 3 $1,250/month $7,500/month
Consultant/Firm 4 $1,500/month $3,000/month
Consultant/Firm 5 $1,875/month $3,000/month
Consultant/Firm 6 $2,000/month $4,000/month
Consultant/Firm 7 $3,000/month $5,000/month
Consultant/Firm 8 $3,000/month $5,000/month
Consultant/Firm 9 $6,000/month $8,000/month
Consultant/Firm 10 $100/month Unstated
Consultant/Firm 11 $1,000/month Unstated
Consultant/Firm 12 $3,000/month Unstated

 

Presented data reflect information provided on a sampled set of consultants’ websites which address the topic. Other samples taken at different times may lead to different results.

 

This post updates data posted in April 2015. It covers what Grant Writers are paid as compensation in terms of median salaries. Another updated post will cover 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 February 2016 that the national median annual salary for “Grants/Proposal Writers” was $64,355, up 2.7% from 2015. The middle 50% earned from $57,638 to $72,294. The bottom 10% earned $51,522 or less; the top 10% earned $79,521 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 national median annual salary works out to $1,237.60 per week and the range for the middle 50% becomes from $1,108.42 to $1,390.27 per week. Calculated over a 2,080-hour work-year, the same national median annual salary works out to $30.94 per hour, and the same range for the middle 50% becomes from $27.71 to $34.76 per hour.

 

Median Salaries By Selected Cities:

As of February 2016, “median annual salaries” in selected cities searched on Salary.com ranged from $51,529 in Helena, Montana to $78,584 in San Francisco, California. Most of the medians for these cities fell in the range of $62,000 to $67,000. In the past year, Washington, DC saw by far the largest gain in median salary – an enviable gain equivalent to 13.96% compared to a national gain of only 2.7%.

 

Median Annual Salaries — 2015 and 2016 Salary.com Data Comparison
  2015 Data 2016 Data
Portland, ME $64,570 $66,318
Boston, MA $67,671 $69,503
New York, NY $73,881 $75,881
Washington, DC $62,659 $71,408
Charlotte, NC $62,521 $64,213
Atlanta, GA $63,191 $64,902
Tampa, FL $59,733 $61,350
Houston, TX $63,065 $64,741
Dallas, TX $63,016 $64,722
Tulsa, OK $59,607 $61,221
Nashville, TN $59,200 $60,803
Cincinnati, OH $61,174 $62,830
Indianapolis, IN $60,265 $61,897
Chicago, IL $65,892 $67,676
Minneapolis, MN $65,572 $67,347
Bismarck, ND $56,832 $58,370
Lincoln, NE $54,388 $55,860
Casper, WY $57,126 $58,672
Helena, MT $50,171 $51,529
Boise, ID $60,510 $62,148
Seattle, WA $66,976 $68,789
Portland, OR $64,664 $66,414
San Francisco, CA $76,513 $78,584
Los Angeles, CA $68,699 $70,559
Salt Lake City, UT $59,570 $61,182
Denver, CO $63,329 $65,044
Albuquerque, NM $57,721 $59,284
Phoenix, AZ $61,280 $62,939
Anchorage, AK $70,742 $72,657
Honolulu, HI $68,016 $69,857
USA $62,659 $64,355

 

Be aware that research into different job titles – such as Development Director or Proposal Writer – that are related to the work of a Grant Writer will lead to different results.

This new review of websites in early 2016 reveals that grant consultants’ hourly rates and flat rates (also called per-proposal rates or per-project rates) vary greatly. It is part of an ongoing series. Other new posts for 2016 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 2016, the hourly pay rates for a self-selected sample of salaried Grant Writers vary by stage of career. For early career, the range is $12.11 to $38.95; for mid-career, the range is $18.34 to $50.91; for experienced, the range is $17.64 to $70.03; and for late career, the range is $15.01 to $86.48. The range of self-reported bonuses varies, with larger bonuses reported for mid-career than for late career or for early career.

 

In early 2016, consultants’ hourly rates tend to be higher than those of many salaried Grant Writers. Based on a review of sampled websites of consultants doing business across the United States, the standard rates billed to clients for grant writing and related consulting services stretch from $35 per hour to $250 per hour. The median for sampled rates is $95 per hour, the same as in 2015. Most sampled rates fall between $65 and $120 per hour, which is $1,300 to $2,400 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., 20 hours at $100/hour) or a minimum not-to-exceed amount (e.g., $10,000).

 

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). 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 – a letter of inquiry, a letter of intent to apply, and a corporate solicitation letter tend to cost considerably less than a grant proposal to be sent to a government agency.

 

Grant Writing Services Minimum Fees Maximum Fees
Consultant/Firm 1 $195 $995
Consultant/Firm 2 $500 $3,000
Consultant/Firm 3 $500 $3,500
Consultant/Firm 4 $500 $7,500
Consultant/Firm 5 $500 $10,000
Consultant/Firm 6 $950 $5,950
Consultant/Firm 7 $1,000 $3,500
Consultant/Firm 8 $1,000 $8,000
Consultant/Firm 9 $1,250 $12,500
Consultant/Firm 10 $1,500 $8,000
Consultant/Firm 11 $1,500 $10,000
Consultant/Firm 12 $2,000 $3,000
Consultant/Firm 13 $2,500 $7,500
Consultant/Firm 14 $2,500 $12,000
Consultant/Firm 15 $3,000 $4,000
Consultant/Firm 16 $3,500 $7,500
Consultant/Firm 17 $3,500 $10,000
Consultant/Firm 18 $4,500 $10,000
Consultant/Firm 19 $5,000 $11,000
Consultant/Firm 20 $5,000 $12,000
Consultant/Firm 21 $5,000 $15,000
Consultant/Firm 22 $6,000 $15,000
Consultant/Firm 23 $6,970 $7,650
Consultant/Firm 24 $12,500 $60,000
Consultant/Firm 25 $750 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 26 $1,000 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 27 $1,200 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 28 $3,000 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 29 $3,500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 30 $3,500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 31 $6,000 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 32 $11,500 Unstated

 

As the table indicates, the floor that some consultants quote for a basic proposal (typically for a private foundation) may be $500 or so. Other consultants may start at $6,000 or $11,500. The ceiling quoted for a more complicated proposal may be $10,000 or $12,000; however, such flat-rate ceilings may be reach $15,000 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 2016, grant writing consultants often require advance payment in full if the contracted flat rate fell below a predefined threshold. The most frequently stated threshold is the same as in 2015 – $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 after delivery.

 

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