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Daily Archives: February 21st, 2016

During the 2010s, American grant writers continue their efforts to distinguish, elevate, standardize, and formalize the training and professional status of their peers. Among the organizations at its forefront are the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the American Grant Writers’ Association, and the Grant Professionals Association.

Note: This post was revised for 2018, as well as for each intervening year since 2016.

Association of Fundraising Professionals:

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) was founded in 1960. Regular individual professional membership is $250 per year, plus separate chapter dues of $25 to $120 per year. AFP offers several other types of membership as well. Grant writers count among AFP members, but AFP is by no means only for grant writers. The website is


AFP offers a code of ethics and 10 other research and practice tools, as well as 23 professional development benefits and opportunities, and an extensive bookstore. It offers discussion groups, a membership directory, a consultant directory, a career center, and other networking resources. AFP offers a three-day annual conference and many members-only publications and other resources. It also offers continuous education-related services such as 25 webinars, an online knowledge center, and the Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE) programs, which are its credentialing exams.


American Grant Writers’ Association:

The American Grant Writers’ Association (AGWA) was founded in 2002. AGWA individual membership is $99 for one year, $185 for two years, or $275 for three years. Business memberships are available for $179 for one year, $340 for two years, or $475 for three years. The website is


AGWA advances professionalization through professional standards and a code of ethics and access to professional liability insurance (E&O). It offers networking resources such as a two-day annual grant conference (plus a one-day members-only pre-conference), a listing in a networking membership roster for certified grant writer consultants, and a members-only portal. In addition, AGWA offers continuous education-related services such as 10 online courses, a four-day grant researching and proposal writing workshop, a members-only newsletter, and the Certified Grant Writer® (CGW) Exam, which is its credentialing exam. It features employment-related services such as information about how to hire a grant writer and making members’ résumés available to prospective employers.


Grant Professionals Association:

The Grant Professionals Association (GPA), formerly American Association of Grant Professionals (AAGP), was founded in 1998. GPA regular individual professional membership is $209/year; other types of membership are available. Chapter dues are additional. Its website is


GPA offers a Consultant Mentoring Program and publishes both an online newsletter and a peer-reviewed journal with limited public access to its contents. Its networking resources include a three-day annual conference, an extensive bookstore, and access to 60 webinars. The GPA advances professionalization through a Grant Professional Certification (GPC) program conducted through the Grant Professionals Certification Institute™ (GPCI). Its employment-related services include a Job Center with a searchable job postings database and a consultants listing for firms seeking to retain a grant-writing consultant.



The professionalization of grant writing reflects an effort to establish it as an enterprise distinct from fundraising. All three leading professional associations that encompass grant writing have their own conferences, exams, credentials, codes of ethics, and literature about effective practices.


Overview of Professional Associations for Grant Writers
Founded 1960 2002 1998
Membership Fee $250 $99 $209
Members 30,000 1,000 2,000
Conference 3-day 3-day 3-day


The costs of individual professional memberships vary by 150%. The scope and quality of resources available to members vary widely as well. The fee structures and the extent of resources appear to reflect the size and longevity of the three associations and the narrowness or breadth of their missions.



Discussion of the existence of the AFP, the AGWA, and the GPA is intended for informational purposes only. Endorsement or sanction of any of the associations is neither intended nor implied.



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 2016 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 early 2016, 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 $1,500 to $7,500 – for finding one to five private sector grant leads and/or for writing one to five proposals – to from $1,000 to $8,000 – for finding 10 grant leads and/or for writing 10 proposals. Some consultants offer to find as many as 25 grant leads for $300 to $750; grant proposals to those leads cost more.


  Minimum Funders Maximum Funders
Consultant/Firm 1 $300 25 leads Unstated Unstated
Consultant/Firm 2 $750 25 leads Unstated Unstated
Consultant/Firm 3 $500 6 leads $1,000 15 leads
Consultant/Firm 4 $1,500 1 lead $8,000 10 leads
Consultant/Firm 5 $4,000 4 leads $7,500 10 leads
Consultant/Firm 6 $5,500 3 leads $7,000 10 leads
Consultant/Firm 7 $6,000 5 leads $7,000 10 leads
Consultant/Firm 8 $7,000 5 leads $8,000 10 leads


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. Sampled fees run from $1,500 to $10,000 or more.


  Minimum Maximum Services
Consultant/Firm 1 $3,000 $10,000 Fund development plan
Consultant/Firm 2 $3,500 $10,000 Comprehensive fund development
Consultant/Firm 3 $1,500 Unstated Fund development plan
Consultant/Firm 4 $5,100 Unstated Fund development plan


Some consultants offer to help grant seekers with program design or with (often more extensive) program development. Sampled fees run from $200 to $6,000 or more.


  Minimum Maximum Services
Consultant/Firm 1 $200 $500 Program development with logic model
Consultant/Firm 2 $2,500 $6,000 Program development
Consultant/Firm 3 $500 Unstated Program design
Consultant/Firm 4 $1,000 Unstated Program design
Consultant/Firm 5 $2,500 Unstated Strategic guidance
Consultant/Firm 6 $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 now commonly charge for them by the day (e.g., $1,500/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 $1,500/day Yes
Consultant/Firm 2 $2,500/day Yes
Consultant/Firm 3 $5,000/day Yes
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