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This post presents common career paths for Grant Writers. Others in the series will present what Grant Writers do, where and when they work, the tools that they use, and the basic skills they need.

 

There is no single universal career path. What Grant Writers do before they become Grant Writers, and what they do afterwards, varies considerably. Many persons learn how to write proposals as volunteers. Many others do it as just one facet of their jobs. After writing proposals on-staff for a number of years, many Grant Writers become independent consultants; others migrate to other aspects of fundraising or move into grant and contract management positions.

 

Career Paths

There are almost as many ways to enter grant writing as Grant Writers. One among them is to volunteer for a human services organization. Another way is to take an undergraduate or professional development course and make job connections through it. A third way is to help someone else in writing one or more (hopefully funded) proposals. What comes as the next step after one has apprenticed as a Grant Writer also varies considerably.

 

Grant Writers may start out with one of several similar job titles. With years of experience, generally, their pay will move toward the upper ends of the ranges, so long as they remain in the same occupation.

  • Grant Writer: $32,858 to $64,738
  • Grants Specialist: $36,098 to $68,078
  • Grant Proposal Writer: $58,496 to $73,351
  • Proposal Writer: $39,661 to $74,959

 

Since grant writing is one type of fundraising, and since a Grant Writer needs to get broad overviews of client and employer organizations, some Grant Writers become fundraising generalists. Other Grant Writers move into executive leadership positions at non-profit organizations (NPOs):

  • Development Coordinator (at an NPO): $30,386 to $50,137
  • Development Manager (at an NPO): $36,268 to $65,667
  • Development Director (at an NPO): $39,387 to $97,48
  • Executive Director (at an NPO): $36,977 to $116,439
  • Chief Development Officer: $72,493 to $176,271

 

Some Grant Writers simply move on to more advanced, grant-focused roles. These roles often combine leadership and administration with the usual writing tasks. Such positions often involve more compliance monitoring, fiscal management, and fiscal accountability in the job’s duties and responsibilities. Among these positions are:

  • Senior Grant Writer: $48,848 to $80,000
  • Grants/Contracts Specialist: $38,786 to $68,641
  • Grants Director: $43,948 to $101,491
  • Grants Administrator: $39,213 to $76,827
  • Grants/Proposals Manager: $38,908 to $78,674

 

Other Grant Writers may be hired to work for one or more of their funded projects or for programs that include such projects. Typical management and administrative roles in such situations include:

  • Program Director/Principal Investigator: $34,400 to $82,426
  • Program Manager: $34,820 to $70,901

 

Sooner or later, many productive Grant Writers who start as internal employees will accept invitations to do some consulting. Some of them will set up shop formally as independent contractors on an ad hoc basis. Some of these same Grant Writers will become full-time consultants. Among such consulting roles are:

  • Training Consultant: $43,631 to $98,191
  • Program Evaluator: $36,452 to $82,127

 

All data reflect compensation in late 2016. Further information about what Grant Writers earn and their common career paths is at PayScale or eHow or Salary.

 

All factual material presented here is intended strictly for informational purposes only.

During the 2010s, American grantsmanship continues its efforts to elevate, standardize, and formalize the training and professional status of its practitioners. Among the organizations leading it are the American Grant Writers’ Association and the Grant Professionals Association.

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 http://www.agwa.us/.

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 eight 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 http://grantprofessionals.org/.

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.

Observations:

The professionalization of grant writing continues apace, although it has become less costly to participate in it than in earlier years. The GPA’s regular individual professional membership fee of $209 is more than twice as costly as AGWA’s $99 regular individual membership fee. Its $625 regular member conference registration costs two thirds more than what AGWA’s $349 regular member conference registration costs. Finally, the cost of GPA’s regular credential exam (GPC) for members ($539) is 10% less than AGWA’s regular fee ($599) for members for its one-day exam review plus its credential exam (CGW).

Note:

Discussion of the existence of the AGWA and the GPA is intended for informational purposes only. Endorsement or sanction of either association is neither intended nor implied.

One enduring trait of the evolution of American grantsmanship in the 2010s is the continuing effort to elevate, standardize, and formalize the training and professional status of its practitioners. Among the organizations leading it are the American Grant Writers’ Association and the Grant Professionals Association.

 

American Grant Writers’ Association:

The American Grant Writers’ Association (AGWA) was founded in 2002. AGWA individual membership is $79 for one year, $150 for two years, or $220 for three years. Business memberships are available for $129 for one year, $250 for two years, or $370 for three years. The website is http://www.agwa.us/.

 

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, 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 six online courses, a four-day grant researching and proposal writing workshop, a four-book bookstore, 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 membership is $199/year; other types of membership are available. Chapter dues are additional. Its website is http://grantprofessionals.org/.

 

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.

 

Observations:

The professionalization of grant writing doesn’t come cheaply. The GPA’s regular individual membership fee of $199 is 251% more costly than AGWA’s $79 regular individual membership fee. Its $575 regular member conference registration costs more than twice what AGWA’s $229 regular member conference registration costs. Finally, the cost of GPA’s regular credential exam (GPC) for members ($539) is slightly more than AGWA’s regular fee ($499) for members for its one-day exam review plus its credential exam (CGW).

 

Note:

Discussion of the existence of the AGWA and the GPA is intended for informational purposes only. Endorsement or sanction of either association is neither intended nor implied.

One of the past decade’s most salient trends in American grantsmanship is an ongoing effort to elevate, standardize, and formalize the training and professional status of grant writers. Among the organizations at its forefront are the American Grant Writers’ Association and the Grant Professionals Association.

 

American Grant Writers’ Association:

The American Grant Writers’ Association (AGWA) was founded in 2002. AGWA individual membership is $50 for one year, $95 for two years, or $135 for three years. Its website is http://www.agwa.us/. AGWA advances professionalization through professional standards and code of ethics and access to professional liability insurance (E&O). It offers networking resources such as a two-day annual grant 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 three online courses, a one-day grant consulting workshop, a four-day grant researching and proposal writing workshop, a six-book bookstore, 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’ resumes 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 membership is $189/year; other types of membership are available. Its website is http://grantprofessionals.org/. It offers a Consultant Mentoring Program and publishes both an online newsletter and a semi-annual journal with limited public access to its contents. Its networking resources include a four-day annual conference, an extensive bookstore, and 30 or more webinars held in a year. 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.

 

Observations:

The professionalization of grant writing doesn’t come cheaply. The GPA’s regular individual membership fee of $189 is 275% more costly than AGWA’s $50 fee. Its $575 regular conference registration is more than twice as costly than AGWA’s $269 regular conference registration. However, AGWA’s regular fee ($799) for its one-day exam review plus its credential exam (CGW) is virtually twice as costly as GPA’s regular credential exam (GPC) is for members ($400).

 

Note:

Discussion of the existence of the AGWA and the GPA is intended for informational purposes only. Endorsement or sanction of either association is neither intended nor implied.

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