This post presents when Grant Writers work. Others in the series will present where they work, what they do, what tools they use, what skills they need, and common career paths.
When Grant Writers Work
Grant Writers may be employed full-time or part-time and may work as exempt or non-exempt employees. A full-time position is usually one that is 30-40 hours per week. An exempt position is on that is not paid more for working overtime, which normally means anything past 40 hours per week. Grant Writers may also work as independent consultants. As consultants they may work any number of hours per week and never get any overtime.
Both as salaried employees and as consultants on a contract Grant Writers may work 40 or more regular hours each week, or 2,080 or more hours each year. They also may work extended hours when preparing complex proposals, when creating several proposals at once, and/or when facing two or more back-to-back deadlines.
Many Grant Writers work on contracts as independent consultants or freelance writers. Such persons often provide grant proposal development as one service from a menu of services in fundraising or organizational development. They may charge by the hour or by the project or they may work on a retainer.
Grant deadlines often come stacked one on top of the other. This can happen anytime, but it happens particularly near the end of some state and federal agencies’ fiscal years. Whenever it happens, Grant Writers tend to put in more hours than usual. During less hectic periods, many Grant Writers pursue prospect research, or they may recruit new clients if they work as consultants, or they may do both.
Consultants set their own hours, but they also need to be available when others are at work, which ordinarily means weekdays from 8am-5pm. Those Grant Writers who are on payroll usually report for work on weekdays. They remain at work from 8am-5pm and have an hour off for lunch each day.
Total time that Grant Writers work per proposal varies greatly. It can range from five to ten hours per short proposal (from one to five pages) to 200-plus hours per long proposal (from 25 to 300 or more pages). During any given seven-day span (or calendar week), the total hours that Grant Writers work can be as few as ten or fewer hours or as many as 100-plus hours.
If writing to a fixed deadline, which often happens, Grant Writers often need to work during all or parts of secular and religious holidays, on anniversaries, and on personal and family members’ birthdays. They also may need to work during school vacations, summer vacations, and other periods that other types of workers and/or family members may take off from work.