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This post explores what Grants/Proposal Writers are paid as compensation in terms of median salaries in major cities in all 50 states and in the nation’s capital. It presents data for late 2017. Other posts for late 2017 will explore hourly rates and flat fees, retainer fees, review and revision fees, and other aspects of the compensation of writers of grant proposals. All data will be for the United States of America.

 

Median Salaries for Grants/Proposal Writers

What Grants/Proposal Writers earn reflects many factors. Among them are years of experience, level of educational attainment, geographic location, and the nature of the employer.

 

As of late 2017, Salary.com has reported that the national median annual salary for “Grants/Proposal Writers” was $66,521. The middle 20 cities selected for exploration here earned medians from $64,991 to $70,779; the bottom 10 selected cities earned medians of $63,062 or less; and the top 10 selected cities earned medians of $74,704 or more. These base salaries represented about 71% of total compensation; the other 29% of total compensation were fringe benefits and bonuses.

 

% National Median Salary-2

 

Calculated on a full 52-week year, the same national median annual salary works out to $1,279.25 per week, and the range for the cities’ medians is $1,055.38 to $1,536.38 per week. Calculated over a 2,080-hour work-year, the same national median annual salary works out to $31.98 per hour, and the range for the cities becomes from $26.38 per hour to $38.41 per hour.

 

Median Salaries By Selected Cities

As of late 2017, “median annual salaries” in 51 selected cities searched on Salary.com ranged from $54,880 in Pierre, SD to $79,892 in New York City, NY. Most of the medians for these cities fell in the range of $62,000 to $68,000.

 

Median Annual Salaries — 2017 Data Comparisons
  Salary.com Data As % of 2017 National Median
USA $66,521 100.0%
New England States
Hartford CT $71,710 107.8%
Portland, ME $67,187 101.0%
Boston, MA $75,701 113.8%
Manchester, NH $70,247 105.6%
Providence, RI $70,466 105.9%
Burlington, VT $65,657 98.7%
Mid-Atlantic States
Dover, DE $70,779 106.4%
Washington, DC $73,373 110.3%
Baltimore, MD $68,251 102.6%
Newark, NJ $75,967 114.2%
New York, NY $79,892 120.1%
Philadelphia, PA $71,577 107.6%
Charleston, WV $60,668 91.2%
Midwestern States
Chicago, IL $70,513 106.0%
Indianapolis, IN $64,991 97.7%
Louisville, KY $63,062 94.8%
Detroit, MI $68,517 103.0%
Columbus, OH $65,590 98.6%
Great Plains States
Des Moines, IA $64,260 96.6%
Kansas City, KS $65,457 98.4%
Minneapolis, MN $70,978 106.7%
St. Louis, MO $65,391 98.3%
Lincoln, NE $62,530 94.0%
Bismarck, ND $62,064 93.3%
Pierre, SD $54,880 82.5%
Milwaukee, WI $66,189 99.5%
Northwestern States
Anchorage, AK $75,568 113.6%
Boise, ID $63,129 94.9%
Great Falls, MT $57,674 86.7%
Portland, OR $69,847 105.0%
Seattle, WA $72,774 109.4%
Casper, WY $61,865 93.0%
Southeastern States
Birmingham, AL $63,129 94.9%
Little Rock, AR $61,532 92.5%
Jacksonville, FL $63,861 96.0%
Atlanta, GA $65,524 98.5%
New Orleans, LA $66,056 99.3%
Jackson, MS $59,204 89.0%
Charlotte, NC $65,191 98.0%
Charleston, SC $62,796 94.4%
Nashville, TN $61,665 92.7%
Richmond, VA $66,721 100.3%
Southwestern States
Phoenix, AZ $65,923 99.1%
Los Angeles, CA $74,704 112.3%
Denver, CO $67,253 101.1%
Honolulu, HI $69,382 104.3%
Las Vegas, NV $69,315 104.2%
Albuquerque, NM $62,131 93.4%
Okla. City, OK $63,195 95.0%
Houston, TX $67,320 101.2%
Salt Lake City, UT $63,062 94.8%

 

It may be worth noting that median annual salaries in late 2017 were no more uniform within most states than they were across the country. Out of the 51 selected cities presented in the table, 28 cities were below the national median and another city was only $200 above the national median.

 

 

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Throughout the 2010s, American grant writers have continued their efforts to distinguish, elevate, standardize, and formalize the training and professional status of their peers. Among the organizations at the forefront of such efforts are the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the American Grant Writers’ Association, and the Grant Professionals Association. This post is revised to reflect late 2017.

 

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 https://www.afpnet.org/.

 

AFP offers a code of ethics and nine other research and practice tools, as well as 24 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 (plus a two-day preconference) and many members-only publications and other resources. It also offers continuous education-related services such as 26 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 $119 for one year, $200 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 three-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 five 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, plus chapter dues of $25 to $50 per year; other types of membership are available. 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 70 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. It 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
  AFP AGWA GPA
Founded 1960 2002 1998
Membership Fee $250 $119 $209
Members 30,000 1,000 2,500
Conference 3-day 3-day 3-day
Credentials CFRE/ACFRE CGW GPC

 

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.

 

Note

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 post presents some of the tools and skills used in grant writing. Others in the series will present what Grant Writers do, where and when they work, and common career paths.

 

Grant Writers need a specific set of tools and skills to be effective at winning competitively awarded grants. With the exception of some specialized databases, grant makers’ websites, and grants management software, none of them is unique to the pursuit of grant writing

 

Tools

In the late 2010s, all Grant Writers use hardware and software in many facets of their work. Among commonly used types of hardware are:

  • Laptop computers
  • Tablets
  • Handheld calculators
  • Cell phones

Among commonly used types of software are:

  • Internet browsers
  • Applications to support prospect research, grants management, email, databases, word-processing, calendars, teleconferencing, and presentations
  • Online calculators
  • Grant application portals

 

Grant Writers need to be comfortable with constant change in and among the technologies that they use daily. Among formerly often used technologies that are now increasingly out of use are:

  • Printers
  • Photocopiers
  • Facsimile machines
  • Desktop computers

 

Grant Writers need to know how to use the full range of contemporary telecommunications software and devices. They must be comfortable with devices used for creating and making presentations, such as digital cameras and projectors, and related software. And they should know all of their options among both traditional modes (e.g., UPS, USPS, FedEx) and new platforms (Grants.gov and foundations’ online application forms) for submitting timely proposals.

 

Skills

Among the most basic skills that Grant Writers should have are to:

  • Listen attentively
  • Ask key questions
  • Engage in teamwork
  • Negotiate
  • Think strategically
  • Write and edit
  • Research
  • Organize
  • Coordinate
  • Budget
  • Calculate
  • Plan
  • Reason persuasively
  • Build rapport
  • Build relationships
  • Facilitate and lead meetings
  • Manage time effectively
  • Concentrate efforts
  • Forecast
  • Analyze
  • Interpret
  • Follow instructions
  • Attend to details

This post updates data posted early in 2013. It covers what Grant Writers are paid as compensation in terms of average salaries. Other posts will update median salaries for grant writers, compensation in terms of hourly rates, and various consultants’ fees. All data will be for the United States of America.

 

Average Salaries:

Data from Indeed.com, for cities across the country in April 2014, indicate that average annual salaries for Grant Writers ranged at least from $31,000 to $64,000; those for Grant Development Specialists in the same cities were generally 5% to 10% higher and ranged from $34,000 to $70,000. Since January 2013, average salaries for Grant Writers rose in 21 cities, stayed flat in one city, and declined in seven cities; for Grant Development Specialists, they rose in 25 cities, stayed flat in one city, and declined in three cities.

 

Average Annual Salaries in Grant Writing — 2013 and 2014 Data
Grant Writer Grant Development Specialist
2013 2014 2013 2014
Boston, MA $54,000 $59,000 $57,000 $64,000
New York, NY $59,000 $64,000 $63,000 $70,000
Washington, DC $54,000 $59,000 $57,000 $64,000
Charlotte, NC $47,000 $51,000 $49,000 $55,000
Atlanta, GA $52,000 $59,000 $55,000 $64,000
Tampa, FL $41,000 $40,000 $43,000 $44,000
Houston, TX $46,000 $53,000 $49,000 $58,000
Dallas, TX $46,000 $48,000 $48,000 $52,000
Tulsa, OK $37,000 $42,000 $39,000 $46,000
Nashville, TN $42,000 $44,000 $44,000 $48,000
Cincinnati, OH $41,000 $44,000 $44,000 $48,000
Indianapolis, IN $38,000 $41,000 $40,000 $44,000
Chicago, IL $50,000 $57,000 $53,000 $62,000
Minneapolis, MN $42,000 $41,000 $44,000 $45,000
Bismarck, ND $37,000 $41,000 $39,000 $45,000
Lincoln, NE $34,000 $31,000 $36,000 $34,000
Casper, WY $42,000 $47,000 $45,000 $51,000
Helena, MT $41,000 $40,000 $43,000 $44,000
Boise, ID $37,000 $32,000 $39,000 $35,000
Seattle, WA $47,000 $51,000 $49,000 $55,000
Portland, OR $41,000 $46,000 $44,000 $50,000
San Francisco, CA $60,000 $64,000 $63,000 $70,000
Los Angeles, CA $49,000 $50,000 $52,000 $55,000
Salt Lake City, UT $41,000 $42,000 $44,000 $46,000
Denver, CO $42,000 $45,000 $44,000 $49,000
Albuquerque, NM $36,000 $37,000 $38,000 $41,000
Phoenix, AZ $40,000 $40,000 $42,000 $43,000
Anchorage, AK $38,000 $36,000 $40,000 $39,000
Honolulu, HI $34,000 $33,000 $36,000 $36,000

 

Geographic Location:

Annual average salaries for both job titles differ greatly across the country. In general, they are higher in the Northeast and in the Northwest than anywhere else.

 

Further Information:

All factual material presented here is intended strictly for informational purposes only. If you’d like to know more about what Grant Writers or related positions earn, please go to Indeed.com, PayScale.com, eHow.com, or Salary.com.

This post updates data posted early in 2013. It covers what Grant Writers are paid as compensation in terms of median salaries. Another 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 April 2014 that the national median annual salary for “Grants/Proposal Writers” was $61,309. The middle 50% earned from $54,567 to $68,705. The bottom 10% earned $48,428 or less; the top 10% earned $75,438 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 $1,179.02 per week and the range for the middle 50% becomes from $1,049.37 to $1,321.25 per week. Calculated over a 2,080-hour work-year, the same national median annual salary works out to $29.47 per hour, and the same range for the middle 50% becomes from $26.23 to $33.03 per hour.

 

Median Salaries By Selected Cities:

As of April 2014 ‘median annual salaries’ in selected cities searched on Salary.com ranged from $48,250 in Helena, Montana to $74,062 in San Francisco, California. Most of the medians for these cities fell in the range of $55,000 to $65,000.

 

The data from PayScale.com are presented for purposes of comparison; by themselves, they shed little light on the subject. (Note: A dash — indicates no data available.)

 

Median Annual Salaries — 2014 Data
  Salary.com PayScale.com
Portland, ME $62,597
Boston, MA $66,950 $44,621
New York, NY $71,487 $45,633
Washington, DC $66,459 $44,925
Charlotte, NC $60,390
Atlanta, GA $60,819
Tampa, FL $57,361
Houston, TX $60,941 $40,387
Dallas, TX $60,757
Tulsa, OK $58,060
Nashville, TN $57,998
Cincinnati, OH $59,899
Indianapolis, IN $59,899
Chicago, IL $64,313 $39,695
Minneapolis, MN $63,578
Bismarck, ND $55,178
Lincoln, NE $52,665
Casper, WY $54,075
Helena, MT $48,250
Boise, ID $59,347
Seattle, WA $66,153
Portland, OR $62,658
San Francisco, CA $74,062 $50,514
Los Angeles, CA $66,153 $46,448
Salt Lake City, UT $58,550
Denver, CO $61,371
Albuquerque, NM $56,772
Phoenix, AZ $60,819
Anchorage, AK $69,402
Honolulu, HI $67,379
USA $61,309 $41,491

 

Professional grant writers appear to command relatively high salaries in Canada. Such conclusions must remain subject to revision, however, due to the limits of pertinent, readily available, and timely data.

 

This post explores available data on the average and median salaries of grant writers in Canada. Occasional later posts will explore grant writing as a career in other parts of the world.

 

Average Salaries:

Data from Salaryexpert.com indicate that for a grant writer with one year of experience, the average salary for all of Canada is C$53,721. For the selected cities for which Salaryexpert.com reports data, the averages range from a low of C$45,636 in Fredericton, NB to a high of C$62,585 in Yellowknife, NT. For the 25th percentile, the averages range from a low of C$33,956 in Fredericton, NB to a high of C$46,568 in Yellowknife, NT. And for the 75th percentile, the averages range from a low of C$58,307 in Fredericton, NB to a high of C$79,963 also in Yellowknife, NT.

 

Note: All data presented here are in Canadian dollars (C$). As of the week of this post, the C$ has been trading at or near parity with the US dollar (US$) in international exchange rates; consequently, reporting conversions to US$ would be redundant.

 

City and Province

25th Percentile

Average

75th Percentile

Calgary, AB

C$44,857

C$60,286

C$77,025

Edmonton, AB

C$39,277

C$52,787

C$67,443

Vancouver BC

C$42,660

C$57,332

C$73,251

Victoria, BC

C$38,603

C$51,882

C$66,288

Winnipeg, MB

C$36,234

C$48,697

C$62,218

Fredericton, NB

C$33,956

C$45,636

C$58,307

Yellowknife, NT

C$46,568

C$62,585

C$79,963

London, ON

C$39,126

C$52,583

C$67,183

Ottawa, ON

C$46,338

C$62,276

C$79,567

Toronto, ON

C$45,773

C$61,516

C$78,597

Montreal, QC

C$38,958

C$52,358

C$66,896

Quebec, QC

C$36,785

C$49,438

C$63,165

Regina, SK

C$37,554

C$50,471

C$64,485

Saskatoon, SK

C$36,719

C$49,349

C$63,051

Canada

C$53,721

 

Median Salaries:

Other information sources also present a fairly rosy picture for grant writers in Canada, but the sample sizes generally are too small to be reliable. PayScale.com indicates that the national median salary for grant writers is C$41,081, with a range of C$23,270 to C$61,825. For the only province for which it reports data — Ontario — the range is C$30,000 to C$67,000. Data for other provinces and for cities are not available.

 

Fringe Benefits:

PayScale.com indicates that vacation time varies with years of experience. Grant writers with 1 to 4 years of experience report 1.4 weeks (or 7 days); those with 5 to 9 years of experience report 1.5 weeks (or 7.5 days); and those with 10 to 19 years of experience report 1.0 weeks (or 5 days) of vacation time. The median bonus reported for grant writers in Canada is C$100 with a range of C$0 to C$550.

 

Compared to their counterparts in the United States of America, professional grant writers appear to command somewhat lower salaries in the United Kingdom. Such conclusions must remain subject to revision, however, due to the limits of  pertinent, readily available, and timely data.

 

This post explores available data on the average salaries of grant writers in the United Kingdom. Occasional later posts will explore grant writing as a career in other parts of the world.

 

Salary Ranges:

The Institute of Fundraising, based in the United Kingdom, published a report in 2009, which indicated that the most prevalent salary ranges for fundraisers of all types, among survey respondents, were: £20,000-£25,000, £25,000-£30,000, and £30,000-£35,000. For all fundraising positions advertised on five recruitment websites over a 12-week period, the two most prevalent salary ranges were £25,000-£30,000 and £30,000-£40,000.

 

The same report from the Institute of Fundraising, also indicated that the advertised salary range for a ‘Trust/Grants Fundraiser’ in the United Kingdom was £18,000-£41,000 while that for ‘Development’ was £18,000-£55,000.

 

Salaries by Region:

A second resource, mysalary.co.uk, published salary data for 2011. It reported that average salaries for Grant Writers varied by region in the United Kingdom. They ranged from £20,912 in Yorkshire and the Northeast to £28,492 in London.

 

The table below presents the 2011 salary data; for purposes of aiding international comparison, the table also applies an exchange rate as of the date of this post (£1.00 = $1.5563).

 

Grant Writer Salaries by Region in the United Kingdom

Region

British Pounds (£)

US Dollars ($)

Northwest

£23,003

$35,799.56

London

£28,492

$44,342.09

Yorkshire and Northeast

£20,912

$32,545.34

Southwest

£22,741

$35,391.81

Southeast

£26,924

$41,901.82

Scotland

£22,219

$34,579.42

Northern Ireland

£23,526

$36,613.51

Wales

£21,957

$34,171.67

Midlands

£24,310

$37,833.65

East of England

£21,696

$33,765.48

 

 

 

This post updates data posted last year. It covers what Grant Writers are paid as compensation in terms of median salaries. An earlier post covered 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 January 2013 that median annual salaries for Grants/Proposal Writers were $58,737. The middle 50% of Grant Writers earned from $52,201 to $66,518. The bottom 10% earned $46,250 or less; the top 10% earned $73,602 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 median annual salary works out to $1,129.56 per week and the range for the middle 50% becomes from $1,003.87 to $1,279.19 per week. Calculated over a 2,080-hour work-year, the same median salary works out to $28.24 per hour, and the same range for the middle 50% becomes from $25.10 to $31.98 per hour.

 

Median Salaries By Selected Cities:

As of January 2013, ‘median annual salaries’ in selected cities searched on Salary.com ranged from $44,873 in Helena, Montana to $69,704 in San Francisco, California. Most of the medians for these cities fell in the range of $50,000 to $60,000.

 

The data from PayScale.com are presented for purposes of comparison; by themselves, they shed little light on the subject. (Note: A dash — indicates no data available.)

 

Median Annual Salaries — 2013 Data

  Salary.com PayScale.com
Boston, MA $64,215 $30,410 – $73,974
New York, NY $67,743 $33,221 – $59,598
Washington, DC $63,869 $31,538 – $70,000
Charlotte, NC $57,666
Atlanta, GA $58.043
Tampa, FL $54,871
Houston, TX $58,047
Dallas, TX $57,824 $20,134 – $59,598
Tulsa, OK $55,592
Nashville, TN $53,708
Cincinnati, OH $56,511
Indianapolis, IN $56,275
Chicago, IL $61,750 $27,090 – $66,977
Minneapolis, MN $58,126
Bismarck, ND $52,197
Lincoln, NE $50,517
Casper, WY $51,678
Helena, MT $44,873
Boise, ID $54,784
Seattle, WA $62,740
Portland, OR $59,013
San Francisco, CA $69,704 $30,913 – $96,570
Los Angeles, CA $63,717 $27,821 – $72,719
Salt Lake City, UT $55,392
Denver, CO $58,652
Albuquerque, NM $54,774
Phoenix, AZ $57,769
Anchorage, AK $65,479
Honolulu, HI $63,669
USA $58,126 $26,032 – $70, 643

 

This post updates data posted in 2012. It covers what Grant Writers are paid as compensation in terms of average salaries. A later post will cover median 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.

 

Average Salaries:

Data from Indeed.com, for cities across the country in January 2013, indicate that average annual salaries for Grant Writers ranged at least from $34,000 to $59,000; those for Grant Development Specialists in the same cities were 5.3% to 6.3% higher and ranged at least from $36,000 to $63,000.

 

Average Annual Salaries in Grant Writing — 2013 Data

  Grant Writer Grant Development Specialist
Boston, MA $54,000 $57,000
New York, NY $59,000 $63,000
Washington, DC $54,000 $57,000
Charlotte, NC $47,000 $49,000
Atlanta, GA $52,000 $55,000
Tampa, FL $41,000 $43,000
Houston, TX $46,000 $49,000
Dallas, TX $46,000 $48,000
Tulsa, OK $37,000 $39,000
Nashville, TN $42,000 $44,000
Cincinnati, OH $41,000 $44,000
Indianapolis, IN $38,000 $40,000
Chicago, IL $50,000 $53,000
Minneapolis, MN $42,000 $44,000
Bismarck, ND $37,000 $39,000
Lincoln, NE $34,000 $36,000
Casper, WY $42,000 $45,000
Helena, MT $41,000 $43,000
Boise, ID $37,000 $39,000
Seattle, WA $47,000 $49,000
Portland, OR $41,000 $44,000
San Francisco, CA $60,000 $63,000
Los Angeles, CA $49,000 $52,000
Salt Lake City, UT $41,000 $44,000
Denver, CO $42,000 $44,000
Albuquerque, NM $36,000 $38,000
Phoenix, AZ $40,000 $42,000
Anchorage, AK $38,000 $40,000
Honolulu, HI $34,000 $36,000

 

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.

 

Also presented in terms of averages, a second online resource, PayScale.com, has reported that nationally, as of January 2013, the annual salary range for a Grant Writer was $26,032 to $70,643 per year. This range excluded fringe benefits.

 

Geographic Location:

Annual salary ranges for Grant Writers varied by geographic location. As of January 2013, San Francisco, CA had the highest maximum in its annual salary range of $30,913 to $96,570. Atlanta, GA had the lowest minimum in its annual salary range of $18,121 to $74,497.

 

Other American cities and salary ranges, sorted in ascending order by minimums, included:

  • Dallas, TX: $20,134 to $59,598
  • Houston, TX: $24,490 to $56,250
  • Pittsburgh, PA: $25,000 to $53,500
  • Philadelphia, PA: $25,199 to $44,962
  • Chicago, IL: $27,090 to $66,977
  • Los Angeles, CA: $27,821 to $72,719
  • Salt Lake City, UT: $29,000 to $35,871
  • Boston, MA: $30,410 to $73,974
  • Washington, DC: $31,538 to $70,000
  • Baltimore, MD: $32,844 to $44,337
  • New York, NY: $33,221 to $59,598
  • New Orleans, LA: $34,183 to $46,297
  • Phoenix, AZ: $39,278 to $49,910
  • Seattle, WA: $40,991 to $50,398

 

Highest Degree Earned:

As of January 2013, PayScale.com reported that annual salaries for Grant Writers varied by the highest degree earned:

  1. Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English: $24,490 to $54,721
  2. Master of Arts (MA) in English: $44,104 to $47,231
  3. Master of Business Administration (MBA): $24,490 to $70,000
  4. Master of Public Administration (MPA): $39,663 to $49,930
  5. Doctorate (PhD): $40,000 to $60,000

 

Type of Employer:

In addition, PayScale.com reported that annual salaries for Grant Writers also varied by the type of employer:

  1. Education: $28,108 to $58,919
  2. Healthcare: $28,883 to $59,411
  3. Social Services: $26,699 to $53,922
  4. Youth Services: $26,862 to $52,678

 

As with other types of professional work, the for-profit sector often paid more than the non-profit sector for positions related to grant writing.

 

Bonuses:

In late 2012, few Grant Writers reported getting a bonus. Reported bonuses most often were for less than 1% of salaries, which is less than $250 for every $25,000 in base salary.

 

Fringe Benefits:

On average, fringe benefits amounted to about 30% of total compensation. Aside from social security taxes (FICA), time off from work was the largest share of total benefits.

 

Data provided at PayScale.com also indicated that average annual vacation time for Grant Writers was 9.5 days (or 1.9 weeks) per year after 10 years of experience, and 8 days (or 1.6 weeks) with less than 10 years experience. Depending upon the nature of the employer and the specific contract, full-time salaried Grant Writers, after completing 20 years of service, could expect up to 20 days of paid vacation per year.

 

Further Information:

All factual material presented here is intended strictly for informational purposes only. If you’d like to know more about what Grant Writers or related positions earn, please go to Indeed.com, PayScale.com, eHow.com, or Salary.com.

This post discusses commission-based compensation for grant writers. It is one of an ongoing series on Grant Writing as a Career. Earlier posts discussed hourly fees and flat fees, consultant retainer fees and prospect research fees, proposal review and editing fees, ordinary and general consulting business expenses, and contingency fees.

 

As previously noted, the odds of a given proposal being funded vary with the program, the funder, and the competition at the time of application. They vary with the applicant’s experience as a grant seeker, its track record in managing prior grant awards, and the merits of its problem-solving strategies. Seldom is a proposal’s positive outcome a certainty.

 

Commission-Based Compensation:

Contrasted with zero-sum contingency fees, another type of arrangement for deferred compensation pays the consultant a modest upfront fee, such as $2,500 or so per proposal. The client then agrees to pay a further commission upon notification or receipt of funding – either as a fixed sum or as a percentage of the amount of a grant award.

 

Consultants may state their deferred payment options on their websites. One consultant’s schedule – discoverable online – combined a fee with a commission in this way:

  • 60% of estimated fees due in advance (and)
  • 8% of awards over $75,000
  • 10% of awards between $25,000 and $74,999
  • 12% of awards between $10,000 and $24,999
  • 15% of awards between $500 and $9,999

 

In addition to the ‘estimated base fees,’ at the minimum points in each range, this option would amount to surcharges of:

  • $6,000 (at 8% of $75,000)
  • $2,500 (at 10% of $25,000)
  • $1,200 (at 12% of $10,000)
  • $75 (at 15% of $500)

 

With larger grants (such as those of $100,000 or more per year), percentage-based commissions more typically range from 1% to 5% of the total grant awarded.

 

Problems and Pitfalls of Commissions:

A budget is ‘padded’ when a line item is calculated at a higher amount than it should be or is introduced in its entirety when it is not necessary. Commission-based deferred payment arrangements may tempt proposal developers to pad their budget requests so that their pay-offs become that much larger. In the illustration above, from 8% to 15% of each dollar of padding would benefit the consultant, not the client.

 

Such padding goes beyond representing a cushion to account for annual cost inflation in certain items in a multiyear proposal (e.g., in salaries and fringe benefits). It also goes beyond realistic uncertainties in the future costs of certain requested products or services (e.g., those of computers or of airfares).

 

From the start, padding may be evasive or deceptive in its origins and its intent. At best it may be merely naïve. A client with severely limited financial resources may be more tempted than others to pad its grant budgets in order to pay a consultant’s commission. Whether naïve or deliberate, it is a bad practice since grant makers hold padded budgets in universal contempt.

 

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