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The vocabulary of proposal development is part of the language required for writing a winning grant proposal. Revised and expanded in mid-2016, this set of entries covers words and phrases from P to Z. Its context is the United States of America.

 

PROJECT: The specific proposed program or plan of action for which grant funds are being requested. A project has a definite start date and a definite end date, and it has an explicitly defined and time-bound set of desired outcomes.

 

PROJECT COORDINATOR: The person who manages and implements a project under the auspices or supervision of a project director or a similar administrator; coordination is often a desirable role for personnel when a project or initiative targets multiple sites or features multiple components or involves many partners. Also see: Project Director and Principal Investigator.

 

PROJECT DIRECTOR: The person who leads or directs a grant-funded project and ensures that the project complies with all conditions and regulations, particularly in training, educational, and model demonstration projects. Also may be called a Project Manager. Also see: Principal investigator and Project Coordinator.

 

REPLICABILITY: A project’s ability or promise of being able to be transplanted to other settings and to yield similar or comparable impacts or outcomes or results in them.

 

RESEARCH: An organized effort to add to the existing knowledge base of an established or emerging discipline in the area of theory or application or both. Alternatively, the search for epistemologically valid and reliable evidence that implementing one or more of an applicant’s proposed activities or strategies is likely to yield the desired outcomes and impacts.

 

RESULT: A measurable consequence of implementing a project or initiative, but not necessarily the intended and anticipated focus of an objective or a goal. Examples: Improved school climate in an arts enrichment project; reduced arrests for certain property crimes in a graffiti abatement project.

 

STAFF: The person or persons who carry out a project using grant funds, and those who support it using other funds; also may be called Personnel. Also see: Personnel.

 

STAFFING PLAN: The scheme, method, or approach for deploying persons having appropriate knowledge, skills, and abilities (or required qualifications and experience) to do the work of a project or initiative.

 

SUMMATIVE EVALUATION: The measurement of the extent or degree of success of a project or initiative; it offers conclusions about what worked (and what did not) and it makes recommendations about what to keep, what to change, and what to discontinue; it occurs at the end of each project year and after the grant-funded project ends. Also called Outcome Evaluation or Product Evaluation. Also see: Formative Evaluation.

 

TARGET POPULATION: The persons, groups, subgroups, or entities intended to participate in a project or initiative and/or to benefit from it. Applicants should exercise discretion and sensitivity in adopting the phrase in certain contexts (e.g., violence prevention). Also see: Beneficiary and Participant.

 

TEAM: A group of persons who work as a unit towards a common or shared purpose related to a project or initiative. A team may include persons paid with non-grant funds and persons affiliated with organizations other than the applicant or grant recipient. Also see: Partner.

 

TIMELINE: The detailed overall sequence, schedule, or timetable anticipated for implementing a project or initiative. It may present both discrete events and continuous processes. It also may include an illustrative chart or a table. Also see: Milestone.

 

VISION: A clear and concise statement of an applicant’s purpose, values, and aspirations for its mid-term or long-term future, presented as its inspiration or motivation for what it does in the present. In a proposal, an applicant commonly links its organizational vision to its Work Plan and to the grant maker’s purposes for making grants. Also see: Mission.

 

This post concludes a five-part series on Proposal Development.

 

The vocabulary of proposal development is part of the language required for writing a winning grant proposal. Revised and expanded in mid-2016, this set of entries covers words and phrases from O to P. Its context is the United States of America.

 

OUTCOME: The desired and intended quantitative or qualitative end result or consequence of a set of activities undertaken to achieve one or more objectives. It is often used as a measurement of effect rather than of effort. Examples: 50% reduction in long-term suspensions; 10% reduction in dropout rate; 25% increase in library holdings; 20% loss of body fat; 5% reduction in residential burglaries.

 

OUTPUT: A tangible or quantifiable product of an activity. It is often used as a measurement of effort rather than of effect. Examples: Four new geography units; ten parental education workshops; six program newsletters; 30 home visits; a new science kit.

 

PARTICIPANT: Someone directly and actively involved in a project or initiative as one who is served by it or who otherwise benefits from it. Examples: Science teachers; juvenile delinquents; English language learners; third graders; parents of newborns; elderly residents.

 

PARTNER: An individual or organization that contributes resources to a grant-funded project or initiative, often by a formal and legally enforceable agreement delineating responsibilities and commitments between or among the entities involved in it.

 

PARTNERSHIP: Two or more individuals or organizations, working with each other under an often formal and legally enforceable agreement to accomplish the objectives and attain the goals of a grant-funded project or initiative, and often contributing cash or in-kind resources or both towards its budget.

 

PERSONNEL: The persons who provide the human labor to implement or support activities designed to achieve the objectives of a project or initiative. Some or many of the personnel, but seldom all, may be paid for out of grant funds. Also see: Staff.

 

PLAN OF ACTION: The specific series of activities or steps to be undertaken during a project or initiative, as well as its goals, objectives, timeline, personnel, and resources. It is also called a Program Design or a Work Plan.

 

PRELIMINARY PROPOSAL: A partial proposal, having some but not all elements of a complete proposal such as a plan of action and a budget, submitted to a grant maker for a review to determine whether it merits subsequent submission as a complete proposal. Also called a Pre-

Proposal. Also see: Full Proposal.

 

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: The person who leads or directs a grant-funded research project, particularly in federally funded scientific or medical research grants; also known as a PI. Also see: Project Director.

 

PROBLEM: The specific reason for proposing a grant-funded project or initiative, which offers a promising solution to the problem. Example: A dropout rate higher than the state average. Applicants must avoid circular reasoning in defining problems. Example: A lack, an absence, a shortage, or a scarcity, in and of itself, is not a problem; however, one or more of its consequences or effects may represent one. Also see: Need.

 

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: A method of continuously improving the knowledge, skills, and/or abilities of a defined group of participants; or a method of enhancing or increasing the formal qualifications or credentials of a defined group of participants. Participants in it often may include a project’s key personnel. It also may be called Training or Staff Training or Staff Development.

 

PROGRAM DESIGN: A time-bounded plan for implementing a project including goals, objectives, activities, timeline, and strategies. It is also called a Plan of Action or a Work Plan.

 

A later post will cover Glossary entries starting with letters P to Z.

 

The vocabulary of proposal development is part of the language required for writing a winning grant proposal. Revised and expanded in mid-2016, this set of entries covers words and phrases from J to O. Its context is the United States of America.

 

JUSTIFICATION: A brief rationale or explanation of aspects of a project or initiative – particularly of some elements, or occasionally all elements, in its itemized budget – that may raise questions or objections in the minds of proposal reviewers or grant makers or that may benefit in some other way from a more detailed elaboration.

 

LOGIC MODEL: A schematic or graphical representation, often presented as a flow chart or as a table, which shows how inputs and activities interact and lead to outputs, outcomes, and impacts. Example: A table that presents goals, objectives, key activities, key personnel, evaluation measures, a timeline, and costs – all in one synoptic document.

 

KEY PERSONNEL: The persons or positions critical to the success of a project or initiative. Examples: Project Directors or Principal Investigators. Key personnel may include those paid with non-grant funds as well as those paid with grant funds. Examples: Classroom Teachers or Clinicians.

 

MANAGEMENT PLAN: An applicant’s proposed scheme, method, or program for deploying its key personnel and for ensuring that it uses its fiscal and programmatic resources in ways consistent with its funded proposal; the plan often includes an illustrative organizational chart. Also see: Organizational Chart.

 

MILESTONE: A discrete event or specific accomplishment used to measure the progress or momentum of a project or initiative towards implementing its activities, achieving its objectives, and attaining its goals. Also see: Benchmark.

 

MISSION: A succinct statement of why, for whom, and what an applicant does in order to lead to a desired mid-term or long-term future state of affairs. In a proposal, an applicant commonly links its organizational mission to its Work Plan. Also see: Vision.

 

NARRATIVE: The body of an application or a proposal describing what is to be done, how it is to be done, why it is to be done, who is to do it and where, when and how often it is to be done, at what cost it is to be done, who will ensure that it gets done, who will measure its success, and how that success will be measured and reported.

 

NEED: A definable and often quantifiable situation or trend, usually perceived as negative or undesirable, that an applicant proposes to address in its project or initiative. Applicants’ descriptions of need must avoid circular reasoning (e.g., the mere absence of a resource does not prove the presence of a need) and must avoid presenting needs beyond the capacity of a single grant to improve or eliminate. Also see: Problem.

 

NEEDS ASSESSMENT: A narrative review of a condition or state of affairs that an applicant seeks to change with the assistance of the resources afforded by a grant award. It is often presented with abundant descriptive ad comparative data. Also see: Problem Statement.

 

OBJECTIVE: A time-bound statement, framed in specific and measurable terms, of what an applicant is going to accomplish during a project or initiative; it advances the project or initiative towards attaining its goal or goals. Objectives are indispensable and critical elements in a Work Plan or a Plan of Action or a Program Design. Example: Each project year, 90% or more of project participants will demonstrate statistically significant gains (p < .05) in English literacy, as measured by state-mandated assessments. Also see: Activity.

 

ORGANIZATION: A generic and non-technical term for a legally established entity that is eligible to seek, manage, and expend a grant award, either alone or in a partnership with one or more other organizations or individuals or both.

 

ORGANIZATIONAL CHART: A graphic device depicting the staff positions involved in a project or initiative, the flow of communication between and among them, and their connections to other key staff in an organization or a partnership. Many of the positions may be paid using funds other than those of the grant being sought. Also see: Management Plan.

 

ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY: A brief chronological summation or narrative account of the primary milestones, accomplishments, and unique attributes of an organization.

 

A later post will cover Glossary entries starting with letters O to P.

 

The vocabulary of proposal development is part of the language required for writing a winning grant proposal. Revised and expanded in mid-2016, this set of entries covers words and phrases from C to I. Its context is the United States of America.

 

CONCEPT: A description of the overall vision and rationale underlying a project or initiative, or one of the detailed plans for making it happen within a defined timeframe; organizations often submit a concept to a potential private funder in a Concept Paper.

 

CONSTITUENT: A beneficiary, a client, or a participant in a project or initiative. Examples: a college student; an infant; a refugee; a family living in poverty; a first grader.

 

CONTINUATION: A plan to sustain some or all aspects of a project or initiative after initial grant funding ends. Alternatively, a grant award made for any defined period after a project’s initial funding period. Also see: Sustainability.

 

CRITERIA: The guidelines, standards, or elements of a scoring rubric or proposal review form that reviewers or other decision makers use to rate and rank a proposal submitted to a grant maker; also may be called Selection Criteria or Review Criteria.

 

DISSEMINATION: The intentional process of sharing a project’s strategies and results with its target audiences. It expands the original project’s impact, informs stakeholders of its significance and accomplishments, and builds awareness and support for its continuation by other means after initial grant funding ends.

 

EVALUATION: The analysis of the degree to which an applicant, as a grant recipient, implements its activities, achieves its objectives, and attains its goals, and an analysis of obstacles to progress and strategies used for overcoming them. Evaluation may be formative or summative. It may use qualitative or quantitative measures or both. It often describes both processes and outcomes. It states what will be done, who will do it with what and where, when and how often it will be done, and (often) why it will be done.

 

EVALUATION PLAN: An applicant’s proposed scheme, method, or program for collecting, measuring, analyzing, and reporting data about the progress and outcomes of a project or initiative, and for ascertaining, describing, and confirming the degree to which it has achieved its objectives and attained its goals.

 

FORMATIVE EVALUATION: Monitoring that occurs at set intervals during a project or initiative; it yields feedback that often leads to adjustments and corrective action during the course of that project or initiative. Also may be called Process Evaluation. Also see: Summative Evaluation.

 

FULL PROPOSAL: A complete proposal submitted to a grant maker for a review of its merits for subsequent grant funding. Also see: Preliminary Proposal.

 

GOAL: A desired long-term accomplishment or a general and desired direction of change, often stated in abstract or global terms. The goal normally reflects the mission of the applicant and/or the funding purposes of a specific grant maker. Also see: Objective.

 

GRANT SEEKER: An actual or potential applicant for a grant award.

 

IMPACT: A tangible or quantifiable long-term outcome of a grant-funded project or initiative, often framed in broad terms as a desirable or ideal condition or state of affairs and as a consequence or effect attributable to attaining one or more of its objectives.

 

IMPLEMENTATION: The process of doing the activities specifically described in a proposal and any others (e.g., fiscal management and performance monitoring) that are explicitly required by a funder or are deemed necessary, often implicitly as a matter of course, to the success of a project or initiative.

 

INDICATOR: A measure of the need for some aspect of a project or initiative. Alternatively, a measure of the direct outcomes and results of a project or initiative for its participants and for its intended beneficiaries; in this latter sense, it also may be called a Performance Measure or a Performance Indicator. Also see: Need.

 

INPUT: A tangible or quantifiable resource invested in the pursuit of the specific outcomes and impacts sought in a grant-funded project or initiative. Examples: Time, expertise, funding, personnel, supplies, facilities, and technologies.

 

A later post will cover entries in this Glossary with the initial letters J to O.

 

The vocabulary of proposal development is part of the language required for writing a winning grant proposal. Revised and expanded in mid-2016, this set of entries covers words and phrases from A to C. Its context is the United States of America.

 

ACTIVITY: A step or action taken to achieve one or more project objectives. Often many steps or actions are necessary to achieve each objective in a project or initiative. An activity can occur just once or any number of times; it can be singular or it can be part of a series or sequence of related activities. Also see: Objective.

 

ADMINISTRATOR: The person or office responsible for (1) leading or guiding the implementation of a grant-funded project or initiative, (2) monitoring the overall progress and performance of a grant-funded project or initiative, and/or (3) taking corrective actions whenever necessary to keep a grant-funded project or initiative on track and on budget.

 

APPLICANT: The individual or organization seeking a grant and proposing to manage, expend, and account for expenditures and results of grant funds if they are awarded.

 

ASSESSMENT: A formal or informal measurement of the status of one or more issues of interest to an individual or organization, or the means or instrument used to measure the status of one or more such issues. Often an assessment is repeated at a regular interval, e.g., each year.

 

BENCHMARK: An external frame of reference or a state of affairs used as a source or basis of comparison and as a target towards which a grant-funded project or an initiative aspires. Example: Becoming a nationally validated model program. Alternatively, an internal periodic target towards which a grant-funded project or initiative aspires. Example: Yearly increments of 10% improvement over the baseline performance on some measure in a multiyear project.

 

BENEFICIARY: A person, or class of persons, intended to experience improvements or to benefit, either directly or indirectly, from a grant-funded project or initiative. Also see: Participant and Target Population.

 

BENEFIT: A measurable change in a person or class of persons observed as a direct or indirect consequence of a project or initiative. Examples: Lower dropout rates or longer life expectancy.

 

CAPABILITY: The ability of an organization or individual to bring to bear specific resources, to do specific tasks, or to obtain desired results – often within a defined time-span – such as those resources or tasks or results described in the Work Plan or elsewhere in a grant proposal.

 

CAPACITY: The ability or competence of an applicant and its partners, if any, to implement its activities, to achieve its objectives, to accomplish its goals, and to advance its Vision or Mission. Alternatively, an ability or competence, created as a consequence of a grant award, to perform later tasks or activities similar to those performed during a grant period. Also see: Mission and Vision.

 

COLLABORATION: The processes of implementing shared goals, joint leadership, and shared responsibility and accountability, and of accruing shared resources and benefits during a project or initiative; often they are described as part of a Management Plan. Also see: Management Plan.

 

COMMITMENT: A measure of an applicant’s or a partnership’s investment of its own limited financial and programmatic resources in undertaking a project or initiative proposed for grant funding.

 

A later post will cover entries in this Glossary with the initial letters C to I.

 

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

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.

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.

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