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In late 2018, many blogs offer insights about how to seek, find, get, and keep a grant award, how to write a grant proposal, and related topics. The blogs vary widely in longevity, source, style, scope, depth, and quality; each one is worth a visit, perhaps even a tour.

 

This second post samples some of the diverse blogs about grant seeking and grant proposal writing. Its topics are: logic models; planning tools; prospect research; success factors; sustainability; and technical reviews.

 

The first post samples the same blogs. Its topics are: assessments of need; career paths; choice of voice; collaboration and networks; development process; goals and objectives; and grant writing myths. The context for both posts is the United States of America. Comments are always welcome.

 

Logic Models

 

Logic models are versatile tools for program design and project management. A particularly inspiring and reassuring post on the Grants4Good Blog, by Margit Brazda Poirier, presents some of the roles of logic modelsin developing grant proposals. An elegant post about the power of logic models, by Barbara Floersh, appears on the Grantsmanship Center Blog. Another related post on the Grant Training Center Blog, by Mathilda Harris, also argues for the utility of logic modelsin project planning. GrantResultshas an eight-part series (2016) about using logic modelsin writing proposals and in implementing funded projects.

 

Planning Toolkits

 

Grant proposals require extensive planning and coordination. In a helpful post on the Grant Training Center Blog, Mathilda Harris examines the potential role of seven-component grant design chartsin planning a proposal and getting it funded. In the Foundation Center’s Grant Craft Blog, a thought-provoking post by Aimee Hendrigan describes the RACI matrixas a tool for fostering collaboration among grant recipients. GrantResultspresents a six-part series (2017) about Gantt charts, PESTLE analysis, SWOT analysis, Red teams, and several other tools for developing grant proposals.

 

Prospect Research

 

Knowing where to find grants is essential for grant seekers. Affiliated with the Foundation Center, famous for its comprehensive foundation directories, the GrantSpace Blogprovides a helpful overview about finding fundersin an applicant’s geographic area. GrantResultshas an eight-part series (2013, revised 2017) about state directories of grant makers, organized by geographic regions (e.g., New England, Midwest, Southwest).

 

Success Factors

 

Applicants may or may not get a grant for many reasons. The Grant Writing Basics Blog Seriesprovides a wealth of insights about winning and keeping federal grants, not the least of which is its post about verifying eligibility. On the Grant Training Center Blog, Mathilda Harris identifies 20 waysa proposal may fail to win a grant. Similarly, on the Let’s Talk Nonprofit Blog, Laura Rhodes offers tips about how some foundation grant makers make funding decisions. GrantResultsprovides a six-part series (2017) about some reasons why grant proposals may failto get funded (e.g., readiness, choice of opportunities, applicant attributes, proposal content).

 

Sustainability

 

The question of sustainability is pivotal for many grant makers. On the Grant Helpers Blog, in an instructive post, Michelle Hansen presents five key elementsof a sustainability plan. A penetrating post about the elements of sustainabilityalso appears on Barbara Floersch’s Grantsmanship Center Blog. GrantResultshas posted (2017) several tips for developing sustainability plansfor grant proposals, and has also posted (2013) seven strategiesfor developing sustainability plans.

 

Technical Reviews

 

Expert panel reviews make or break many grant proposals. On the Grant Writer Team Blog, a particularly informative and insightful post by Elaine Rose Penn explains what grant reviewers look forin proposals (e.g., partnerships and sustainability). The Grant Writing Basics Blog Seriesexplains peer review panelsand the application review process. On the Seliger+Associates Grant Writing Blog, Jake Seliger encourages grant seekers to write foremost to satisfy the needs and expectations of grant proposal reviewers, not other audiences. GrantResultspresents a two-part series (2012) about analyzing federal requests for proposals(RFPs) and becoming a reviewerof grant proposals.

 

 

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This post offers an overview of the 400+ pages posted to this blog in the past five years. It may serve visitors as an aid in searching Grant Results for posts about diverse practical aspects of grant writing as a career, state and national resources for grant seekers, and sundry tools and tips for writing competitive grant proposals. With the few exceptions noted, its context is the United States of America.

 

Grant Writing as a Career

  • Common Career Paths
  • What Grant Writers Do
  • Essential Tools/Skills
  • Where Grant Writers Work
  • When Grant Writers Work

 

Grant Consulting: Rates and Fees

  • Hourly Rates and Flat Rates
  • Prospect Research Fees
  • Retainer Fees
  • Proposal Revision and Review Fees
  • Proposal Planning and Other Fees

 

Grant Writer Salaries

  • Median Annual Salaries
  • Median Salaries in All 50 US States
  • Median Salaries in 51 US Cities
  • Median Salaries in Australia
  • Median Salaries in Canada
  • Median Salaries in the United Kingdom
  • Median Salaries in Mexico
  • Median Salaries in the Caribbean Region

 

Professional Associations for Grant Writers

 

Grant Writers’ Networks

  • Purposes and Benefits
  • Questions for Start-Ups
  • Online Presence

 

Grant Writing Dictionaries:

  • Budget Development Dictionary A-Z
  • Proposal Development Dictionary A-Z

 

Finding Funding: Sources of Federal Grants

 

Finding State Education Grants

  • Southwest
  • Northwest
  • Great Plains
  • Midwest
  • Southeast
  • Mid-Atlantic
  • New England

 

State Grant Maker Directories

  • Southwest
  • Northwest
  • Great Plains
  • Midwest
  • Southeast
  • Mid-Atlantic
  • New England
  • Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands

 

Writing Competitive Grant Proposals

  • SMART Goals
  • PESTLE Analysis
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Red Team Reviews
  • RASCI Charts
  • Gantt Charts
  • Using Strategic Plans

 

Grant Writing Basics

  • Abstracts
  • Needs Assessments
  • Research-based Rationales
  • Project Objectives
  • Project Goals
  • Timelines
  • Personnel Plans
  • Management Plans
  • Dissemination Plans
  • Sustainability Plans
  • Evaluation Plans
  • Itemized Budgets
  • Budget Justifications
  • Proposal Attachments
  • Tables of Contents
  • Cover Letters

 

Common Proposal Application Forms

  • Proposal Elements
  • Contacting Funders
  • Roles of Evaluation
  • Lengths and Formats
  • Revenue Sources
  • Expense Categories

 

Why Proposals Don’t Win Grants

  • Choices of Opportunities
  • Applicant Attributes
  • Context and Competition
  • Grant Readiness
  • Proposal Content
  • Development and Delivery

 

Logic Models

  • Performance Indicators and Logic Models
  • Elements of a Logic Model
  • Defining a Logic Model
  • Basics of Logic Models
  • Types of Logic Models
  • Benefits of Logic Models
  • Alternative Logic Models
  • Use of Logic Models in Evaluation

 

Myths in Grant-Seeking

  • Myth of Instantaneity
  • Myth of Uniformity
  • Myth of Needless Complexity
  • Myth of Automaticity
  • Myth of Universal Eligibility
  • Myth of Substitutability
  • Myth of Omnipotence
  • Myth of Relationships

 

Proposal Boilerplate and Proposal Templates

  • Uses of Boilerplate in Grant Proposals
  • Hazards of Cloned Proposals
  • Using Proposal Templates

 

Funding Success Rates

 

Learning from Technical Review Forms

 

Return on Investment as a Metric for Grant Writers

 

There may be many more networks of Grant Writers than those having websites, but it’s hard to verify their existence remotely without one. This post, revised for 2018, is the last in a series; it surveys the online presence of networks of Grant Writers across the United States of America. Earlier posts examined the purposes and benefits of such networks and outlined some considerations for starting up a local network of Grant Writers.

 

Overview of Grant Writers’ Networks

 

In the summary table below, Y (Yes) means that evidence of an attribute is found on a network’s website; N (No) means that it is not found there. Note: At the end of the post, a list aligns Columns 1-10 with the networks’ names and their embedded websites.

 

Out of 10 networks, 10 (or 100%) have websites of varying coverage; seven (or 70%) state the year or date when the network was first established; seven (or 70%) give a mission statement; five (or 50%) give a purpose (or goals) statement; seven (or 70%) state which types of professionals are invited to participate in the network; and six (or 60%) state or imply that membership is open to anyone who is interested and pays a membership fee (if required).

 

Grant Writers’ Networks in the US
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Website Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Date Established Y Y Y N N Y Y Y N Y
Mission Statement Y Y Y N N N Y Y Y Y
Purpose Statement N N Y Y N N Y Y N Y
Membership Types  Y Y Y N N N Y Y Y Y
Open Membership N N Y Y Y Y Y N Y N

 

Dates of Founding

 

Of the seven ongoing networks of Grant Writers about which one can learn when they were founded, two (or 28%) were founded in 2010 or later; two (or 28%) were founded in 2000 through 2009; and three (or 44%) were founded in 1990 through 1999. The oldest network appears to be the Puget Sound Grant Writers Association, founded in 1990.

 

Geographic Distribution

 

In 2018, networks of Grant Writers have an online presence in six states: Florida (3), Wisconsin (2), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), Oklahoma (1), and Washington (1).

 

Network Activities

 

Among the activities in which many of the 10 networks regularly engage are to:

  • Promote professional networking
  • Offer professional development
  • Provide access to education and training
  • Promote partnerships and collaboration
  • Promote interdisciplinary intra-university collaboration
  • Promote collaboration and support among peers
  • Promote collaboration among nonprofits
  • Foster connections among grant seekers, nonprofits, and funders,
  • Provide tools for problem solving among grant seekers
  • Share resources among network participants
  • Connect grant seekers to resources
  • Enhance participants’ writing skills
  • Assist participants in identifying resources

 

The Grant Writers Roundtable (Grand Rapids, MI) holds its meetings at a different location each month — mostly at nonprofit organizations — so that its members can learn more about them.

 

The Puget Sound Grant Writers Association (Seattle, WA) holds an annual fall conference attended by as many as 400 persons. It also holds an annual funders forum and conducts informal grants cafés to foster networking.

 

The University of Missouri Office of Research Grant Writer Network (Columbia, MO) has published a reference book for faculty in institutions of higher education titled, Grant Seeking in Higher Education: Strategies and Tools for College Faculty (2012).

 

Table Reference List with Dates of Inception

 

The names of networks of grant writers are listed in alphabetical order. The numbers correspond to the table summarizing selected attributes. The parenthetic dates are the apparent years of inception of each network; ND indicates ‘No Date Available’.

 

  1. Florida Inter-Agency Grants Consortium – 2010
  2. Grand Rapids (MI) Grant Writers Roundtable – 2008
  3. Grants Collaborative of Tampa Bay (FL) – 1993
  4. Grow Wisconsin – ND
  5. Marion County (FL) Grant Writers’ Network – ND
  6. Planners and Grant Writers Roundtable (Milwaukee WI) – 2011
  7. Puget Sound Grant Writers Association (WA) – 1990
  8. University of Missouri Grant Writer Network – 1998
  9. Lake-Sumter Grantsmanship Network (FL) – ND
  10. Council on Grantsmanship and Research (OK) – 2004

 

If any reader knows of another network of grant writers — operating in the United States of America and missing from this list — please send a comment!

At times, grant seekers find strength in numbers. Networks can be powerful tools for organizations seeking competitively awarded grants.

 

This post, revised for 2018, is the second in a series; it focuses on ways to establish a new network of Grant Writers in terms of why, who, what, where, when, and how. An earlier post focused on the purposes and benefits of networks. A later post will survey existing networks of grant-seeking organizations.

 

Background

 

The Tulsa Area Grant Writers Network (TAG-Net) was an informal initiative that lasted about 10 years. Its purpose was to build local capacity to win more grants, particularly in programs that required partnerships. Its membership was open to professionals who wrote competitive grant proposals and/or who managed grant-funded projects. Members met monthly. Meetings had agendas and lasted an hour or so. Different organizations hosted the meetings at their facilities – in order both to broaden ownership and to increase visibility.

 

Why

 

Why start a network? One possible reason, pursued in TAG-Net, was to win more grants for the communities and constituencies represented by the network’s member organizations:

  • Circulate a declaration of purpose, rationale, and goals
  • Focus on partnership building and collaboration in seeking competitive grants

 

Who

 

Who is the network’s intended membership? One possible point of departure, adopted in TAG-Net, was professionals who write competitive grant proposals:

  • Invite counterparts who are engaged in grant seeking in area organizations
  • Rotate leadership of meetings among network members
  • Exchange contact information
  • Compile and share a membership directory
  • Collect and report meeting attendance data to members

 

What

 

What are the network’s tasks? One fundamental task, pursued in TAG-Net, is to provide information and insights that lead to more effective partnerships and more grant awards:

  • Request members’ inputs for agenda topics and themes
  • Incorporate members’ inputs in establishing agendas
  • Publish and follow an agenda for each meeting

 

Where

 

Where does the network meet? One aspect, acted upon in TAG-Net, was to ensure that it not be seen as belonging to or benefitting only one grant-seeking organization:

  • Meet at varied locations – to maximize ownership among organizations
  • Meet at varied locations – to expose members to organizations’ facilities and staff

 

When

 

How can a network use time to make itself useful for its members? One aspect, addressed in TAG-Net, was to calibrate time allocations to members’ priorities and availability.

  • Hold regular meetings at predictable times – biweekly to monthly
  • Dedicate an hour or more to holding the actual meetings
  • Hold additional ad hoc meetings as grants opportunities arise

 

How

 

What are the basic assumptions about forming and operating new collaborative networks of grant writers? In TAG-Net, such assumptions reflected a singular intention to use the Network as a means for building capacity for seeking and winning competitive grants to benefit a specific geographical area.

 

Formalizing a Network

 

Particularly at the start, for TAG-Net, it seemed prudent to avoid over-formalizing the network. In practice, this meant:

  • No website
  • No 501(c)(3)
  • No dues
  • No budget
  • No elected officers
  • No single-site organizational affiliation

Other networks may adopt more formal practices far more extensively than in the example of TAG-Net – and, in fact, several have done so.

 

With time, it is likely that active members may desire to formalize their network in some way. It’s then up to the members to determine how they wish to proceed. A later post will explore what other networks have done with particular attention to their apparent formality of approach.

 

A final post will survey existing networks of grant-seeking organizations, such as may be found in early 2018.

 

At times, grant seekers find strength in numbers. Networks of Grant Writers can be powerful tools for large and small organizations seeking competitively awarded grants.

 

This post, revised for 2018, is the first in an updated three-part series; it focuses on the purposes and benefits of Grant Writer networks. Other posts in the series survey networks of grant-seeking organizations – as they exist in 2018 – and explore possible ways to set up and operate a new network.

 

Background

 

As a full-time Grant Writer for a large urban school district, I launched the Tulsa Area Grant Writers Network (TAG-Net) by using collections of email addresses and business cards as my sources of initial contacts. From the start, TAG-Net was designed to be a collaborative initiative. Its primary rationale was to respond to an escalating need for potential applicants to be able to have robust partnerships already in place when competing for new grants.

 

During TAG-Net’s first five years, I was its nominal chairperson. During this period, it expanded to involve 80 participants from 65 different grant-seeking organizations in the metropolitan area. In varying formats, TAG-Net continued to operate for another five years after I had accepted a role in a different organization and could no longer participate in it.

 

Purposes

 

Creating and sustaining a multi-agency network of Grant Writers serves a number of capacity-building purposes for its participants – all of which can contribute to positioning them to win grants. Among such purposes are to:

  • Maximize eligibility as applicants
  • Catalyze the building of partnerships
  • Facilitate planning of partnership proposals
  • Share data (with protections of privacy and confidentiality intact)
  • Exchange and share effective practices
  • Exchange and share knowledge and expertise
  • Exchange information about coming grant opportunities and deadlines
  • Leverage existing community resources and assets
  • Provide collegial professional development for participants

 

Benefits

 

Actively engaging in a multi-agency network of Grant Writers can generate a number of definable and measurable benefits for its participants, among which are that they:

  • Become more familiar with modes of operation of diverse participant organizations
  • Become more familiar with varying executive sign-off protocols of other organizations
  • Become more familiar with who does what in other participant organizations
  • Expedite obtaining memoranda of agreement and letters of commitment or support
  • Make it easier to identify potential project staff and potential external consultants
  • Create the competitive asset of pre-existing collaboration and partnerships

 

In addition, through actively engaging in a multi-agency network, Grant Writers can:

  • Learn what types of data other organizations collect and maintain (but may not report)
  • Engage in more extensive sharing of data for developing assessments of need
  • Acquire more ready access to resources for specialized reviews of research literature
  • Mitigate the potentially adverse effects of turf and silo mentalities
  • Win more grants to support worthwhile local projects and initiatives

 

The next post in this series will explore possible ways to set up and operate a new network.

 

 

This post discusses others’ estimates of the time it takes to develop a competitive grant proposal.

 

In my experience, developing a grant proposal involves three primary processes: (1) social (i.e., planning and coordinating); (2) financial (i.e., developing a budget); and (3) narrative (i.e., writing). Of the estimates found online, most of those for how long it takes to develop a competitive grant proposal focus only on the narrative process and neglect the others.

 

Some Simple Estimates

 

One of the more commonly cited estimates for how long it takes to develop a grant proposal is 120 hours (only for the writing) for ‘a typical proposal’ submitted to the National Science Foundation (NSF) or to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This estimate does not define ‘typical.’

 

Another source found online offers a simple formula – two hours per page for a ‘typical state/federal proposal.’ The source does not define ‘page.’ It also does not define ‘typical.’

 

A third source estimates that it takes anywhere from two hours for two-page proposals to three months for proposals of more than 100 pages. The source does not define ‘months’ in terms of total hours or even in terms of hours per month. It also does not define ‘page.’

 

More Complicated Estimates

 

One of the more illuminating analyses of the time it takes to develop a grant proposal is found here. It does not break out a proposal into its various components or processes; however, it does reflect that projects with larger budgets and longer project periods tend to take more time to develop. The table below recapitulates its analysis.

 

Time Commitment Budget Period Type Funder
120-150 hrs $50k/yr 3 yrs Modest scale research, development, or implementation Federal agency
1,000-2,000 hrs $1m/yr 5 yrs Large scale implementation Federal agency
2,000 hrs + $1m-$3m/yr 5 yrs Very large scale implementation Federal agency
30-50 hrs $10k/yr 3 yrs Modest scale implementation Private foundation
500 hrs + $1m-$5m/yr 1-5 yrs Large scale implementation Private foundation
3-5 hrs < $10k/yr 1-5 yrs Small preliminary proposal Private foundation
10-20 hrs > $100k/yr 1-5 yrs Large preliminary proposal Private foundation

 

An Alternate Estimate

 

An entirely different analysis examines time commitments in terms of the components of a proposal. It estimates three hours per page of proposal narrative. Then it adds: 1.5 hours to outline the RFP, five hours to develop the budget, five hours for the attachments, and six hours for publishing and submitting a grant proposal. For a state or federal proposal that allows or anticipates a 40-page narrative, this will work out to 120 hours (narrative) plus 22.5 hours (all the rest) or a total of 142.5 hours for a typical state or federal grant proposal. At a moderate consultant’s fee of only $60 per hour, this estimate of time commitment amounts to a cost of $8,550.

 

A later post will provide an alternative analysis in terms of proposal processes and proposal components.

 

 

This new post explores grant writing consultants’ fees in late 2017 for such services as creating funding development plans or devising project evaluation plans. It is part of an ongoing series. Other new posts for late 2017 explore: hourly rates and flat rates, retainer fees, prospect research fees, and other topics related to how grant writing consultants earn an income. The context for the series is the United States of America.

 

Fixed Fee Assignments

 

In late 2017, beyond stating hourly rates, per proposal rates, retainer fees, and proposal review fees, some grant writing consultants also publish cost information about other services. One of the most frequently encountered rates for ancillary services is that for fixed-fee assignments for private sector prospect research and/or private sector proposal development.

 

The costs range from $3,350 to $8,000 – for finding three to five private sector grant leads and/or for writing three to five proposals – to from $5,000 to $9,000 – for finding 10 grant leads and/or for writing 10 proposals. Some consultants offer to find as many as 50 grant leads for $24,000 (equivalent to $480 per lead); grant proposals to submit to those leads cost more.

 

  Minimum Funder Leads Maximum Funder Leads
Consultant/Firm 1 $5,000 10 leads Unstated Unstated
Consultant/Firm 2 $7,500 3 leads Unstated Unstated
Consultant/Firm 3 $3,350 5 leads $24,000 50 leads
Consultant/Firm 4 $5,500 3 leads $7,000 10 leads
Consultant/Firm 5 $8,000 5 leads $9,000 10 leads

 

Strategic Planning Support and Technical Assistance

 

Some grant writing consultants offer to help grant seekers with strategic planning, organizational development, or other technical assistance. Sampled rates vary from $45/hour to $125/hour. Required minimum time commitments are typically 5-10 hours.

 

 Strategic Planning/Technical Assistance Minimum Rates Maximum Rates
Consultant/Firm 1 $2,500 Not stated
Consultant/Firm 2 $2,550 Not stated
Consultant/Firm 3 $45/hour Not stated
Consultant/Firm 4 $65/hour Not stated
Consultant/Firm 5 $85/hour Not stated
Consultant/Firm 6 $100/hour Not stated
Consultant/Firm 7 $110/hour Not stated
Consultant/Firm 8 $125/hour Not stated

 

Grant Writing Workshops

 

Few 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 similar workshops and courses. The current consultants’ workshops may last one to three days. Consultants may charge for them by the half-day (e.g., 3-4 hours at $1,500) or by the day (e.g., 6-8 hours at $3,000) plus itemized expenses. The most frequently cited consultants’ expenses to be billed are those for travel, lodging, and office support (e.g., printing, copying, mailing, or shipping).

 

  Rates Workshop Duration Plus Expenses
Consultant/Firm 1 $100 Half-day Unstated
Consultant/Firm 2 $300 Day Unstated
Consultant/Firm 3 $500 Day Unstated
Consultant/Firm 4 $1,500 Half-day Yes
Consultant/Firm 5 $3,000 Day Yes

 

This is the last post in this series for late 2017.

 

This new post explores consultants’ proposal revision and review fees in late 2017. It is part of an ongoing series. Earlier posts explored hourly rates and flat rates (also called per-proposal rates or per-project rates), prospect research fees, and retainer fees. Other new posts for late 2017 explore hourly rates and flat rates for technical assistance and other topics related to how consultants earn an income. The context for the series is the United States of America.

 

Proposal Reviews and Revisions

 

At times, potential clients of grant writing consultants 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 of a proposal and to revise or rewrite it entirely.

 

Consultants often adjust 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. Many 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 below indicates, in late 2017, flat rates for review and revision – as stated on grant writing consultants’ websites – vary from $200 to $6,000 per grant proposal reviewed and/or revised. Higher-end consultants may charge a minimum of $2,500 (for 10 hours at $250 per hour) for each proposal they critique. All of these are the same rates as were found earlier in 2017 and in 2016.

 

In late 2017, grant writing consultants’ declared hourly rates for reviews and revisions of grant proposals are from $35 to $250. Their median rate is $100 per hour. Many consultants stipulate a set number of hours that they will charge clients for such services – typically, a minimum of 10 hours.

 

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.

 

 

Review/Revision Fees Minimum Rates Maximum Rates
Consultant/Firm 1 $200 $500
Consultant/Firm 2 $350 $750
Consultant/Firm 3 $400 $2,000
Consultant/Firm 4 $500 $1,500
Consultant/Firm 5 $500 $1,500
Consultant/Firm 6 $1,000 $1,750
Consultant/Firm 7 $3,000 $5,000
Consultant/Firm 8 $3,000 $6,000
Consultant/Firm 9 $250 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 10 $300 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 11 $1,200 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 12 $1,200 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 13 $1,500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 14 $1,500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 15 $2,000 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 17 $2,500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 18 $35/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 19 $45/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 20 $65/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 21 $85/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 22 $100/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 23 $100/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 24 $125/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 25 $125/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 26 $150/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 27 $250/hour Unstated

 

The next post in this series will discuss consultants’ fees for proposal planning, professional development, and other services in late 2017.

 

This post explores what grant writing consultants charge for retainer fees in late 2017. It is part of an ongoing series. It presents newly researched data. Other new posts for late 2017 explore 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 writing consultants earn an income. The context for the series is the United States of America.

 

Retainer Fees

 

A retainer fee offers clients priority access to consultants’ services. Many grant writing 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 three, six, or a full year. 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 Retainer Fees

 

As the table below indicates, a retainer fee may cost a client as little as $333 per month or as much as $8,000 per month. Calculated on a quarterly basis, these extremes represent a fee range of $1,000 to $24,000; on a yearly basis, they represent a fee range of $4,000 to $96,000.

 

Retainer Fees Minimum Rates Maximum Rates
Consultant/Firm 1 $333/month $1,600/month
Consultant/Firm 2 $1,500/month $3,000/month
Consultant/Firm 3 $1,875/month $3,000/month
Consultant/Firm 4 $2,000/month $3,000/month
Consultant/Firm 5 $3,000/month $5,000/month
Consultant/Firm 6 $3,000/month $5,000/month
Consultant/Firm 7 $6,000/month $8,000/month
Consultant/Firm 8 $125/month Unstated
Consultant/Firm 9 $850/month Unstated
Consultant/Firm 10 $1,000/month Unstated
Consultant/Firm 11 $3,000/month Unstated

 

Presented data reflect information provided on a sampled set of consultants’ websites from late 2017 which address the topic of retainer fees. They appear to reflect some volatility or elasticity in such fees since 2016. Other samples taken at different times may lead to different results.

 

The next post in this series will discuss consultants’ proposal review and revision fees in late 2017.

 

This post explores grant consultants’ prospect research fees in late 2017. It updates earlier posts made in 2016 and 2017. It is part of an ongoing series. Other new posts for late 2017 explore 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. The context for the series is the United States of America.

 

Prospect Research Fees

 

Prospect research is the search for viable grant opportunities. Grant writing 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 often less costly. Often grant writing consultants offer to find a fixed number of grant prospects at a flat rate per prospect and with a minimum number of prospects to be delivered. 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 prospect 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

 

Grant writing consultants’ charges for prospect research services vary widely. As the table below indicates, they can range from $250 to $5,000 per funding report. The ultimate cost of such searches may observe a pre-established not-to-exceed amount. In late 2017, evaluations of identified grant leads – held either on-site or conducted remotely with a client – may be charged at hourly rates of from $50 to $150 or more.

 

Prospect Research Fees Minimum Rates Maximum Rates
Consultant/Firm 1 $250 $1,000
Consultant/Firm 2 $500 $700
Consultant/Firm 3 $500 $3,200
Consultant/Firm 4 $750 $5,000
Consultant/Firm 5 $2,000 $4,000
Consultant/Firm 6 $2,000 $4,000
Consultant/Firm 7 $2,000 $5,000
Consultant/Firm 8 $2,400 $4,800
Consultant/Firm 9 $2,500 $5,000
Consultant/Firm 10 $350 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 11 $375 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 12 $400 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 13 $500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 14 $500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 15 $500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 16 $1,500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 17 $1,500 Unstated
Consultant/Firm 18 $50/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 19 $50/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 20 $50/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 21 $60/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 22 $100/hour Unstated
Consultant/Firm 23 $150/hour Unstated

 

Charges for prospect research vary with its nature, scope, and complexity. Private grant makers are far more numerous than public ones; thus, they may require more time for a search. In general, potential grant seekers can expect to spend measurably less for a search limited to state and federal grant prospects, and measurably more for one limited to foundation and corporate grant prospects.

 

The next post in this series will discuss consultants’ retainer fees in late 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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