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One of the nonprofits I’ve volunteered for that’s pretty prevalent across most college campuses is Habitat for Humanity. They’re focused on providing a decent place for everyone in the world to live. I’m lucky to have had the chance to help them construct a house for a family in need, but none of that could have happened without funding. In order to secure funding, Habitat had to work with a grant writer who helped them through the application process.
A grant writer researches and writes grant proposals to obtain funding for a corporation, non-profit organization, or government agency. (A grant proposal is an application process for receiving funding.) A grant writer must have a broad knowledge of what the business or organization provides, so they must understand the program, its financial details, and where to find appropriate funding. Due to the knowledge base required, grant writers may choose to specialize in a particular field, such as educational grant writing or medical grant writing, which is typical of those who work at larger organizations. Those working at smaller organizations, where the majority of grant writing jobs fall, are “generalists”. In this case you are not only responsible for drafting proposals but are also charged with researching donors and managing grants that have been awarded.
During a typical day, a grant writer might:
A grant writer makes between $25,000 and $65,000 per year, with the median salary in 2009 being $51,967. If you freelance, you’d be looking at about $40 to $100 an hour depending on your level of experience. From there you can go on to become a Senior Grant Writer ($35,000-$102,000), a Director of Development ($31,000-$87,000), or a Director of Grants ($40,000-$98,000).
Here are some hot spots for grant writers:
To be a grant writer you’ll need a bachelor’s degree, typically in English or Communications, or experience working with similar organizations in a similar capacity. Courses that are beneficial to grant writers include technical writing and editing classes. Some additional skills you’ll need are excellent writing skills, strong research skills, discipline and organization, and great communication skills.
If grant writing still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.
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Check out the latest job and internship postings in grant writing.