The Grant Writer Occupation
One of the most crucial jobs for a Non-Profit agency is that of the Grant Writer. The function of a Grant Writer is to gather documentation and fulfill the necessary requirements of various funding bodies to formally seek funding on behalf of their agency. For many non-profits grants from various foundations and other funding organizations are their life’s blood and primary funding mechanism. While individual donors at times can make substantial contributions to a non-profits working capital, it is the work of the Grant Writer that provides the largest most consistent blocks of funding for the non-profit. Different foundations and other funding organizations may have vastly different requirements to formally apply for a grant. A Grant Writer must be an excellent researcher who not only finds the funding organization who’s grants match with their non-profit, but also must be an astute writer who knows how to properly appeal to the funding organizations board.
The key skills of a Grant Writer are:
- Excellent written communication skills
- Top-shelf research skills
- Ability to understand the needs of both the agency in need of funding and the organization that is offering the grant money
- Great organizational skills
- Being able to understand and execute complex instructions
- Outstanding computer skills
Education to Join the Workforce
There are many routes to becoming a Grant Writer. The most important talent of any Grant Writer is excellent writing skills. The majority of Grant Writers have a Bachelor’s degree is English, Journalism, Communications or Marketing. Grant writing is one career where a more advanced degree may not be required, but will certainly be seen as preferable to candidates who only hold a Bachelor’s degree.
Grant Writer as a Service to Society
The Grant Writer provides a critical component for non-profits who provide all manner of Service to Society. While the role of a Grant Writer is an absolutely essential component for the smooth functioning of almost all non-profit agencies even though its impact to the outside observer is subtle and hidden. The Grant Writer is somewhat unique among Human Services workers in that they can plug into virtually any non-profit agency or industry that pursues grant money, bringing their skills to almost any scenario and making a huge impact. Due to this, the Grant Writer is able to choose a non-profit whose function is a personal cause that they believe in. A Grant Writer is also able to go from one non-profit to another and radically change the kind of agency they work in. A Grant Writer can also work in a freelance capacity writing grants for a number of agencies within a relatively short period of time.
Impact on Society
The Grant Writer’s impact on society is subtle, but is actually hugely impactful. By helping a vast assortment of non-profits maintain a stable source of working capital, the Grant Writer provides an essential role to a great diversity of Human Services agencies. As non-profits have a hugely beneficial impact on society in many different ways, the Grant Writer can be seen as a critical role for the functioning of non-profits and all the irreplaceable work they do. Grant Writers are also hired by for profit agencies that are eligible for grant money so the scope of the impact of Grant Writers is actually extremely large.
Salary Potential for Grant Writers
The earning potential for a grant writer will vary significantly from state to state and also is dependent on educational background. According to the BLS, the median pay for a technical writer (a field that includes Grant Writers among others) is $72,850.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019. National median for Technical Writers. Salaries based on national data not school specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed March 2021.
You will want to determine what educational route you wish to embark on in order to become a Grant Writer. The world view and abilities of Marketing students are very different from that of English majors. You may also wish to consider degrees in education and Journalism. All of these paths to becoming a Grant Writer are valid, but you will need to discover for yourself which particular path feels right for you.