Although it's possible to write grants on your own, it's often difficult to know where to start or what to include without an expert. Most grant applications can be taxing.
A grant writing consultant can help you develop a strong grant proposal with the best chance of funding.
If your organization is considering hiring an expert, read more about what a grant writing consultant can offer. This post will also discuss the glaring signs that your nonprofit organization needs a consultant's grant writing services.
What does a grant writing consultant do?
Many nonprofit organizations turn to grant writing consultants for support in funding their programs, operations, and fundraising campaigns
However, every grant writing consultant offers varying services. They have different focus areas and expertise. Therefore, it is essential to identify your bottlenecks before hiring an expert. Only hire an expert fitted to your organization’s needs.
Often, consultants have their grant writing consulting business and are within a community of grant writers. They may assist you per grant or per timeframe.
Here are some of the benefits that a grant writing consultant can offer.
1. Grant Consultation and Basic Training
Grant consultants offer consulting services to give suggestions or help with grant proposals. They provide insights into areas that need improvement. For example, they can help you identify which programs lack information on proposal budgets and which grant applications need more work.
Some grant consultants can also provide basic training to your in-house grant writers to enhance their grant writing skills.
2. Proofreading and Editing
Any grant writer will tell you that proofreading and editing are just as important as the writing itself. However, it can be difficult to catch your own mistakes, especially if you've been staring at the same document for hours on end. This is where a successful grant writing consultant becomes a valuable asset.
A grant consultant with robust grant writing experience will not only proofread your work for errors but also offer suggestions for improving clarity and flow. In addition, an expert can help to ensure that your grant reporting conforms to all the necessary guidelines and requirements.
3. Grants Prospect Research
Grant prospect research is the process of identifying potential funders for your organization or project. This can be time-consuming and sometimes expensive, but finding grantors that are a good fit for your needs is essential.
A grant writing consultant can help by guiding you on where to look for potential funders and what criteria to use to identify the most promising grant opportunities.
In addition, a grant consultant can advise on approaching prospects and what information to include in your proposal writing.
4. Grant Writing and Submission
A grant writing consultant can do more than simply help your grant writers craft a proposal. In some cases, they can also train your staff in grant proposal writing.
A grant consultant has experience with the submission process and will be able to help you package your grant application in the most advantageous way possible.
In addition, a consultant can provide valuable feedback on your proposal, pointing out areas that may need clarification or strengthening.
“A grant consultant with robust grant writing experience will not only proofread your work for errors but also offer suggestions for improving clarity and flow.”
5. Grant Readiness Assessment
Many organizations don't realize that the key to a successful grant application often starts long before the actual writing process begins. That's where grant writing consultants can be a valuable asset.
A grant writing consultant can help assess whether your organization is "grant ready." They can help identify any potential areas of weakness that could lead to an unsuccessful application.
Often, grant consultants use a grant readiness assessment checklist as a comprehensive tool to make the process more straightforward.
Do grant writing consultants write grants?
A grant writing consultant is a professional who helps organizations prepare and submit grant proposals.
While some consultants may also offer grant writing services, most typically provide guidance and support throughout the grant-seeking process. This can include helping to identify potential funding sources, developing project budgets, and crafting compelling narratives.
In many cases, grant writing consultants have extensive experience in the nonprofit sector and intimate knowledge of the grant-making process.
As a result, they can be an invaluable asset for organizations seeking to secure funding for their programs and projects.
“A grant writing consultant helps identify any potential areas of weakness that could lead to an unsuccessful application.”
7 Signs You Need a Grant Writing Consultant for Your Nonprofit
1. You don't know how to start writing and what to include in a grant proposal.
The process can seem daunting if you don't have any experience with grant writing. A grant writing consultant can help you figure out where to start and what information to include in your proposal. This will save you a lot of time and frustration!
A grant writing consultant will also be up-to-date on the latest trends in grant writing. They often have access to grant writing tools that can improve your application and increase your grant writing efficiency.
2. Your grant writing process is inefficient and outdated.
While most organizations have someone on staff who handles grant writing, sometimes it's helpful to bring in an outside consultant to provide fresh perspective and expertise. This is especially true when the organization has an inefficient and outdated grant writing process.
A consultant can help streamline the process, making it easier and faster to write grants that are more likely to be successful. Furthermore, they can guide you in crafting proposals that resonate with donors.
3. You need help starting a funding strategy.
If you're unsure how to start a funding strategy, a grant writing consultant can help. A grant consultant can assess your needs and create a plan that includes a mix of different funding sources. This will give your organization an idea of where to find grant opportunities.
Grant writing consultants often have contacts in the philanthropic community and can network in the grant professionals associations. They have experience researching potential funders and developing relationships with them.
“A grant writing consultant often has access to grant writing tools that can improve your application and increase your grant writing efficiency.”
4. You're unsure what kind of grants to apply for.
Many different types of grants are available to nonprofit organizations, each with its distinct eligibility requirements and application process. A grant writing consultant is familiar with the kinds of grants available and can guide you on which ones are a good fit for your organization.
Finding and applying for grants can seem overwhelming for organizations new to the grant-seeking process. This is where a grant writing consultant can be beneficial.
Consulting with a professional can help guide the organization in the right direction and save time and resources that would otherwise be spent on a fruitless search.
5. You don't know how to track your progress on grants.
Organizations receiving grant funding must track their progress and report to the funder. This can be strenuous, particularly for small organizations with limited staff and resources.
Grant writing consultants can help create or develop systems and procedures for tracking progress and reporting results. This may even result in organizational development.
In addition, consultants can guide how to communicate productively with funders and make a case for continued funding. They can also assist in setting up a project management application with a grant calendar to track progress and timeline effectively.
6. Your proposal drafts are not meeting the funding agency's guidelines.
When applying for a grant, it is crucial to follow the guidelines set forth by the funding agency. Grant writing consultants can assist by reviewing proposal drafts and providing feedback on making them more compliant with the guidelines.
This proposal development can give you insights into what reviewers are looking for and how to make your case more persuasive.
In addition, funders set strict due dates for grant proposal submission. A grant calendar can aid you in watching out for deadlines.
7. Your grant proposals are consistently rejected.
If you've been in the grant writing game for a while, you know that getting funding for your project is no easy feat. Countless other organizations are competing for the same limited pool of resources, and sometimes it can feel like you're never going to win.
But before you give up hope, there's one crucial thing to remember: rejection is part of the process. And if your proposal is constantly being rejected, it might be time to seek out the help of a grant writing consultant.
A consultant can provide an objective perspective on your proposals and offer valuable feedback on improving them. They can also help you identify any potential red flags that might be causing your applications to be rejected, such as having vague proposals and unrealistic plans.
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