How To Become A Professional Grant Proposal Writer In Nigeria
One certain way to always succeed in business is to always think outside the box and try to stay abreast of trends. This can help you become a professional grant proposal writer. A good example is trying to maximize the rise in the investment in real estate by trying to sell building materials to the investors to help them develop their property.
Again, so many people have pets, so it would make sense selling pet care products. Most concernedly, businesses and communities are seeking for grants, so it would make some sense to start writing grant proposals. So, always think of what others are not thinking about.
What is a Grant Proposal Writer?
A professional grant proposal writer is a creative writer who creates research proposals that solicit funding from the government or private organizations for individuals, nonprofit organizations, and businesses. Professional grant proposal writers can be contracted to work for universities, social service organizations, and health establishments.
Grant writers are in very high demand all over the world. Non-profit agencies, businesses, and students are looking for educational grants and other organizations/companies are always looking for new funding/grant opportunities and compelling proposals to land such opportunities. Grant writing involves the writing of proposals to request for such grants.
It is a very creative business that requires a lot of intelligence, articulateness, brainstorming, and research. A grant proposal writer would not only write grant proposals but should also provide support to his clients to increase their chances of getting their grants approved. To become a grant writer, you need the following skills-:
4 Skills You Need to Become a Professional Grant Proposal Writer
To become a successful professional grant proposal writer, obtaining a degree in a field like communication or English is a necessary but not sufficient condition.Most importantly, you need to have a solid command of the written word and ability to research extensively, to be able to craft successful grant proposals. If you consider becoming a grant proposal writer, then master the below skills:
Be an excellent writer
To professional grant proposal writer, the first step to take is to improve your writing skill. You need a good writing skill to be able to communicate your client’s intentions clearly within the proposal. Hence, you need to make your writing skill your top priority.
Be a thorough researcher
Arming yourself with the right information is a solid step to writing a convincing proposal. To get the right information, you must be an ardent researcher always digging out the required information. So being a good proposal writer requires being a good researcher.
Always endeavor to stay disciplined with your work ethics and strive to meet up with deadlines. This will help you become a professional grant proposal writer.
Willingness to learn
You also need to keep learning and updating your knowledge about trends in the industry.
After going through the above-required skills, if you still feel you can cut out a career in the grant proposal writing market, then proceed with the following steps to make your dream a success;
11 Steps to Becoming a Professional Grant Proposal Writer in Nigeria
Earn a degree
You need excellent communication skills to enable you to create compelling proposals that will result in funding for a project. To improve your communication skill, you need a University or college degree in a relevant field.
Such fields that give you an insight into grant proposal writing include journalism, mass communications, Finance, English, marketing, and public relations. These subjects should be sufficient for you to learn the techniques of being a professional grant proposal writer.
Although this is not a prerequisite for becoming a grant writer, it would sure help. If getting a degree would be too much of a stress for you, you can consider taking up writing courses or short courses online or offline that would help to improve your writing and communication skills.
So, if your dream is to become a professional grant proposal writer, then enroll in a relevant degree program in a college or university.
Grant writing certificate courses are designed to help you attain a strong set of skills that you can immediately put into practice. While you can find some in colleges and universities around you, you will find loads of them online. The online classes will enable you to learn all you need to know without having to leave the comfort of your room or bending your personal schedules.
Attend training and Workshops
The art of grant writing is totally professional and requires specific skills. As pointed out earlier, you need to acquire a degree in the relevant field to acquire these skills. However, the degree will only equip you with the basic skills. As the profession demands, these basic skills require a constant update if you are to remain relevant in the market.
That is what I call skill maintenance. To maintain your skills as a professional grant proposal writer, you need to attend relevant training, seminars, and workshops. They will help you stay abreast of currencies in the market and help you adjust accordingly.
While university and college degrees will provide you with solid writing and persuasion skills, they are usually not tailored to specific aspects of writing. So, to build upon the foundation laid during your degree program, you will need to enroll for a certificate course on becoming a professional grant proposal writer.
Such programs cover the beginning, intermediate, and advanced aspects of becoming a professional grant proposal writer as well as identification of potential funding sources for a project.
Get grant writing experience
Most clients or employers are more interested in your experience as a professional grant proposal writer as a degree holder. The more years of experience you have, the better your profile and chance. Most employers require a minimum of two years’ experience in grant proposal writing.
You may improve your skills and garner some experience by seeking volunteer and internship jobs. This can be done even while in college.
Gain industry experience
In order to identify viable funding options and write a suiting proposal for a project in a particular industry, you need to fully understand the modalities of and how the industry works. In fact, such experience alone can give you an edge over other writers in the market as the employer will be convinced that you know what you are doing.
For instance, one specializing in the healthcare sector or education sector must have been part of these sectors to understand how it works and the viable funding options open for funding. Moreover, this experience will help you produce a viable and competitive proposal and you can go on to become a professional grant proposal writer.
Create a portfolio
Your clients want to know how skilled and experienced you are in the business. They can only ascertain this by going through your works which are contained in your profile. So, build a profile to portray your experiences and skills. You can gain experience by volunteering.
Write your resume
After building your portfolio, you need to start attracting clients. The major step to take then is to build an attractive and inviting resume which will contain information about yourself, your educational background, samples of proposals you have written and people you have worked for and other very relevant information.
Decide on your remuneration pattern
All you need to do next is to decide on how you want to be rewarded for your efforts. This is important if you are going to become a successful professional grant proposal writer. This can be done through any of these means:
This means that you would charge a specific amount based on the hours you would spend working on the project. You can charge as low as $50 or as much as $100 depending on your qualification and experience.
This means that you would earn a flat fee for the project and this may be a minimum of $1,000 and a maximum fee of $5,000 again, this is dependent on qualification and experience.
This method of payment poses a great risk to the grant writer but high reward if things work out well. This method of payment involves earning a certain percentage on the total grant amount when approved. This may be between 1% and 5%. If the application is successful, the proposal writer gets his commission but if not, well………….
Incorporate other services
To increase your income, you need to incorporate other services into your grant proposal writing business. These other services include-:
You can help people looking for grants with information of where and how they can get them.
You can help people review their already written proposals to ensure that guidelines have been followed and to also identify and correct any errors and weaknesses.
You can also earn money from selling books and other resources to provide information to people on grant writing.
Look for jobs
As a professional grant proposal writer, you can either work as a freelancer or a permanent employee. As a freelancer, set up your portfolio—preferably online with a simple website. A good way to start hunting for jobs is through freelance websites, and start applying for grant proposal writing projects available both online and offline. Even on Craigslist and LinkedIn, you would find a lot of listing for professional grant proposal writer.
As a permanent employee for one employer, then you need to create a compelling resume and start applying for open job positions on the internet. You may also need to write introduction/proposal letters to companies and non-profit organizations introducing your services to them.
Continue to improve
To be a professional grant proposal writer is an on-the-job experience type. You keep learning and improving on the job. So feel free to make mistakes and get better.
You have to practice as much as you can, read up on any information you can lay your hands on and write a lot samples across different industries. Volunteer writing also helps you to develop your skills and build experience.
Never shy away from volunteer writing because that volunteer job might bring you other solid jobs in the future as it will always improve your experience level.
Join professional associations of professional grant proposal writers
Endeavor to join a professional association for grant proposal writers in your state or country. It’s on this platform you will meet professionals who have put in long years in the job with a huge wealth of experience that you can always tap from.
Moreover, such membership of professional associations will boost your credibility before clients and can fetch you some handsome job. Joining up might clear the obstacles and make u a professional grant proposal writer.