The term “grant writing ” is a misnomer. No one actually writes grants. Those who seek funding write proposals; those who give funding write grant agreements and checks. But despite this fact, “grant writing” is the term everyone uses to describe the process of writing a proposal for funding a nonprofit organization's programs, operations, or construction projects. And “grant writer” is the term that everyone from the nonprofit sector will understand when you use it to describe your work.
“Grant writer” is not only inaccurate — it's insufficient. A grant writer does far more than write proposals for funding. A grant writer learns the philanthropic landscape of her community, enrolls to receive e-mail notices of grant funds, understands how to search for foundation and government grants, and knows how to cull through the search to select the most appropriate candidates. And all that is in addition to being a creative problem solver, a detail-oriented project supervisor, and a strong writer with a knack for brevity and clarity.
Today, there are hundreds of thousands of nonprofit organizations looking for funding and thousands of grantmakers looking for good projects to fund. But there are only a few hundred really good match-makers to bring them together — the grant writers.
It's no wonder that a grant writer is one of the most valued positions in any community. The grant writer helps nonprofit organizations seek and receive the funding they need to help others in the community live better, healthier, happier lives. Grant writers work for schools, hospitals, police and fire departments, religious institutions, universities, museums, symphonies, and others of the hundreds of nonprofit organizations in any mid-size U.S. city. They always have an abundance of work, regardless of economic conditions, and executives — from the mayor and police chief to the principal of a school — are always happy to meet the competent grant writer.
In short, by any name, this finding money and applying for it on behalf of nonprofit organizations in your community is a pretty fulfilling life. The rewards are not only monetary but also social and even spiritual.
By itself, reading a book will not make you a competent grant writer. Applying what you learn will. Practice will. Asking questions will. And you must start somewhere. The Everything® Grant Writing Book, 2nd Edition, provides a solid base of knowledge from which you can learn, practice, and develop intelligent questions to pose to seasoned professionals. This is a comprehensive “how-to” book that draws on the expertise of grant-writing professionals. You'll receive advice throughout the book from foundation program officers, grant reviewers, and a number of experienced grant writers. You'll read success stories, and you'll read stories about failures so you can learn to avoid the pitfalls. You'll get the know-how you need to effectively complete grant proposals to obtain the funding you need, to establish and build a thriving freelance grant-writing business, or to qualify for a full-time, paid staff position as a grant writer in a large nonprofit organization.
This is your first step into this rewarding, satisfying career. Enjoy the journey, and good luck!