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Freelance Grant Writers' Fees: 5 Things To Take Into Account

Being a freelance grant writer is an exciting and lucrative career. Since the global financial crisis of 2007, colleges and non-profits, your biggest markets, have preferred to outsource writing to offset the cost of retaining full-time staff. Your skills are in high demand but using the following tips will guarantee you get paid what you deserve.

  1. Learn to Calculate Your Rate: Don't guess. Without an hourly rate you're shooting in the dark when negotiating prices (and shooting yourself in the foot). It's easy to do, just follow the step below:
    • Choose a target annual income.
    • Add up your fixed expenses (taxes, rent, insurance, etc).
    • Take the sum of A and B and divide by 1000 hours (21 hours weekly). This is your hourly rate.

    Imagine This: With a rate of $45, you complete a $2,500 grant job in 30 hours. Your rate almost doubled to $83!

  2. Try a Different Payment Method:
  3. Freelance grant writers are paid in one of four ways.

    • Hourly: Already discussed. The faster your write, the more you make.
    • By Project: This works because sometimes clients get nervous when they hear high hourly rates.
    • Per Diem: Charging a flat rate per day.
    • Commission: Your pay is a percentage of the grant, only if awarded. More on this later.
  4. For Newbies Only:
  5. As a new grant writer, you've probably got a skimpy portfolio of mock-ups or pro bono work. While controversial, you should take these two steps:

    • Bid low and,
    • charge a flat fee for the project.

    Why? A novice needs more time to write which leads to bigger fees when bidding hourly or per diem. Commission work is too risky starting out.

  6. Commission Pay: Avoid It Like the Plague and Why:
    • If the proposal's rejected, you don't get compensated for your writing time.
    • Every grant proposal ends with a budget. Some benefactors see the your commission, smell a rat, think, "Why can't the organization pay their own writers?” and insta-reject the grant on ethical grounds.
  7. Preparation: Did client give you all the documents you needed quickly? Was the data accurate? The more holes you're filling in the organization's project design the more you should charge.
  8. As a freelance grant writer, you should use the tips above to help you bid with confidence on every project and maximize your income.


Professional Aspects Of Freelance Writing Career