If you’re a single mother looking for a lucrative way to earn money while working from home, consider a career as a grant writer. All you need is a laptop, a stable internet connection and, of course, excellent writing and editing skills. Read more to find out what they are and how to become a certified grant writer.
But what exactly do grant writers do?
(If you’re already familiar with the profession, you can go ahead and skip to the next section, where you can read all about how to get started as a grant writer.)
Put simply; grant writers complete grant applications for companies and organizations that are seeking funds for a particular project. Usually, these projects have a humanitarian or philanthropic goal. In other words, they aim to enhance people’s quality of life.
Grant writers sometimes work for one particular organization, but they are often freelancers who work for multiple clients.
So, if you have a keen eye for detail, a passion for research, and an interest in non-profit organizations, then this might be the job for you!
- 1 How to Become a Certified Grant Writer:
- 2 How to Get Certified as a Grant Writer:
- 3 Where to Gain Grant-Writing Experience:
How to Become a Certified Grant Writer:
The great thing about becoming a grant writer is that you don’t need a degree in a specific field to enter the profession.
However, those who have a qualification in English, journalism, or another related field will have an advantage.
This is because your writing skills need to be top-notch to excel in this career. After all, you will be required to write logical, compelling applications that will result in your clients receiving the funds they are asking for.
For this reason, it is worthwhile to think about completing a grant writing course. There are a number of these available on the internet and countless other resources that you can use free of charge. Some universities and colleges also offer grant writing classes.
Below are some of the options you have when choosing a course provider. Also, bear in mind that the ones mentioned here are not the only ones that are available to you.
The American Grant Writers’ Association (AGWA) offers several online courses in grant proposal writing and grant consulting. Experienced online tutors who hold a Certified Grant Writer® Credential run these programs.
The association also offers its certificate program, the Certified Grant Writer® Series, to those who are looking to earn their grant writing certification.
By enrolling in one of the online grant writing courses, you will automatically become a member of the American Grant Writers’ Association. This gives you access to several resources, including:
- Access to the association’s “Members Only” area
- Listing in their online membership directory
- The opportunity to join special interest groups within the association
Students will also receive a certificate upon the successful completion of a course.
NonProfitReady is a website that provides free online training and learning resources to individuals who are interested in helping non-profit organizations achieve their goals.
The site also offers an introductory grant writing course that will teach you how to:
- Find the proper grants for your non-profit organization
- Write compelling grant proposals
- Build strong relationships with grantors
Alternatively, you can enroll in one of Udemy’s online grant writing courses for less than $20. These will introduce you to the basics of grant writing.
How to Get Certified as a Grant Writer:
While completing an online grant writing course will help, earning your grant writing certification will give it that extra boost.
This is because becoming a certified grant writer will show potential clients that you are competent at what you do, giving them the confidence to hire you. Having this credential behind your name will also help you to rise above your competition and allow you to charge more for your services.
As mentioned above, the American Grant Writers’ Association is the Certified Grant Writer® Series provider, a grant writing certification program.
Upon completing this program, you will be allowed to use the Certified Grant Writer® trademark. You can add this to your resume, social media accounts, and any other platform that you use to market yourself.
As a bonus, completing this program grants you free membership to the association, which usually costs $119 per year.
Where to Gain Grant-Writing Experience:
This is perhaps the most challenging part of pursuing a career as a grant writer. You might initially start as a volunteer or an unpaid intern, but don’t let that discourage you.
After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
At any rate, here are a few places you can start looking for opportunities to gain experience as a grant writer.
AGWA is partnered with many organizations looking to hire professional grant writers. This makes it the ideal place to start looking for employment opportunities for those who have just entered the career.
In addition, the AGWA has access to its annual Grant Conference. This is another great opportunity for new grant writers because it gives you the chance to study industry trends and meet your fellow professionals.
Websites for grant writing internships
You can check some websites, such as Indeed and FlexJobs, that will usually have some openings for grant writing internships.
In addition to the AGWA Grant Conference, there is also the annual Grant Professionals Association (GPA) Conference. Both of these are wonderful opportunities for you to meet other grant writers who could be willing to share their expertise.
If you don’t get the chance to attend one of the conferences, consider joining a Facebook group for grant writers and connecting with people online. Groups like these are fairly easy to find, and you might receive some helpful tips and tricks from other people in the profession.
Lastly, don’t disregard your previous work experience regarding finding a job as a grant writer. The chances of you landing a paid position at a company or organization greatly increase when you already have a working knowledge of a particular industry. This is especially true if you worked for a non-profit organization. If this is the case, you may find that you already have contacts to reach out to for advice.
The one thing you should always remember about applying for any job, whether paid or unpaid, is to have perseverance.
You may not be selected for the first, second, or even third position you apply for, but the most important thing is to keep at it. You never know what opportunities may arise.