Can Grant Professionals Take a Percentage of the Grant?

calculator on desk to represent grant writer compensation

This is a question our clients commonly ask when requesting our assistance. While I understand that lawyers take a percentage of their awards as compensation for their work, there are three sound reasons why grant professionals like those on the team at Lakeview Consulting cannot take a percentage of the grant as payment for writing the applications:

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1. The Grant Professional Association Code of Ethics ( clearly prohibits grant professionals from taking a percentage of the grant award in exchange for services. As a member of GPA and a Grant Professional Certified (GPC), I am bound by this Code of Ethics. If I violate the Code of Ethics, it will result in my expulsion from GPA.  It will also cause GPA to revoke my certification.

2. 99.9% of grants will not fund the services of a grant writer. Therefore, if you compensate your grant writer based on a percentage of the award, grant auditors will likely construe that as using grant funds for a non-allowable expense. If this happens, you stand a strong possibility of having your grant funds taken away, or could even face legal action!

3. We charge a fee based on the hours we spend writing the grant. Just as in any other business, we exchange services for money. Unfortunately, we cannot EVER guarantee we will get you the grant, but we do promise to work with your team to submit the most competitive application possible given the information you and your partners provide. In our experience, when the client’s team provides comprehensive information to support a grant application, they greatly increase their chances of success. The opposite is true as well. In addition, some funding decisions include external factors (politics, board relationships, geography, etc) that will cause the best application to be denied. These external factors are out of both the clients and the grant professionals control.

In conclusion, the next time you engage a grant professional to write a grant for you, DON’T ask them to take a percentage of the grant in exchange for services. As you can see, good grant professionals will do EVERYTHING in their power to help you get the grant, providing you an excellent return on your investment!

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