I often tell potential clients that grant writing is about 10% writing and 90% other activities. This is why more and more grant writers prefer to be called grant professionals!
Here are some of the many roles that grant professionals perform as part of the grant writing process:
- Project Manager – Much information must be gathered to complete a grant application and this information comes from many sources. Financial information typically comes from the CFO or Controller of a company; HR managers often provide hiring information or estimation of job creation; an Operations Manager to Plant Manager provides the technical details of the project, including equipment specifications, installation details and production outcomes from successful execution of the project; and the Sales Manager can supply information on market demand and sales forecasts. To complicate matters, some of this information is needed right away to begin application development, while other data might be needed later, as it isn’t pertinent to application development. It takes a good project manager to get accurate information when needed to get the process moving.
- Advisor – The grant professional is typically the person clients go to when they are planning the project to advise them on the best ways to approach the project or budget in order to get the desired outcome. We provide thoughtful answers based on the request for proposal (RFP) and knowledge of the funder.
- Counselor – The grant process, particularly when it is lengthy and complicated (i.e. federal grants), can be overwhelming and exhausting for clients. While we try to avoid this by shepherding our clients through the process, we often have to comfort clients during the process.
- Writer- Of course, we also write!
Of course, these roles change and expand or contract depending on application complexity and the knowledge and expertise of the client team. Just know that when you are hiring a capable grant professional, you get so much more than just a great writer!