A Career in Grant Writing: Do you have the Write Stuff

Is Grant Writing Right for You?

A grant writer is somebody who helps corporations and businesses to raise money by cutting through all the red tape involved with the process of applying for funding through the various available grants out there for the taking.

Grant writers need to not only be highly skilled writers with an excellent grasp of the English language in order to make their proposals stand out from the tons of other applicants for each individual grant, but they also must be incredible researchers with an ability to find available grants in the first place.


Grant writing is not a separate college degree program, but universities offer both credit and non-credit courses as part of the college curriculum.

Grants can come from the government, private endowments and foundations and charitable organizations. While they don’t make these funds a secret, they also don’t exactly advertise that they’re giving away “free money” in the local newspaper.

A grant writer needs to be able to find a match for exactly what the company they are working for does and craft a proposal that sells the reservedness of the company to the people with the money.

Deadlines need to be met and every dollar that a grant writer requests must be budgeted for in advance or the application is unlikely to win approval. Many grant writing positions come from the medical world, so competence and fluency in the jargon of doctors may also be a prerequisite for some of the more lucrative jobs in this field.

Generally speaking, grant writing is an incredibly competitive field because there is a limited pool of grants from which all similar companies are hoping to get their essential funding.

That makes this an incredibly stressful job with very little room to learn on the fly. In order to get experience writing grants, most people interesting in pursuing this career will have to volunteer their services to non-profit companies in order to begin to build a proven track record of success. In the meantime, taking entry-level positions in the fields of public relations and marketing will help increase your knowledge base in these key areas.

For the most part, grant writing is not a separate college degree program. It is a highly-specialized skill that only comes from actually going through the process of grant application itself. The more you do the job, the better you become at it, but until you become better at it and prove that you can get results in the form of dollars, nobody is going to hire you.

Grant writing can definitely be a rewarding job, both from a financial standpoint as well as on a level of personal fulfillment. However, because so much is riding on the grant application process, it is a very difficult field to break into. One needs experience to get a job, but one can’t get that experience without a job.

That “Catch-22” may scare many people away from even trying. However, if you are a sharp individual with incredible attention to detail and great writing ability, then you may want to give grant writing a try. Find a local non-profit willing to give you that first chance and dive right in.

It may take some time to break into the field, but once you do, success begets success and your career will roll smoothly down that hill.

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