How to Charge for Grant Writing

By Lane Cummings
Woman with a laptop computer
Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

Grant writing is a career that many find satisfying as your work directly helps organizations receive the funding needed to operate. Jenny Fulbright, author of the article "How to be a Grant Writer," and a staff writer at PowerHomebiz.com, says: "Skilled grant writers are one of the most in-demand independent contractors today." While that may be true, rates for grant writers vary dramatically, depending on the project and the level of experience and skill of the grant writer.

Consider charging nothing if you are just beginning your career as a grant writer. Fulbright asserts: "Some (grant writers) even work for free just to familiarize themselves with the process and gain exposure in grant research and writing." Also, keep in mind that you're building relationships: doing a few free jobs is a great way to get clients. Just communicate that for your second job you'll expect payment.

Charge by the hour. A new, somewhat inexperienced grant writer will often charge between $25 and $50 per hour of work. A capable grant writer charges rates from $50 to $70 an hour. Highly skilled, and often in demand grant writers, charge $100 an hour or more.

Charge by the project. Grants vary in complexity and thus the amount of time you'll need to complete them. Average rates for a project can vary from $1,000 to $8,000.

Work on commission. Some organizations can't afford to pay you immediately, but will offer you a percentage of the grant, if awarded. Depending on the organization and the type of grant you apply for, you can request 1 percent to 5 percent of the total award.

About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."