How to Become a Freelance Grant Writer [Ultimate Guide]

How to Become a Freelance Grant Writer

There are many forms of content writing that freelancers can learn to pick up. There is SEO writing, email marketing, copywriting, and proofreading are the most notable ones. These types of writing are well-known in the writing industry due to how profitable it is. However, there is one type of writing style that does pay well that many experience writers don’t even know about, which is grant writing.

Grant writers are probably not well-known because they are usually hired for full-time jobs. However, with our economy becoming more digitalizes, small businesses are reaching out to freelance grant writers to support their business. Here is how you can start as a freelance grant writer.

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Introduction to freelance grant writing

Grant writing is the process of creating and submitting a proposal or application to a grantmaker, which could be a private foundation, corporation, or government agency, seeking financial or in-kind support for a specific project or program. Grant writing is a critical skill for nonprofit organizations seeking funding, as grants are often a major source of funding for these organizations.

Freelance grant writing is a rapidly growing field that has gained immense popularity in recent times. As non-profit organizations and government agencies are constantly looking for funding to support their programs, the demand for skilled grant writers has increased significantly.

how much do freelance grant writers make?

Now before you even think about becoming a freelance grant writer, it’s important to know how much they are being paid and what are the expected earnings. Here are the earnings for a freelance grant writer according to ZipRecruiter.

Annual SalaryMonthly Pay
Top Earner
$88,500

$7,375
75th Percentile
$69,500

$5,791
Average$60,155
$5,012
25th Percentile
$43,500
$3,625
Information is taken from ZipRecruiter

According to Instrumentl, a fresh inexperienced freelance grant writer can make between $20 and $40 per hour. While Intermediate grant writers can expect to earn $40 to $60. To get the professionals, are the type of grant writers that are being paid upwards of $150 per hour.

As you can see, there is a lot of potentials when it comes to earning as a grant writer. In order to reach the level of the professional, do read on to learn more about leveling up your skill as a grant writer.

Required skills and qualifications for a freelance grant writer

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I will be lying to you if I were to tell you that you don’t need any skills to start as a writer, especially a grant writer. Businesses are willing to pay high fees for grant writers because they are looking for seamless writing that could easily grant them funding from their grantmaker. So here are the important skills and qualifications to have as a freelance grant writer.

a Bachelor’s Degree

A Bachelor’s Degree is a requirement for grant writing positions, and it helps if it is in a relevant discipline like journalism, English, creative writing, or communications. Businesses are willing to risk investing their money in your writing if a 5-year-old could write it. Therefore, if you want to become a grant writer with little to no experience, a degree will definitely offer you an advantage.

Various written content portfolio

The easiest way to get hired and find repeat customers is to have a well-written content portfolio for potential customers to get a rough idea of what they may get themselves into when paying for your grant writing service.

Provide at least 3 different types of written grant writing in your portfolio with a well-written 5-star review backing it. This sets your potential customer with the expected skills and qualifications you can produce for your customers.

Have tremendous experience

Probably the most valuable skill to have as a grant writer is experience. You can start by offering pro bono services to nonprofits that you have a relationship with, or seek out internships in grant writing. After that, in order to gain a lot of experience writing as a grant writer, you may need to look into lowering the cost for customers in order for more of them to sign up for your service. This not only builds up your experience but your content portfolio as well.

License and certifications

While content writing services typically don’t provide licensing, there are still courses out there that provide writers with licenses and certifications in order to build more creditability for the writers. For example, Fiverr offers courses that when completed, courses buyers will be able to obtain certification after they have finished the quizzes task for them.


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Network with various funders

Networking is an underrated skill to have as a grant writer. It’s true since many writers are spent most of their time working from home(perks of being a writer). Writers may potentially land a huge deal through networking in various events such as business events, charity hosting, grant funding event, and marketing campaign. Share with them some of your successful grant applications that have helped other organizations land a grant deal. They will surely contact you if they need a professional grant writer.

Knowing how to email market yourself

Sending out a proper email to your customer is a skill most writers do not actually know how to. It is the crucial final skill to have to close the deal and start writing for businesses. By creating an email marketing template for yourself, you could potentially simply mass-send to various businesses and with luck and perseverance, you may land yourself a potential customer.

Where to start making money for your grant writing service

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Now that you know what the skills and qualifications are needed to be a grant writer and want to get started. Here’s how you can get started as a freelance grant writer.

Writing Platforms

This may come as a surprise but I have been reached out by business owners to support them with their grant writing on Medium. Writing platforms are like blogging websites that allow writers to share their day-to-day stuff much like blogging. The perk of writing on the such platform is that you get paid when members read your content on the platform. When I first join Medium, I made $51 from my content.

My content is 3 months old and more is still paying me(much like dividends) from readers that are interested in my work. The platform is easy to rake up followers, in just the first 3 months, I gain over 1,000 followers. So as long as you remain consistent with your writing, hopefully, businesses will start to take notice of your work and hire you for your writing.

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Freelancing Platforms

Fiverr, Upwork, and Revolancers are great freelancing platforms to start selling your services. They are the easiest way for writers to get their business name out and start making income from grant writing. Just know that it does take time to build up reviews and grow on these freelancing platforms.

Most freelancing platforms have a problem with lowballers (charging people low prices), but that’s okay since there are plenty of grant writing jobs out there. As long as you provide 5-star quality work, your side hustle will surely grow into a 4-figure business easily. Here’s how I created Fiverr and built it into a business that brings in $2,000 a month.

That said if you would like more information on how to start on these freelancing platforms, here is a step-by-step guide to build your freelancing platform.

Setting up your own Business Page

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If you feel you already have an existing customer and simply wish to build a name for yourself on your business page, you can start a business page for yourself. I highly recommend business owners start off by using WordPress to launch their business page since they have multiple free templates for business owners to choose from. Sign up by clicking the link down below to get $25 off your first purchase.

Most businesses use WordPress since they have a 24-hour support service center that can help you anytime you have a problem with your website. This is such a powerful perk to get started on WordPress since the cost of starting it is pretty low.

Scaling your freelance grant writing business

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Apart from knowing how to start making money from grant writing. The next biggest step is learning how to scale it into a profitable business.

role and responsibilities of New Hires

As you scale your business, you will need employees and people working for you. In order to properly manage their workflow. Understanding and informing them of their roles and responsibilities is the most crucial step to building a successful business.

If you planned to hire another grant writer, always remember to share a grant writer’s job description. This reminds them of what they need to do and also to learn to work with their writing style. To make things happen, you will need to work and guide them(even though they may already know) in order for them to understand how your business is run. That way, the pacing of your work will be more seamless.

Likewise, if you have multiple customers reaching out for your service. You may want to hire a personal assistant and email marketer. A personal assistant may help with supporting your business in business calls and scheduling your work in order to get more work done. An email marketer can take over your job by sending out emails. They can also use their time to look into finding you more customers to reach out to.

Staying updated on industry trends and best practices

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As a freelance grant writer, it is important to stay updated on industry trends and best practices for several reasons:

Meet the expectations of clients

Clients hiring freelance grant writers expect them to have a deep understanding of industry trends and best practices. Staying up-to-date on the latest trends and practices will help you meet these expectations and deliver high-quality grant proposals. That way, you can showcase to your clients what are the NEW tricks or the trade in order to close the deal better!

Enhance credibility

By staying current with industry trends and best practices, you enhance your credibility as a freelance grant writer. You can demonstrate your expertise and knowledge to potential clients, which can lead to more business opportunities. Freelance grant writers may want to look into sharing their new knowledge as a skill that can help with boosting creditability on freelancing platforms.

Improve grant success rates

Industry trends and best practices can directly impact the success rates of grant proposals. Staying informed about the latest trends and practices can help you write more effective and competitive grant proposals, increasing the likelihood of securing funding for your clients.

Stay ahead of competitors

Staying updated on industry trends and best practices can help you stay ahead of the competition. Clients are more likely to hire freelance grant writers who have a deep understanding of the industry and can provide valuable insights and recommendations.

Maintain relevance

The grant writing industry is constantly evolving, and staying updated on industry trends and best practices can help you remain relevant in the field. By continuously learning and improving your skills, you can provide better value to your clients and maintain your position as a top freelance grant writer.

Setting rates and negotiating contracts

Knowing how to set rates and negotiate a contract is probably one of the most important skills to have if you plan to make your grant writing into a business. There will be a lot of business meetings you will need to attend to and rejections may come along the way. But that’s how it is.

Therefore, it is paramount that every business owner learns how to properly set their rates and have the ability to negotiate with clients on contracts. As a business owner myself, I would always set the expectations for my clients with 2 out of the 3 types of conditions for their service. They are fast, quality, and cheap. So if a business owner is looking for fast and quality work, they will be expected to pay a higher premium since their work will be put in top priority.

Building a portfolio and getting started

Unlike building a portfolio as a freelancer grant writer, a business owner need to be one step ahead of the game. A business owner simply can’t afford to use anyone’s reviews. They need to take up notable big names out there in order to instantly boost their credibility.

To do that, some businesses are willing to offer free services in order to put their names on their review page. I believe the price of having a notable name in your reviews is definitely worth every penny in the future.

Developing proposals and winning grants

Here is a simple email template for you to take to create a successful grant proposal since you have read all the way here:

Dear [Organization],

Are you looking for help in securing funding for your projects? We offer grant writing services to assist organizations like yours in developing successful grant proposals.

Our team of experienced grant writers can help you craft proposals that are compelling, well-researched, and aligned with the priorities of potential funders. In order to close the grant for you, we will work closely with you to understand your organization’s needs and tailor our approach to your specific project.

We specialize in a wide range of grant writing services, including but not limited to:

  • Grant proposal development
  • Grant application review
  • Grant proposal editing and proofreading
  • Grant proposal consulting and feedback

We have a proven track record of success, having secured funding for numerous organizations across a variety of industries. Our team has experience working with both large and small organizations, and we are confident we can help your organization achieve its funding goals.

If you’re interested in learning more about our grant writing services, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to discuss how we can assist your organization in securing the funding it needs.

Thank you for considering our services, and we look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

[Your Name]


Managing projects and maintaining client relationships

One of the biggest perks of being a grant writer is that these businesses are most likely coming back for your service. Given that you have helped them in the past close the deal for them with the grantmaker, it makes working with you a lot easier than simply reaching out to another grant writer to do the job.

Overcoming challenges & avoiding common pitfalls

Now before I end this article, I would also like to point out some challenges and pitfalls to avoid when starting out your freelance grant writing journey.

Firstly, avoid building a bad reputation. Many non-profit organizations work closely with one another and having a bad reputation goes a long way down the road. So be willing to put in extra work in order to maintain a positive image for your business.

Secondly, learn to create for yourself automation for your work. Grant writing will take a lot of your time to write. Grant writers typically write about 2,000 up to 5,000 words in order to close a deal with the grantmaker. Therefore, professional grant writers need to learn to use tools, software, and services to increase their writing efficiency. For example, in order to prove a point to a business on a certain business trend, SEO marketing is crucial to determine new upcoming trends.

Lastly, be consistent with your writing. Many writers give up their pen after working for a few months given that content writing does require a lot of effort and time to build. Many writers forget that in order to build a successful content writing business, they will need to learn to survive the valley of disappointment.

Start content writing as a side hustle first. Many writers quit because they try to turn it into a business too quickly, without enough clients to make a profit. So, grow your side hustle until it’s profitable before investing in turning it into a business. Take it slow and let it grow.

Conclusion and final thoughts

I hope this content has been helpful, if you have any questions, do comment down below. And if you enjoy reading this article, be sure to drop a like below to show your support for HustleVentureSG to promote more of such content.

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