Your business is going great and now you want to expand or add a new program, but do not have enough financial resources to cover all of the costs. Grant funding could be a solution.
How do you know that you are finding the most qualified person to help your business apply for grant funding? How do you know that the business behind the website is going to be the best fit for your business?
Here are five general guidelines to follow when searching for a qualified grant writer to help your business apply for thousands to millions of dollars in grant awards.
1. Professional Association. The grant consultant should be a member of a professional organization. This way you can contact the association to verify the grant writers claims and to verify their credentials. Professional associations also provide support to its members. These means that the grant is not working alone and can easily network with others to ensure they are providing the best and most accurate grant writing service.
2. Ethical Standards. The grant consultant should know and be able to explain any potential ethical issues which arise. Professional and ethical standards are relatively consistent among fund raising, accounting, and related fields.
3. Experience. Look for a grant consultant that has at least 2 years of experience or has written a couple of dozen of grant applications and proposals. Having some targeted training and belonging to a professional association can make up for some experience, but nothing beats experience like experience.
4. Training. Try to find a grant writer who has had some formal training on how to be a grant writer, rather than use someone who just read a book and decided to give it a try. Ask the grant writer where they received training to know how to write grants. At the least they might have taken a course at a university. Taking training through an association is even better. The association will provide ongoing training and support unlike a university course where training ends once the course is completed.
5. Business Relationship. The grant consultant should have some background and understanding in working with your kind of business and project. Having a grant writer with knowledge in your subject area is far more important than finding a grant writer in your neighborhood. Nearly all of the grant research, writing, reviewing, and submission is done online, or through some snail mail.