Why Would an Organization Pay a Grant Writer without an “Award Guarantee”?
I’ve been asked this type question many times. Recently, I came across an excellent response by Michael Wells, owner of Grants Northwest.
”What kind of organization would hire a lawyer without assurances they'll win their case?
What kind of person will hire a surgeon without assurances the surgery will be successful?
What kind of person would hire a financial consultant without assurances they'll make money?
People and organizations hire professionals on expectations of increasing their odds of success, not guarantees. I think this is true of anything in life. “
A key element shared by client-professional scenarios: Relationships
The Grant Professional Certification Institute puts it this way:
“Good grant professionals work between grant seeker and funder, using their skills to ensure a match between the seeker’s capacity and the funder’s mission. Good grant professionals conduct research and needs assessments, engage in strategic planning, fiscal planning, technical writing and evaluation, all within an ethical framework.”
Like the surgeon, lawyer and financial consultant, there are factors that are out of the grant professional's control. The Surgeon can’t control the patient’s genetics and she relies on the patient to follow physician instructions and restrictions. Similarly, Grant Professional can’t control the number and amount of grants awarded or the number of competitors, and relies on the client to follow professional guidance and grant requirements.
The Grant Professional can provide expertise and depends upon the client to:
1) provide accurate and current information,
2) have sound financial practices and program budgets,
3) build a solid reputation and relationships with funders, and
4) have strong partnerships with other organizations.
Without a grant ‘award guarantee’ how can an organization choose the right grant writer?
“What a nonprofit should look for is competence, experience and a successful track record. The part about lacking an adequate background is key, a grantwriter needs to have experience working with nonprofits, grantwriting and fundraising, and understand program planning and finances before presenting themselves as a consultant.” Michael Wells, Grants Northwest
GPC – may be the closest thing to a guarantee
Many experienced grant professionals work to achieve certification by the Grant Professional Certification Institute. Only experienced and successful grant professionals are eligible to test for the certification. Credentialed Grant Professionals (GPC) are held accountable to strong ethical and professional development standards by the GPCI.
Find an experienced grant consultant with a proven track-record, work together to identify your organization’s unique circumstances and strengths, and put your organization in the best position to win the grant award.