Grant funding can help Nigerian businesses grow. But winning grants requires persuasive grant proposals, which most entrepreneurs don’t know how to write. An experienced grant writer can help. They know how to craft compelling narratives tailored to different funders. To find the right grant writer, ask these 25 questions.
Questions to Gauge Qualifications & Experience
1. How long have you been a professional grant writer?
Look for 5+ years of experience in grant writing specifically, not just general business writing. More years of gaining expertise with different funding sources is better.
2. What is your grant success rate over the past 3 years?
Higher win rates indicate the writer has honed the skills to create proposals funders respond well to. Be skeptical of any claim over 75%.
3. How many clients have you written grants for in Nigeria?
Local experience shows knowledge of the funding environment and relationships with in-country funders.
4. What types of industries have you worked with?
See if they have relevant experience writing grants for your type of business and niche. Specific expertise is a plus.
5. What is your process for researching and identifying the best-fit grant opportunities?
Look for a systematic approach to finding prospects aligned to your business offerings and goals.
Questions About Their Knowledge & Abilities
6. What techniques and best practices do you use to craft compelling grant narratives?
You want to gauge their skill in storytelling and making a convincing case to funders.
7. How do you ensure proposals align to each grant program’s goals and priorities?
Funders want to see customization. They should tailor content accordingly.
8. Can you share 2-3 examples of past grant proposals you’ve written?
Review samples to assess their writing skills and ability to follow grant guidelines.
9. How do you incorporate relevant data and evidence into proposals?
Skilled use of supporting facts and stats boosts persuasion.
10. Are you able to assist with financial components like grant budgets?
Not all writers offer budget help. Define the full scope of assistance needed.
Questions on Working Style and Process
11. Walk me through your typical process from project kickoff to proposal submission.
Get insight into their project management, efficiency, and organizational skills.
12. How do you prefer to communicate with clients – email, phone, meetings?
Define preferences so you have a productive working dynamic.
13. How do you gather content from clients for proposals?
Look for collaborative methods that make the process easy for you.
14. How many revisions or draft edits are included?
Know what’s included versus what may cost extra.
15. Can you provide coaching to improve my own grant writing skills?
Some writers offer this value-added service.
Questions About Pricing and Billing
16. What is your pricing structure – hourly, per project, retainer, etc?
Understand how they charge for different scopes of work.
17. What specifically is included in your services?
Know what you get for the price to avoid surprise add-on fees.
18. How do you bill for project expenses or reimbursements?
Discuss how out-of-pocket costs are handled. Get policies in writing.
19. Are you open to negotiating costs for nonprofits?
Some writers offer discounted rates for charities and social good groups.
Questions About Their Specializations
20. Do you have experience securing grants from Nigerian government agencies?
Gov’t grants have very particular processes. Previous success is telling.
21. Have you worked extensively with corporate foundations and CSR grants?
These funders have different priorities versus private foundations.
22. Are you familiar with grant reporting and compliance requirements?
If you need assistance post-award, ensure they have relevant expertise.
Questions to Confirm Professionalism
23. Can you provide 2-3 client references I can contact?
Speaking to past clients provides insight into capabilities and work style.
24. Do you have any professional certifications or accreditations?
Relevant credentials indicate ongoing education and commitment to excellence.
25. Do you carry general liability insurance to cover your work?
Protect yourself by confirming coverage. Most reputable consultants will.