Learn what goes into hiring the right business grant writer in Nigeria. Use the expert tips here to hire yours and secure your dream funding.
Getting a business grant in Nigeria can be tough.
But you’ve got a better chance with the right business grant proposal writer. Still, finding the perfect match takes some effort. This article will give you tips for hiring a top-notch grant writer.
You’ll learn where to look, what to ask, and mistakes to avoid.
So, let’s get started.
Related Post: How to Get Business Grants In Nigeria (2024)
Table of Contents
Key Takeaways (Editor’s Pick)
- Vet grant writer candidates thoroughly on experience, samples, and references – don’t rush the hiring process.
- Look for writers with specific expertise in your industry and location to create tailored proposals. Local knowledge helps.
- Ask many questions about their process, communication style, and past results to evaluate fit.
- Check references to confirm capabilities, experience, and satisfied clients.
- Avoid focusing solely on low fees when hiring. Relevant experience is more valuable.
- Research options extensively to find the ideal grant writing partner for your needs.
- Use platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and LinkedIn to connect with qualified writers. Referrals also help.
- Define the scope of services, pricing structure, and contract terms upfront to prevent confusion.
- Hiring the right grant writer saves time, boosts the quality of proposals, and improves funding success rates.
Now, let’s dive into the details.
Who is a Business Grant Writer?
A business grant writer helps companies and nonprofits get funding. They research grants, write proposals, and submit applications for clients.
Their goal is to score grant money to support the client’s mission and growth.
To do this, they use their expertise in writing, researching grants, and understanding what funders want. With the right grant writer, you can find more grant opportunities and have a better chance of getting them.
Benefits of Hiring a Grant Writer in Nigeria
Partnering with a grant writing writer has lots of advantages:
- Access to more grant opportunities: A dedicated grant writer has the time and experience to thoroughly research appropriate grants for your business, uncovering prospects you likely would have never found on your own.
- Better proposals: Writers have the skills to create customized proposals that compellingly capture funders’ interest with their expertise in presentation, messaging, and understanding what grantors want to see.
- Higher win rates: Good writing means better chances. Due to their demonstrated ability to create higher quality, convincing applications, partnering with an adept grant writer significantly improves your odds of winning the grants you apply for.
- Saves time: Writing grants is time-consuming. However, hiring a knowledgeable writer to handle the extremely time-intensive tasks of researching grants and crafting proposals allows you to focus your limited time on operating your core business.
- Outside perspective: Writers provide objective insights on your business. A third-party grant writing professional can evaluate your organization, programs, and needs more objectively to identify and highlight your most compelling assets in grant narratives.
- Current knowledge: Writers keep up with grant trends. Diligent grant writers stay continually up-to-date on trends in funders’ interests, priorities, hot topics, and eligibility criteria to inform proposals.
- Custom guidance: Writers tailor proposals and provide coaching. Experienced writers don’t just create proposals, they offer customized guidance, answering questions and advising clients through every step of the grant-seeking process.
- Fund management: Some help manage funds and report if you win. Some grant writers provide full lifecycle grant management services which can include assistance with required funder reports and managing grant monetary awards.
Consider These When Hiring a Grant Writer
Choosing the ideal grant writing partner for your organization involves carefully evaluating several key factors. Conducting due diligence across these areas will help ensure you make the best selection:
If you search online for grant writer fees, you’ll see prices range widely.
Rates depend on the services provided, the writer’s experience level, location, and the type of organization hiring them. As freelancers, grant writers typically charge hourly, per project, or on retainer.
And according to Payscale, the average rate for grant writers in Nigeria in 2023 is around ₦2,500/hour.
If you choose to hire remotely, without geographical restrictions, the rates in USD vary based on the writer’s experience, services, and engagement length. Newer writers cost less, while experts command higher prices.
Here are common fee ranges:
- Beginners: $25/hour
- Intermediate: $50-75/hour
- Advanced: $75-150+/hour
Some freelancers favour project-based payment, which is good for you if you’re considering writing grant proposals one time only. In the next section, we have laid out 7 platforms to find the best grant proposal writers. You’ll find many writers who charge hourly and per project there.
However, if you want to apply for grants on a rolling basis, you should consider having a grant proposal writer on retainer. They will commit to reserving set hours each month in exchange for a fixed monthly fee from the hiring organization, usually for 6-12 months.
Longer engagements warrant higher rates than one-off projects, so be sure you need a grant writer over the agreed period.
Ideally, request proposals and quotes from 3-5 grant writing firms to compare pricing structures. Just because a writer charges higher rates does not always mean better service. Evaluate cost in terms of the experience, skills, services, and overall value delivered for the investment.
Share detailed information on your organization, funding needs, and project scope to get accurate quotes.
2. Support Offered
Know what support you need upfront: Do you want grant administration help post-award? Budgeting and reporting assistance? Or just proposal writing? Some offer full lifecycle grant management, others offer just writing. Understand what they provide if you win. For comprehensive services, expect higher costs.
Also, ask about training. Some teach grant-seeking skills for future self-reliance. Detail required deliverables so there are no expectation gaps.
Seasoned writers will know more about grant opportunities and how to write winning proposals.
Review past proposals to assess skills. Relevant experience also provides insight into your industry and location. Local Nigerian writers may offer helpful connections and on-the-ground knowledge.
More years of experience brings more value.
An experienced grant writer will be able to uncover more relevant grant opportunities that your business may be eligible for but not readily find on your own. Ask:
- What databases, resources, and approaches do you use for grant identification?
- How do you determine the best target opportunities to pursue?
- Can you estimate how many potential grants we could qualify for in our industry/location?
Look for writers with access to tools like Foundation Directory Online, GrantStation, Grants.gov, etc. They should demonstrate a systematic process for filtering opportunities by parameters like your location, programs, budget size, application deadlines, and funder interests. Ideally, they can estimate the volume of potential grants for positioning based on an intimate knowledge of the funding landscape.
4. Industry/Cause Area Expertise
Find writers knowledgeable in your industry, cause area, target groups, and region. Their understanding of the landscape makes your proposals more compelling.
For example, writers familiar with tech or education can tailor content accordingly. Nigerian-based writers know local funding sources. If you find one with targeted expertise, that means they can quickly grasp what funders want to hear about your business.
A grant writer with experience across grant types likely knows different requirements, eligibility criteria, formats, and selection processes to inform proposals. They can also advise if certain funders are a better fit than others based on relationships and past success.
While a skilled generalist grant writer can still be effective, one with direct experience in your niche will have a shorter learning curve. They may already have relationships with local funders as a bonus.
5. Proven Success Rate
Understand the writer’s historical success rate for the clients they have written grants for. Your ideal candidate should be able to answer the following questions satisfactorily:
- What percentage of grant proposals you’ve written have been funded over the past 1-3 years?
- What is a typical or expected win rate in our industry?
- How do my organization’s budget and goals impact projected success rates?
Higher success rates indicate the writer has developed skills for creating proposals that funders respond favourably to. Be wary of writers touting 100% success rates, which are highly unrealistic. Gauge if their past performance bodes well for your funding goals before hiring them.
6. Personality and Communication Fit
The grant writer will be a close partner, so assess if your communication styles mesh well. Are they responsive to inquiries? Do they listen and welcome dialog? Look for clear explanations of their processes, interest in understanding your organization and goals, organized project management,t and clarity in the next steps.
Plus, you want a collaborative relationship, not just someone to hand proposals off to. So, gauge if you will work cohesively together using these tips.
25 Vital Questions to Ask When Hiring a Business Grant Writer In Nigeria
Hire the best business grant proposal writers in Nigeria. Use these free resource to vet your options to make an informed decision.
Where to Find Grant Writers as a Nigerian
Now that you know what to look for in a qualified grant writer for your company, where can you find good candidates? Cast a wide net to find qualified grant-writing candidates for your business in Nigeria with the following:
Upwork is one of the largest freelance services marketplaces, with remote workers in over 150 specialties. You can post your grant writing job and receive proposals from multiple writers. Look for providers with good client reviews.
Similar to Upwork, Fiverr connects businesses to freelancers offering services, including grant writing, starting at just $5. Reasonable fees make this a possible source for finding grant help.
A general Google search for phrases like “grant writer in Nigeria” or “business grant writer in Abuja” can yield writers promoting their services online. Look locally but also consider remote-based writers.
Ask business contacts, partners, or local business groups for referrals to grant writers they have used successfully. Referrals can help find qualified candidates. Plus, referrals carry more weight.
Join grant writing groups on LinkedIn to connect with experienced professionals. Review profiles for background until you find the best fit.
Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Grant Writer
While the right writer accelerates funding, a bad choice wastes precious time and money. Avoid these common hiring mistakes:
- Not thoroughly checking references and reviews
- Focusing only on low fees rather than experience
- Failing to ask in-depth questions
- Not reviewing past grant proposals for writing quality
- Not confirming they understand your industry and location
- Lacking a detailed contract for all expected services
- Rushing the hiring process
- Letting a persuasive sales pitch outweigh real expertise
- Assuming a generalist will have the specialized knowledge needed
- Do your due diligence to avoid regrets and hire the best partner.
Want to DIY Grant Writing?
If you decide to write your grant proposals, get ready for a tough learning curve. While not impossible, we recommend hiring an expert writer to improve quality and win rates.
But if moving ahead solo is your style, use available resources to educate yourself on best practices. For a start, use our writing guide on how to write a winning business grant proposal. And don’t forget to download the free checklist to plan and guide your steps.
Also, study examples of successful proposals in your field.
Take online courses and join professional associations to access tools and templates. With diligent self-education and commitment to developing new skills, you can learn to write compelling proposals.
How Do I Choose a Grant Writer?
Picking the ideal grant writer takes time and effort. You’ll want to thoroughly interview several candidates, carefully review examples of their past work, do background checks, and contact references. As you compare potential writers, look at factors like their level of expertise, quality of writing samples, communication skills, budget fit, and overall vibe.
What Questions Should I Ask During Interviews?
You’ll want to grill candidates on all aspects of their experience and approach. Key questions should cover specific details about their background, how many years in the field, the grant writing process they use, knowledge of your industry and location, communication preferences, samples of actual proposals they’ve written, the range of services offered, success rate winning grants, professional development to stay current, and pricing structure.
How Can I Avoid Hiring Mistakes?
Hiring the wrong grant writer can set you back, so take steps to avoid blunders. Be sure to check references and online reviews thoroughly, spend time reading past proposals to assess writing skills, use interviews to ask tons of questions, research their experience and credentials, don’t let urgency push you into a quick decision, and focus on relevant expertise rather than just lowest cost.
How Do I Choose and Set Terms?
Once you’ve selected the best writer, outline mutual expectations and responsibilities upfront in a written agreement.
Be clear on your overall grant-seeking goals, specific services, and deliverables needed from them, preferred pricing and payment terms, workflows and communications that work for both sides and who is accountable for each step in the process. Drafting a formal service agreement prevents confusion down the line on how you’ll work together to maximize your grant funding success.
What Expertise Should a Grant Writer Have?
At a minimum, an effective grant writer needs expertise in conducting grant research, crafting persuasive proposals, understanding your specific industry and target groups, knowledge of funders’ priorities and processes, excellent communication skills, organized project management, and the ability to advise clients every step of the way.
Hiring the Right Business Grant Writer: Now, What Next?
The right grant writer can open up new funding potential for your organization. That’s why we made this guide to give expert tips on what to look for and common pitfalls to avoid in choosing the best writer.
With diligence and asking smart questions, you can find an experienced professional tailored to your business needs, industry, and location. We encourage you to spend quality time while looking for an ideal grant writing partner as it will pay off with more winning proposals and revenue to drive growth.
Use these steps to make a smart hiring choice. Then collaborate closely with your writer to accelerate results and get those grants to support your goals!
And if you intend to do it yourself, our guide on how to write a winning business grant proposal can be useful.