7 Mistakes Nonprofits Make When Hiring a Grant Writer

Grant writing is a job suitable for a meticulous and skillful individual. Hiring a professional grant writer is one of the most significant investments a nonprofit organization can make. The right hire ensures that the organization never runs out of funds.

Your grant writer should capture the entire story of your organization in a concise and definite manner. They also need to have an excellent team spirit by cooperating with multiple stakeholders and working within the indicated timeframe always. Hiring a grant writer is undoubtedly no child’s play and should not be taken lightly.

It is noteworthy that grant writers not only ensure proper and continuous funding of your nonprofit. They also build secure long-lasting connections with funders for your organization.

Separating writers who had their resumes put together for them from individuals who genuinely have the copywriting skills to secure your grant can be very tricky. Any poor writing could stop your funding or even jeopardize your organization’s reputation.

Nonprofits overlook some vital information when hiring grant writers. Here are some mistakes they make:

  1. Unclear Mission and Objectives:
    The first thing to consider when hiring grant writers is your mission and objectives. The main reason nonprofits hire grant writers is to enhance their work. If your project or organization’s objectives are unclear, the writer won’t capture the project goals effectively or add details that would convince sponsors to disburse the grant.

    An organization without the right objectives or mission cannot hire the right person or position the grant writer for success. Unfortunately, some nonprofits don’t consider this. Their unclear objectives result in:

    HIRING THE WRONG WRITER – Without the right objectives, you can’t guarantee that a writer is suitable for the role. You may hire an individual for the wrong reasons or not be able to test potential hires for the specifics of the project appropriately.

    LACK OF A STRUCTURED HIRING PROCESS – Finding the right grant writer doesn’t happen immediately. However, unclear objectives could delay the hiring process. Since the project mission and goals aren’t clear, it would take longer to put the project details together. In the end, the nonprofit would have to meet deadlines or complete the project within the stipulated timeline.

    Therefore, they prioritize speed over quality because they’re under pressure to fill the role as soon as possible. They might end up skipping essential steps in the hiring process or hire the first candidate that seems without making sure that the individual can execute the job properly.

    Before hiring a grant writer, nonprofits ought to ask for updated resumes. A resume shows you if your prospect is as skillful as they claim. An outdated resume lacks a history of past feats achieved and sample grants from recent jobs that were successfully funded. You’d also need to ask for references from three clients the writer has worked with.
  2. Accepting an Outdated Resume:
    Before hiring a grant writer, nonprofits ought to ask for updated resumes. A resume shows you if your prospect is as skillful as they claim. An outdated resume lacks a history of past feats achieved and sample grants from recent jobs that were successfully funded. You’d also need to ask for references from three clients the writer has worked with. Nonprofits end up skipping this essential step by allowing outdated resumes that don’t capture the individual’s skills Nonprofits end up skipping this essential step by allowing outdated resumes that don’t capture the individual’s skills.
  3. Cutting Costs:
    Most times, the promised remuneration could determine the quality of a job. The amount of salary you budget for the job post can go a long way in choosing qualified candidates who know vital grant writing techniques.

    Specific nonprofits estimate way too low for salaries of grant writers. Therefore, they settle for just rookie grant writers who would do the job at a lesser price. This action jeopardizes the quality and success of the job.

    Some organizations try to spend the least amount of money possible on every project. In the bid to cut costs, they discard skilled and experienced consultants for less qualified individuals.

    The proposal is crucial to securing the grant. Discarding skilled individuals for less qualified writers won’t give you the chance to get the proposal that could secure the grant.
  4. Overlooking Evidence of Past Success:
    Evidence of prior success refers to the previous jobs done by the prospective grant writers and how they ensured the organization’s funding. To get this information, you need to call the three clients (references) listed in the candidate’s resume.

    Getting honest essay writing service reviews of the candidate from these previous clients might be tough because they won’t want to tamper with the individual’s chances. Therefore, ask questions about the point(s) they feel the candidate could improve on. Also, ask the candidate about their previous work experience. Any negative comment about former clients is a big no-no, you shouldn’t hire such a grant writer.

    Some nonprofits don’t want to go through this seemingly rigorous task and thus hire grant writers without getting a review from previous clients.
  5. Hiring Candidates Who Lack Team Spirit:
    Every grant writer you hire should be able to work with other stakeholders and have a good relationship with funders. One way to discover a lack of team spirit in a potential hire is to listen to what they say during the interview. Be wary of candidates who keep emphasizing how they can work alone even when you suggest putting them in a team; it’s a red flag.

    Every grant is about having a team.
    A full team of grant writers consists of a grant manager whose job is to supervise the whole group, a project monitoring and evaluating officer, a procurement officer, and a project finance officer. Additionally, there can be technical officers in charge of the e-mails and a communication officer for publicity.

    There should be synergy between everyone in the team to ensure efficiency. Nonprofits trying to save costs end up hiring a few hands consisting of loners with a low level of expertise.
  6. Lack of Consideration for Organizational Skills:
    Candidates with organizational skills should have a work plan and project development objectives. Potential hires should tell you how they can meet up with deadlines and ask how they would handle the situation if they ever missed a deadline.

    However, most nonprofits don’t put the organizational skills of candidates into consideration. Therefore, they overlook it during the hiring process. This action could lead to hiring the wrong grant writer.
  7. Hiring Candidates Who Lack Passion:
    A candidate’s personality can go a long way in letting you know how passionate they are about the job. Most nonprofits focus solely on the candidate’s experience and skills, failing to recognize that character and attitude are also important. The grant writer’s personality should match the company’s culture.

    Additionally, serious candidates who look forward to your nonprofit’s success should ask questions about your projects. It showcases their passion. Passion is often overlooked during the interview stage, leading to employing writers that are unsuitable for the job.

    You may want to conduct a personality test so you can hire the right grant writer. As an NGO, you wouldn’t want your proposal only to show facts and figures. It should relate to humanity and appeal to emotions to depict the NGO’s real culture and identity.

Conclusion

For your nonprofit organization to make headway and never run bankrupt, it’s imperative to avoid these mistakes so you’d get a grant writer whose proposal attracts funds.

9 Editing Tips That Will Make You a Better Writer

Whether you are an amateur writer or an already established one, we suppose that you have already mastered the English language. However, being a good writer is not only about making your work understandable; it is way more complicated.

Surprisingly, outstanding writing skills are more about editing. First, you put your words on the paper. Usually, most writers do it quickly, in a creative outburst. Then they spend far more time polishing their work, adding or cutting some things out.

You can learn how to write well enough, but there are hardly any self-editing courses. More than just proofreading, good editing improves the clarity and forcefulness of your work.

Self-editing also helps you detect obvious mistakes like grammatical or spelling errors.

Submitting an article packed with errors is immensely unprofessional. Thus, make sure to always proofread the final version of your copy. There are numerous editing tips you can use to make sure your work is flawless. We have chosen some of the most efficient that will definitely improve your editing experience.

  1. Read in reverse. Instead of reading your work from the very beginning, try reading backward. This proofreading trick bypasses your brain’s tendency to fill in what it expects to see. Thus, you will be able to find mistakes you might otherwise gloss over. However, this doesn’t work with pieces of writing where the idea is perceived from phrases and word order. In this case, try reading in reverse, sentence by sentence to save coherence.
  2. Sleep on it. Writers rarely splutter their best piece of work on the first try. Drafts serve to hash your thoughts out on paper. So, after producing the first copy, it is nice to wait for a while. This way, your mind will be clear, and all false mental connections will be gone, and you will be able to edit your work with fresh eyes.
  3. Avoid elegant variations. This tip has to do with the content. The term “elegant variation” appeared thanks to usage commentator Henry Watson Fowler. It refers to the excessive use of rare or poetic synonyms for more common words. “Elegant variation” is considered to be ironic, as it usually feels overwrought. Therefore, next time you’ll want to avoid repeating, don’t try too hard. It might be engaging to a certain degree, however, really easy to overdo.
  4. Ditch Empty Filler Words: Filler words or grammar expletives tend to weaken your writing. Thus, it would be a wise decision to avoid watering down your writing with excessive wording that simply shifts the focus from the main point. Common examples of filler words include unnecessary adverbs like just or basically, and grammar constructions like it won’t, it takes, here is, etc. You will greatly benefit from training yourself to cut out such expletives in order to make your writing more straight-to-the-point.
  5. Don’t be too fancy. Some writers tend to use stuffy words that sound more complicated. But instead of getting the point across, such words are often confusing for a reader. If a reader needs to find a dictionary to read an article (of course if you are not submitting it to a scientific journal), your writing can use some improvement. The English language is considered to be one of the richest languages in terms of the expansiveness of its vocabulary. It’s better to find a simpler or more common word than jargon or fancy one – luckily you have a lot to choose from.
  6. Paragraphing is crucial. Most writers overlook the importance of paragraphing. Long and never-ending paragraphs confuse the reader and dilute your writing. To grasp any reader’s interest, try dividing your passage into small paragraphs.
    Also, bullet points help to make your content scannable: they grab the attention of the audience and make them read on. While editing, make sure that all of your paragraphs are short enough, however, remain coherent.
  7. Know your tells: You can be an experienced writer, but you can still have the tendency to build sentences in a stylistically disadvantageous way or use repetitive vocabulary. The more you edit, the more you acknowledge your tells, as well as the more merciless you are to cut them out from your draft.
    So let’s say, “allow to” combination plagues your writing, forcing you to overuse this phrase within one copy. But once you look for it during revisions, you are able to fix it.
    (Tip: If you are unable to catch it yourself, Google Doc’s search function can help you out. You’ll find any word, hence you can fix this problem.)
  8. Refine your content: If you are writing for a blog or online magazine, you will need tools to take your content to another level. Packing your piece of work with big data can be challenging unless you use some useful resources:
    OptinMonster is a robust customer acquisition and lead-generation application. It helps you generate highly effective opt-in forms. They, in turn,  guarantee your growth maximization. The service allows you to convert your leaving website visitors into followers or clients.
    Dummies have always been helpful in taking on multiplex concepts and making them simple to grasp. The service is the best at helping everyone be more knowledgeable and confident in applying what they know.
    Every writer knows that adhering to a deadline is key when it comes to professionalism. Make use of helpful services like HubSpot Free Content Calendar that set non-negotiable deadlines. And having non-negotiable deadlines on content is crucial to be consistent.
  9. Make use of big data. Even if you are developing a small blog, you can still enjoy the benefits of its resources. One of the principal search engine ranking components is backlinks. These are basically “votes” from other websites. They have a positive effect on your site’s ranking position. The more you include, the higher your site will show up in Google, Bing, and other searchers.

But not all backlinks work wonders. The most valuable ones are quality backlinks.

“A detailed and well-worked link building campaign will help you reach Top 10 in Google, Bing, Yahoo, AOL, and 500+ other search engines. A smart link building strategy can easily bring in +30,000 visitors/mo within the first 3-6 months”


– assures Ben Poitras, a Quality assurance Manager at Linksmanagement Backlink Service.

Proper backlinks can assist anyone in drawing in more organic traffic to a website, upscale, and boost earnings.

So the best tips for better writing are based on simple principles. It’s important to follow each step in the process of editing very carefully. The main idea here is to double-check everything and work with different tools that ease the process.

Basic Steps Of The Grant Writing Process

While grant applications may differ in format, they take a similar structure regarding the information you are to provide. Regardless of the type of grant you are applying for, either for your charity organization or project collaboration, grant writing is a skill you need. You should be able to define the project and deliverables for the money sought clearly. Therefore, your grant writing process needs to be carefully prepared, planned, and packaged to succeed.

So in this guide, we’ll look at the necessary grant writing steps you’ll require to achieve a convincing and winning grant application. 

Step 1: Go through the Grant and Research a bit on Your Grantor

Once you have found a grant that aligns with your proposed project, you must take an in-depth look at the grant to understand what your grantor needs. It also allows you to get all the questions you need to provide answers for and the necessary documents you may be required to add to support your grant application. It would help if you likewise took note of all the keywords or phrases you might need to keep on referring to in your application.

Also, do a little research on others who your proposed grantors have given to in the past. It will provide you with an idea of whether or not the application is fit for your mission. And then carry out an honest inventory of your organization’s grant-readiness before you write out your application. 

Step 2: Proposal Title Page and Document Collation 

The next phase of your grant writing process is to prepare a title page for your grant application. It can also be in the form of an abstract. The purpose is to give your grantors brief but sufficient and specific details about your application at a glance. Make sure that your title page is appropriately coached. Since it is the initial impression your potential grantors will have of your brand, you should put to have a well-designed, very informative, and error-free write up.

It should carry information such as the title of your proposed project, business name, proposal objectives and outcomes, name, and tile of your company representative, legal business information, and contact. This information will quip their attention to read the proposal further and make them take you seriously. It will also help you organize your thinking on how to write the main body of your application.

Additionally, now is the time to have a checklist of all the documents required and collate them together. It is advisable to do this to avoid last-minute scampering. Documents such as a list of board members, your IRS determination letter, financial reports, a statement about the organization’s history, etc. should all be up to date. When you fail to provide a requested document, no matter how incredible your concept may be, the funder will likely dismiss your application immediately.

Step 3: Writing the Body of Your Grant Application 

Writing the body of your proposal is the most critical step, and it should contain the following parts:

  • The executive summary helps to give the grantor a brief insight of what your project is about. It should be short and straightforward, providing all the vital information. The executive summary provides the grantor with a glimpse of your proposal and what they should expect.
  • Needs Statement: is the essential aspect of your grant proposal. Therefore it needs to convince your grantor that your proposed project is crucial. Also, write on your organization’s capability in handling the project and the impact the grant money can make. Your needs statement should be detailed, so whatever information the reviewer fails to pick in your summary, they can easily find it here.
  • Goals and Objective: provides information on how you will handle the project and what you aim to accomplish at the end of the project. Thus, the goals are the projects’ overall outcomes, and the objectives are the steps that you will follow to achieve these outcomes. For instance, if you need the grant to set up an essay writing service review site like Best Writers Online. Your goals can be delivering 1000 quality essays daily, while your objectives will be the procedures you will take to write out quality essays.
  • Program Design: This is the part of your application where you give your grantor a detailed approach to your project’s objectives. It should contain information such as the step by step model approach and timelines.
  • Evaluation Section: This section shows how you are going to assess the success or failure of your project. It gives you room to explain to the grantor that their money accomplishes a purpose. Therefore, you should explicitly state your evaluation plan and the records you intend to use in the evaluation process. If you plan to use an internal or external firm for auditing the project, also state so.
  • Project’s budget: here, you will need to give details on the cost of your project. You should evaluate your budget correctly to avoid the estimation of the cost.
  • Visual Data & Social Proof Matter: Enhance your textual content with adequate visuals such as your company’s infographics and other visualized data. Getting the perfect balance between written and visual content makes your partnership professional, well-curated, and highly informative. You can also include testimonials from your clients, existing social media data, and other stakeholder data to increase your grant application’s approval.
  • Table of Content: providing a table of content makes it easy for anyone to locate paragraphs and data points in your proposal. Your table of content should be informative and straightforward. Do not include additional details that aren’t in the grant application.
  • Cover Letter: it is best practice to attach a cover letter to your grant application. It can also serve as an introduction and summary of your request, so make sure it contains information that will make your grantor look forward to reading your application.

Step 4: Review and Submit Your Proposal

Finally, once you are done with compiling everything, ensure that you crosscheck the full application and documents in case of possible errors. You can use the following checklist to review your application before submitting: 

  • Ensure that all of the questions in the grant application have all been addressed
  • Crosscheck your budget figures and justification
  • Match you written request against the grant format guidelines if any 
  • Edit and review for any typographic errors. If your application needs a paper writing service review, sites like Online Writers Rating provide such services.
  • Be mindful of the deadline.
  • Ensure that every required document is attached and according to the required number of copies 
  • Send the application in the manner requested by the grantor, either by submitting an electronic copy online or sending a hard copy. 

Extra Step: Follow Up

Your work is not complete just because you have sent out your application. You can still reach out to your grantor to engage them and convince them further. However, please don’t rush the follow-up, wait a few days before reaching out to the grantor. Also, don’t wait for the investor to reach out to you first. Truth is they might not. Additionally, you can keep the conversation going with calls, texts, and emails. Consistent and well-timed follow up will increase the odds of raising the funds you need.

Conclusion 

The grant writing process may not always be easy, but it is usually straightforward. But hopefully, with these steps and good practice, you should be able to write put successful grant applications with more ease. Bear in mind that the writing process is about selling your project as it is about convincing the grantor about your competency and capacity to use the funds and perform successfully.

Aaron Swain is a writing specialist. He is passionate about marketing and SEO. He expands and improves his skills throughout the writing process to help and inspire people.