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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.