How to Become a Grant Writer

While some individuals painstakingly work through the grant application process on their own, others turn to grant writers to increase their chances of success. However, where grant writers really get used is by nonprofits that heavily depend on grant funds for their existence. For them, the services of a grant writer are critical. You do not need a degree or any certification – just the ability to fully research, organize and write. There are a number of steps you should take to get into this sometimes very lucrative occupation:

  • Read. The best way to find out about any occupation is to read about it.

    • See if you can get copies of successful grant applications and study them carefully.

    • Read various foundation websites to get a feel for what they require.

    • Read in the specific field you expect to be writing grants for, such as animal rights, arts, senior citizen issues, low income issues, farms and so forth.

    • Read books on how to become a grant writer. For example, Beverly A. Browning has published the book, “How to Become a Grant Writing Consultant.”

    • Read websites that provide grant writing tips.

  • Classes. Although not required, and not necessary for everyone, you may want to consider attending a class or training program. While certification is not necessary, it may give you an advantage when seeking employment as a grant writer. Examples:




  • Start Small. Just like in most professions, it can be difficult to be taken seriously until you have some experience. You can gain some experience by volunteering at a local association. Offer to help locate a couple of grants for them and prepare the applications. They will love you for it, and although you won’t have made any money, you gain a referral and experience.

Grant writing is a very rewarding endeavor – being a part of the process of getting needed funds to associations that do so much good with it provides so much more than a paycheck. You can literally be helping hundreds and thousands of people!

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