The cost grant writers charge to write grants can be as varied as the cost of writing an insurance policy. Cost on the internet can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars for the same services. So how do you know that you are getting a fair price for your services.
Many first time clients pay too much for grant writing services. This is partly because they are too desperate for the extra “free” money. There is an expectation that if they give a few thousand dollars to a grant writer that they will receive ten or a hundred times their investment in return; and probably the more money they pay the grant writer the more money they will receive in the grant award. The fact is that there is no guarantee that a grant application will be funded, regardless of how much the grant writer is paid.
One of the application characteristics looked at closely by funders is the financial stability of the applicant organization. If the applicant has a weak, or non-existing, financial statement many funders will consider this application to be a financial risk. Ironically, most grant funding does not go to start-up or struggling businesses. Most grant funding goes to well-established business with a track record of success in programs and fiscal management. It is a weak rational to request grant money to help pay your bills because you are not able to generate enough income on your own to do so.
Another critical issue is when the grant writer charges their fees based on a percentage of the amount of the grant. The practice of charging a percentage or commission on the grant award is an unethical practice in all cases, and illegal in some applications. In addition, this is an unethical practice throughout all of fund raising.
The cost to write a grant proposal or application as well as research for funders should be based on an hourly rate times the estimated hours to complete the work. Many grant writers will convert this into a flat fee which is both legal and often an advantage to the applicant.
There are no fees to submit a grant application. Submitting a grant does not require personal debts or taxes to be paid, nor should there be any other backend fees or business debts that are required to be paid. If a grant writer request any additional fees for these or similar purpose it should raise a red flag and you should look elsewhere.
Understand that most of the time spent working on a grant applications and proposals is in reading the instructions and reviewing the instructions in regards to the application content. The actual writing time is a small portion of the overall preparation time.