#274: The Fun and Lucrative World of Grant Writing, with Teresa Huff

Content marketing writing and copywriting are both proven ways to make a great living as a writer.

But they aren’t the only ways.

One angle we haven’t yet explored in this podcast is grant writing.

For some writers, freelance grant writing is a great way to leverage their skills, grow their earning potential, and make a big impact on the world around them.

In this episode, you’ll hear from Teresa Huff, a former special-ed teacher turned grant writing coach and nonprofit strategist.

Over the years, Teresa has built a very successful business helping nonprofits boost their funding by writing better, more strategic grant applications and proposals.

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe in iTunes to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smartphone, tablet or iPod.

Tell us about yourself and your business 

When Teresa started her family, she looked for work she could do from home and ended up joining a local grant writing team.

She was surprised at how well her special ed background lent itself to grant writing, with shared skills that included goal writing, researching, planning and organizing.

When she and her family moved, she started her own consulting business.

What exactly is grant writing? 

Grant writing is a competitive process.

Foundations, corporations and government agencies offer opportunities for nonprofits to secure grant funds.

Nonprofits have to submit an application if they’d like to apply. In the application, they typically have to describe how they’ll use the grant if it’s awarded to them.

Most applications come with a deadline and detailed guidelines.

The bigger the grant, the more application requirements.

The foundation will review the application, score it, and award funding based on their assessment.

Foundations are looking for a “return on impact.” They want to fund stable nonprofits that are already doing good work.

You can usually tell by reading the guidelines whether a grant is a good fit for your nonprofit and worth pursuing.

How much of this content can be used across multiple applications?

You’ll need to partner with the nonprofit to understand its mission, program, and statistics. Content coming from this type of research can often be reused in different applications, although you can’t just cut and paste.

You need to be a good writer to start. Then you can learn the strategies that make applications more compelling.

How much demand is there for grant writers? 

The demand is big. A lot of nonprofits know that grants are out there, but they don’t know where to start. They need writers who can help them find and complete those applications.

You have to set expectations with clients. Grant writing is a competitive process, so you’re not going to win every grant. It’s important to target those that are the best fit.

How much can grant writers expect to earn?

Once you’re established, you can charge $70-80 an hour, up to $100+ an hour.

You can then translate those rates into different packages.

Typically, you can charge more to large nonprofits than small nonprofits.

If you’re already working with a nonprofit, you can offer grant writing to them as an additional service to get some experience.

Which nonprofits are good candidates for an outside grant writing services?

The nonprofit needs to be up and running with a stable budget.

If they’re just starting out and trying to get their first $1,000 grant, they’re not ready for a grant writer.

You’re looking for organizations that have the budget for grant writing, but don’t have grant writers already on staff—or they have staff but need to supplement with a few contract workers.

Ideally, they’ll have an organization expense budget of at least $200,000-$400,000.

Is there any type of writer who’s a particularly good fit for this kind of work? 

Attention to detail is important. You also need to be able to pull in data and present numbers strategically.

You need to be willing to play devil’s advocate and look at the application from the funders’ perspective. You have to think strategically and ask good questions.

Creative thinking is also important. You have to do a lot of brainstorming and problem-solving.

If grant writing is of interest to our listeners, what’s the best way for them to learn more or get started? 

Start small and start with what you know.

Serving on a nonprofit board as a volunteer can help you learn how nonprofits run.

Teresa has free resources and courses on her website for new and aspiring grant writers.

Where can listeners learn more about you? 

Teresa’s website: https://teresahuff.com

Teresa’s grant writing courses: https://teresahuff.vipmembervault.com

Teresa’s podcast, Grant Writing Simplified: https://teresahuff.com/podcast/



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1. Grab a free copy of my book.

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2. Join my implementation program and be a case study.

I’m putting together a new implementation group this month. If you’re earning $5k+/month (or the part-time equivalent) from your freelance business … and you’d like to grow your income quickly with better clients … just email me at [email protected]

3. Work with me privately.

If you’re a 6-figure writer who’s trying to earn more in less time, with less stress, I might be able to help you get there faster than you think. Just email me at [email protected] and put “Breakthrough” in the subject line, and I’ll get back to you with more details.