didn't list grants-related duties, yet part of their duties included writing proposals or responding tobid opportunities (also called RFPs, or Request For Proposals). Whether they learned to writegrant proposals through formal training or on their own through trial and error, it's likely they haveenough knowledge of the grant seeking process to call themselves experts in the field. You, too,can probably call yourself an expert if your career has taken a similar path.The key word here is
.You become an expert by doing something over and over until youperfect the process to the point that it's almost a given that you'll achieve the desired result. Whenyou're a grant writing expert, you can get a funding source to award a grant for the project or program that you've proposed (grant proposal) on behalf of your client.
Step 2: Know Technical Terms
Knowing the technical terms in this specialty field is the second step to succeeding in your newconsulting business. In our field (mine and now yours), technical terms are often exchanged for one another. What do I mean? For instance, grant applications are also called grant proposals, or just grants for short.Grant makers are organizations that make grant awards. Also referred to as funding sources,grant makers include foundations, corporations, and government agencies (local, regional, state,and federal). Grantees (those agencies or individuals receiving a grant award) are also referred toas grant applicants. Go to the Supplementary Materials section to see a list of Web sites to helpyou brush up on your
(study of technical terms used in our field).
Step 3: Professional Knowledge
Recognizing and using your professional knowledge is the third step to succeeding in your newconsulting business. Do you know how to search for funding sources? Do you know how toresearch and write a complete grant proposal or grant application, from cover letter and forms tothe attachments? If you do know how to do these things, then you possess the knowledge tobecome a successful grant writing consultant. I define successful as obtaining grant proposalsfunded for clients and being paid well for your services.
Work for Yourself
Now that you're feeling like an expert, it's time to think about moving beyond working 9:00 to 5:00for your employer to working for yourself. You're not a grant writing consultant unless you haveclients and work independently. Although you may write grants for your employer, you're not agrants consultant; you're whatever your employer chooses to call you on your job description, andyou're not paid or treated like a consultant. A true grant writing consultant is a third party expertbrought in from the outside to help those on the inside get better at successfully capturing grantfunding—the first time around.Consultants work in their own offices (whether home-based or storefront) and set their own feesand work schedules. Consultants have contractual agreements with their clients. They do notpunch a time clock or report for work at an employer's office every Monday, Wednesday, andFriday, or whenever the client fancies.
Explain What You Do