Sheryl Kaplan - Grants Consultant
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I will work with your organization to provide excellent services at a reasonable cost. Depending upon the scope of work and your needs, fees are usually structured in one of the following three ways:

This is available for short-term or long-term work. The rate is $50 and invoices will be sent every two weeks for large projects and once per month for small projects, with payment due within 15 days.

This is also available for short-term or long-term work. The specific fee is determined by the scope of work and the length of the project. Usually, one-half the fee is payable upon signing the contract and the balance is due within 15 days of completion of the work.

This is best-suited for on-going work, although no minimum time period is required. A range of hours per month is agreed to, and the fee is paid on a monthly basis. Flexibility and cost savings are the primary benefits of such an arrangement.

If you have other needs, just ask!  I'm flexible and willing to set up any reasonable alternatives. I can also help you find the funds to pay for Consulting services.

A Note (or Two) About Commissions

Adapted with permission from "Ethics and Commissions," by Goodwin Deacon, Ph.D., Founder, Puget Sound Grantwriters Association

Fees for freelance proposal writers or Consultants present a constant problem. At least once a week someone asks, "Can I hire a proposal writer (or agree to work for an organization) for a percentage of the grants awarded?" The answer, simply, is no. Commissions are considered unethical by almost all professional organizations and funders. They are also a bad idea for both organizations and proposal writers.

Grantmakers frown upon contingency fees, and many will not fund your organization if they find out you pay Consultants on this basis. Funders seldom allow a proposal writer's fee to be included in the program budget.

Freelance proposal writers and Consultants are professionals who are paid for their time and their expertise, even if the proposal is not successful. They may be paid either by the hour or by the project.

"But how is that fair?" an organization may ask. "Why should we pay the proposal writer if we didn't get the grant?"

Proposals succeed or fail for a number of reasons, most of which are out of the writer's control. Among these are:

  • The strength of the project: its feasibility, whether it meets a clear community need, and whether it has a well-planned budget.
  • How well the project fits the funder's interests.
  • The nonprofit's reputation, track record, and financial history.
  • Relationships: how well the funder knows and trusts the nonprofit's Board and staff.
  • Competition: how many other requests the funder has received.
  • Funds and Timing: how much money the funder has available in this cycle.

Finally, a key element is the quality and persuasiveness of the proposal. This is the part the writer controls, and it is important. But even the most beautifully written proposal will fail if other factors are not in its favor.

"We're a small organization, just starting out. How are we supposed to pay a proposal writer if we don't have any money?"

If you don't have any money, you're not ready to apply for a grant. Grants should never be an organization's first dollar. You need to raise funds from individuals first: people who believe in your organization and are willing to make a contribution to get you started. A good place to begin is your Board.

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