A Grant Writer: The Concept, Role, Qualification and Experience

Authors: Anthony M. Wanjohi1 and Ian Kiprop Rotich2
1,2 Kenya Projects Organization
P.O. Box 15509-00503, Mbagathi, Nairobi-Kenya
Corresponding Author Email: [email protected]


Abstract: Grant proposal writing entails writing an application for financial funds provided by a donor agency, which could be a government  department, corporation, foundation, or trust. The process of grant proposal writing is rigorous and requires certain level of knowledge, skills and experience from the part of a Grant Writer. This article briefly looks at who a grant writer is, the importance of grant writing, the roles and responsibilities of a grant writer, and the qualifications, skills, and experience of a grant writer. The article further proceeds to draw some highlights about Kenpro Grant Writers.

Key Words: Grant Writer, Grant writer qualification, Grant writer role, Grant writer experience, Grant proposal, Funding proposal, Proposal Writing, Resource mobilization, Donor mapping


Introduction
A grant proposal is a justification for the change initiative that is robust, compelling, and well reasoned. The skill to efficiently secure finances for the organization’s projects is one of the numerous professional skills and competencies essential for good management in organizations. Many organizations rely substantially on donations from outside sources to continue operations. Writing grants for organizations is a talent that needs work and expertise since it has a significant effect on an organization’s financial resource mobilization for years (Davidson, 2009). This article briefly looks at who a grant writer is, the importance of grant writing, the roles and responsibilities of a grant writer, and the qualifications, skills, and experience of a grant writer. The article further proceeds to draw some highlights about Kenpro Grant Writers

Who is a Grant Writer?
A grant writer does research and writes grants or proposals for individuals and organizations. He or she is responsible for researching grant opportunities, developing and submitting grant proposals to donors who offer crucial funding support to support an organization’s objectives (Koppelman & Holloway, 2012). Frequently, grant writers serve as de facto project managers, overseeing all phases of a grant’s lifecycle. While some grant writers are employed by an institution, others opt to work as consultants.

Importance of Grant Writing to an Organization
Grant size may range from thousands to millions, depending on the nature of the grant and the organization that awards it. To obtain a grant, an organization has to invest the initial expense of writing a grant. If you are successful in obtaining a grant, the first investment is often minimal. Grants are a wonderful way to boost your organization’s resources in pursuit of the grant as well as in the management of its operations.

Grant Applications aid organizations to achieve long-term goals. Writing grants for firms also enables them to prioritize long-term planning. Numerous grant applications ask your organization to outline the long-term goals of a specific project or the organization as a whole. Through the grant writing process, your organization will be able to debate and revise its objectives and build a greater focus on the activities and projects necessary for success.

Grant writing builds a sense of teamwork in an organization. A person or group may write and submit the grant application, although the proposal’s structure is generally developed in collaboration with others. As part of the grant application, the grant writer will need to collaborate with the company’s staff to gather information about the company’s present and historical activities, as well as its future ambitions. This encourages the employees to work together more effectively and provides them a better feeling of ownership over the grant application and the company’s overall mission (Berger & Moore, 2011).

Grant writing opens up opportunities to partner with interested stakeholders with the capacity to finance thereby involving them in achieving the goals of the organization. There are several ways in which non-profit grant writing might benefit your organization’s mission. You may use grant applications to explain the story of your organization and your project to others, allowing them to see the importance of what you’re doing and grow a desire to be a part of making your vision a reality.

Grant writing fosters an organization’s brand identity in its field of operation and beyond. Internal and external branding is made possible via grant writing. Marketing plans, joint venture proposals, and many other areas that depend on a strong brand image for success may readily reuse the language used in the grant submission. It is a sign of your company’s commitment to its mission statement and professionalism if you are able to get outside money for your project by obtaining a grant. As a result, your brand’s trust rises, making this a marketing tool for securing additional sales, collaborations, and other forms of funding.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Grant Writer
As a grant writer, one has various roles and responsibilities, the first one being to conduct donor mapping on existing and potentially new fundraising and partnership opportunities. The grant writer thereafter prepares any and all grants-related correspondences or materials: concept notes, full proposals, budgets, etc. Manages the entire grant writing process and ensures other staffers and departments are aware as well as prepared for any upcoming deadlines related to letters of inquiry, grant proposals, and funding reports among others. Coordinate and track the progress of submitted proposals, through grants tracking systems or an internal database. Maintain institutional grant records, project progress reports and impact data. Coordinate any site visit for donors seeking to conduct due diligence on the organization. Remain up-to-date on current issues relative to grant proposals and liaise with the supervisor accordingly (Wiseman & Milner, 2013).

Qualifications, Skills, and Experience of a Grant Writer
The most preferred academic qualifications for a grant writer are often at least a bachelor’s degree required in fields such as project management, research, business or certification in other relevant related fields. As a grant writer, one also needs to have accumulated years of experience and knowledge on grants research and application criteria and guidelines for both local and international donor agencies with success in managing grant reporting timelines (Yang, 2012). Grant writers need to possess personal skills in the following variety of areas; strong research and presentation skills, excellent verbal and written communication skills, demonstrated ability to manage multiple tasks and meet deadline-sensitive scenarios simultaneously, self-motivated and tenacious, with exceptional problem-solving abilities, work under strict time constraints and tight deadlines, and the ability to thrive in a creative team environment while operating independently (Liu, Pynnonen, St John, Rosenthal, Couch, & Schmalbach, 2016).

About Kenpro Grant Writers (KGWs)
Kenpro Grant Writers (KGWs) is a team of grant writers affiliated to Kenya Projects Organization (KENPRO). KGWs team members are qualified and certified in the fields of project planning and management, research, information technology, and business analysis among other diverse fields. KGWs team members posses strong research and presentation skills, demonstrated ability to manage multiple tasks and meet deadline-sensitive scenarios simultaneously.

KGWs team is involved in developing grant winning proposals in different thematic areas including but not limited to policy advocacy, capacity building, clean and renewable energy, agriculture, environment, health, education, youth and women empowerment, media, information technology, and research and development among other fields of development. KGWs team is experienced and knowledgeable on grants research and application criteria and guidelines for local and international donor agencies including but not limited to SIDA, USAID, UKaid, European Union, UN bodies, among others.

KGWs team is charged with the responsibility of conducting donor mapping and developing proposals. The team is also involved in project implementation processes including conducting baseline surveys and monitoring and evaluation. KENPRO Financial Resource Mobilization Memorandum of Understanding with clients guides the working of the team.

Conclusion
A grant for your business, company, or organization would provide the funding necessary for expansion and success. Applying for a grant requires time and certain professional skills, which is why it is a good idea to hire a qualified grant writer. With the appropriate writer on your side, you have a greater chance of receiving the necessary funds and achieving your project goals.

References
Berger, A. M., & Moore, T. A. (2011). Effective grant writing. Journal of Infusion Nursing, 34(3), 167-171.

Davidson, C. R. (2009). Grant writing and the grant seeking process in the non-profit sector (Doctoral dissertation).

Koppelman, G. H., & Holloway, J. W. (2012). Successful grant writing. Paediatric respiratory reviews, 13(1), 63-66.

Liu, J. C., Pynnonen, M. A., St John, M., Rosenthal, E. L., Couch, M. E., & Schmalbach, C. E. (2016). Grant-writing pearls and pitfalls: maximizing funding opportunities. Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, 154(2), 226-232.

Yang, O. O. (2012). Guide to effective grant writing: How to write a successful NIH grant application. New York: Springer.

Wiseman, J. T., Alavi, K., & Milner, R. J. (2013). Grant writing 101. Clinics in colon and rectal surgery, 26(04), 228-231


Suggested Citation

Wanjohi, A.M. and Rotich, I.K. (2022). A Grant Writer: The Concept, Role, Qualification and Experience. Available online at www.kenpro.org/a-grant-writer-the-concept-role-qualification-and-experience


For Grant Proposal Writing Support Services, kindly Contact our Kenpro Grant Writers (KGWs) Team or call the Lead KGW via Mob. 0725 788 400