With so many organizations dependent on grants to fund their operations, there are plenty of opportunities for skilled writers who are knowledgeable about proposal writing and nonprofit operations. Opportunities are particularly abundant for those who can demonstrate experience securing grant funding. Some organizations hire staff grant writers while others work with freelancers - no matter which type of opportunity you are interested in, it's important to know where to look.
Focusing Your Search
There may be grant writing opportunities in your local area, as well as opportunities to work remotely. For the best chance of securing employment of finding work opportunities, look both locally and online.
Find out what nonprofit organizations exist within your community; this will help you to identify companies that may need to hire grant writers in your local area. Three of the best ways to do that is to identify United Way member-agencies in your area, as well as find out what organizations are represented in the local Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) chapter and your state's nonprofit council.
- United Way - Visit the national United Way website to run a search that will reveal the local agency that covers your area. Once you identify the correct local agency, you can go directly to its website and find a listing of its partner organizations. Those organizations are non-profits that receive funding from the United Way, so they are good candidates to include on your grant writing job search list. Visit each organization's website to review career opportunities, and consider making personal contact with their development directors or HR representatives to inquire about opportunities.
- Association of Fundraising Professionals - Go to the national AFP website to search for local chapters. When you find the chapter closest to you, visit the group's website and see if it has information on who the members are and what organizations they represent. There may be job postings advertised on the chapter site. Attend a few meetings as a visitor and consider joining if you're serious about pursuing grant writing as a career. Share your job search interests with the people you meet. They may have opportunities in their own companies or elsewhere.
- State council - There are 36 state-specific associations that belong to the National Council of Nonprofits (NCN). Visit the national NCN website to find out if there is a council in your state. If so, go directly to that organization's website and review the member list to expand your list of potential employer and client sources.
Grant writers are often able to work remotely, so you don't have to limit your search to organizations in your local area. However, you don't want to spend hours scouring general interest employment or freelance sites if you're really focused on finding grant writing opportunities.
- Grant Professionals Association - As a professional organization representing grant writers, the association has a jobs search page where you can find work opportunities. Each opening is listed on the page with job title and location; you'll simply need to click the ones that interest you to get details such as qualifications, description and application instructions. You do not have to be a member to use this resource.
- NonprofitJobs.org - This is a job search website dedicated specifically to jobs with nonprofits. The database offers a number of ways to structure searches, including viewing all jobs as well as limiting to those added within the last week or last two weeks. You can search by location, skill, job title and job type (regular, interim or consultant). You can also select up to three key terms from a pre-populated list; one of the options is fundraising, which is a good option for those seeking grant writing listings.
As with every job search, it's important to be diligent when seeking this type of employment. Check for openings using these resources regularly, and also look for opportunities specific to your interests on general job aggregator sites like Indeed and Simply Hired. Apply promptly for every opportunity that piques your interest, being sure that your resume clearly conveys your skills in this area.