Should You Hire a Grant Writer, a Consultant, or a Firm?

June 2, 2020

“How do I know when my organization should engage a grant writing firm like Elevate?”

A big part of my role at Elevate is fielding inquiries from organizations of all shapes and sizes that are asking themselves the question: Is working with Elevate the right step for my organization?

While I am primarily responsible for new business development for our growing company, I am act as a trusted partner for nonprofits as they make this decision. Elevate is deeply committed to advancing progressive social change through the important work of the nonprofit sector. We want to partner with organizations that are creating meaningful and lasting change.

So, I take the responsibility seriously when an organization brings their challenges and needs to me — often sharing candid struggles they may have had with a previous grant writer or issues they are facing in taking their grants program to the next level.

Some of the organizations I talk with are strong and growing and need extra grant writing capacity to take advantage of new opportunities. Others are struggling to develop a strategy to diversify their revenue streams, especially if they are heavily invested in major donors or events. Nonprofit leaders often ask me if they are leaving foundation dollars on the table by not having the capacity to research them.

Over the years, Elevate has worked with hundreds of nonprofit organizations who come to us with varying needs, grants programs in different stages of sophistication, and internal development teams ranging from robust to nonexistent.

We have learned a lot about the different scenarios that nonprofit organizations have implemented to staff their grant writing function, and we have observed the circumstances under which these scenarios work well and not so well. We have helped nonprofits that are considering whether to hire Elevate, an internal grant writer, or another firm or contract grant writer to navigate the complex considerations that go into making such a decision — from cost to building continuity to leveraging expertise. 

To learn more how to make the best decision for your organization, check out our recorded webinar in the Elevate resource library, How to Know When to Enlist Outside Grant Writing Support!

In it, we shared the key considerations for nonprofits, to help them answer the question of whether it’s time to engage a grant writing firm like Elevate — or to try another staffing solution! Other things we cover during the recorded session:

  • weigh the pros and cons of different staffing options,
  • discuss the questions you should ask yourself or your potential hire, and
  • examine the circumstances when it is definitely NOT the right time to outsource your grant writing function.

And, yes, we’ll also share a little more about Elevate and the stories of several of our clients who came to us with different perspectives and needs and have benefitted from our grant writing capacity and expertise. 

I hope you’ll watch the recording and learn more about whether and when to engage external grant writing support. And if you’re interested in having a 1:1 conversation about whether Elevate might meet your organization’s grant writing needs, please reach out to us via our Hire Us form, and we’ll be in touch!

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