Grant Coordinators and Writers
Grant writers and coordinators work for nonprofit organizations and agencies, such as social service agencies, arts organizations, museums, educational institutions, and research foundations. Grant writers also work independently as freelancers. They contract their services to smaller nonprofit agencies or individuals who might seek funding for an arts program or a scientific research project, for example.
After earning your bachelor's degree, apply for a job at a nonprofit organization. Keep in mind that you will probably be hired by an agency to do tasks other than grant writing or coordinating. You first need to learn how the organization operates and understand its goals before beginning to work with grants. In these first years, many prospective coordinators and writers sign up for management training programs or courses in technical writing, grant writing, psychology, sociology, and statistical methods.
Since grant coordinators almost always begin their careers in other work, they advance into grant positions by showing an understanding of the organization's goals. Once the organization moves a person into a grant position, advancement comes with successful work on grant proposals and obtaining the necessary funding. If the grant coordinator and writer positions are separate, usually grant writers advance to grant coordinators, having gained expertise and familiarity with the funding community. But because nonprofit organizations often employ only one person responsible for grant writing and coordination, a grant administrator advances by moving into a position with a larger nonprofit organization that requires higher-level skills.
Tips for Entry
Visit the following Web sites for job listings:
Read publications such as Advancing Philanthropy (http://www.afpnet.org/Publications/IssueList.cfm?navItemNumber=544) and the Chronicle of Philanthropy (http://philanthropy.com) to learn more about the field.
Attend the American Grant Writers' Association annual conference (http://www.agwa.us) to network and participate in continuing education activities.
Participate in information interviews with grant writers and coordinators. Ask them for education and career advice.