Within the world of professional writing for nonprofits exists a mountain of work, more competitive than K2 and longer than the Andes– the mountain of grant writing. While this part of development often gets overlooked by a nonprofit’s community engagement, it is a necessary part of initiating, maintaining, and expanding an organization. And it can literally pay off.
Although you can spend hours and hours on a computer screen, researching funders, writing proposals, and checking character counts, grant writing allows a lot of flexibility. Grant writing can be done almost anywhere with internet access, and many writers get to choose their own hours. Grant writing can be done at home, in a cafe, in your van, or if you really want, on a mountain peak. Ok… perhaps grant writing on a mountain would suck, but the option to choose your own hours, and work from where ever life takes you, makes grant writing an appealing career. Often times you’ll have to do initial pro-bono work to get your foot in the door and show organizations you can write and win funding. More than likely if you want to practice grant writing, an organization is not going to say no to potential $$$.
Not to mention, by choosing your own hours, you may have days off during the week when all the trails and climbs will be free for you to enjoy in solitude.
In order for this career to be effective for nonprofits and enjoyable for you, you must be organized and efficient. Similarly to rock climbing– you need to plan, move forward, release your fears of failure, and you will likely succeed. If you spend the time up front doing the research and creating a boilerplate proposal, you will have more time for the things you love. It’s challenging work, but it can absolutely pay off.
The endlessness of grant writing can be seen as a blessing. Not only is there a chance of initiating and sustaining poignant programs, but this work can be done anywhere and anytime. Often times grant writers can choose their own hours and work remotely, leaving time to experience and enjoy the world they’re working to better.
Although grant writing may not be the most popular type of writing, there is always unexplored territory and room for growth, both organizationally and personally.
Now do the work and go outside!