Nonprofits: Should You Hire a Professional Writer for Your Fundraising?

 by: Lisa J. Lehr


If you’re a nonprofit—especially one with a small budget—you may be wondering if you can justify the expense of hiring a professional writer for your grant proposals and fundraising letters. The answer is…

Yes.

And I’m going to tell you why…and how.

Unless a staff member or volunteer in your organization is an accomplished writer, it’s not the best use of your limited resources (read: time and money) for you (or him or her) to be trying to wear a hat that doesn’t fit. Grant proposals and fundraising letters are highly specialized forms of writing that require special skill.

There are two main types of funding for nonprofits—donations from individuals and groups, and grants from foundations.

First, work on developing a donor base by appealing to those in your community and the wider world who share a passion for your organization’s cause.

A professional writer with a marketing background is the ideal person for this job. After all, a really effective fundraising letter is nothing more than a persuasive sales tool—one that sells a financial and often deeply personal investment in your cause. Strive to find a writer who has a marketing background and a passion for your mission, whether it be animals, children, education, the environment—whatever your worthy cause.

Then, explore grants available to your organization. Your staff member or volunteer can begin by identifying those foundations that fund your type of organization. The next step is to prepare well-written, technically correct proposals enabling you to be considered; this is where you can benefit from an independent grant writer.

Many nonprofits hire a full-time grant writer, an investment that is usually profitable, and therefore easily justifiable. A full-time grant writer has not only the writing skill but the ability to work under deadline pressure, the time, and the inclination—because that’s what a grant writer does.

Again, look for a writer who is passionate about your cause.

How will you pay the grant writer?
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Nonprofits: Should You Hire a Professional Writer for Your Fundraising?
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About The Author


Lisa J. Lehr is a freelance writer with a specialty in business and marketing communications. She holds a biology degree and has worked in a variety of fields, including the pharmaceutical industry and teaching. She is also a graduate of American Writers and Artists Institute (AWAI), America’s leading course on copywriting. Contact Lisa J. Lehr Copywriting www.ljlcopywriting.com, Lisa@ljlcopywriting.com for help with your business writing needs.

This article © Lisa J. Lehr 2005.







Additional Resources



category - Grants for Nonprofits

National Aeronautics and Space Administration: Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences
NASA has recently established the Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) program for the year 2011, which encourages interested institutions to submit proposals that involve ground-based research and technology investigations that seek to comprehend naturally occurring phenomena, both in the Earth and in space.


Coastal Impact Assistance Program
The Fish and Wildlife Service has recently established the Coastal Impact Assistance Program wherein the agency will provide a ceiling budget amounting to $250 million to be utilized in conservation, protection, and preservation projects of coastal areas, including wetlands.


Agriculture and Food Research Initiative: National Institute of Food and Agriculture Fellowships Grant Program
The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative grant program revolves around the premise of providing funds to both fundamental and applied research studies, education, and extension that would hopefully address concerns related to food and agricultural sciences.


Grants from the US State Department for Media Training Workshops in Tunisia
The office of the US Mission to Tunisia, which is under the DoS, is seeking applications for the Media Training Workshops program for the Tunisian people through the The US Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia.






REDF, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, will receive a $7 Million grant from the federal Social Innovation Fund program.




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Federal Government Grant and Assistance Programs



Edited by: Michael Saunders

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