Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you help us get a grant?

Do you work for new nonprofit organizations?

What do you charge to write a proposal?

Do you award grants?

Do you work on commission?

Do you work for organizations from other countries?

Do you work for international organizations based in the United States?

Do you work for organizations outside of San Diego?

Can individuals or for-profit businesses apply for grants?



Can you help us get a grant?

We can help organizations that have a strong program, track record and history of financial management. Consider exploring our grants readiness checkup and scorecard to conduct a self-analysis of your organization.

The questionairre factors in criteria that foundations use to determine whether or not they will support a grant request. These criteria include:

1) Have they heard of your organization previously? Do they like the work that you do?
2) Can you clearly and objectively show quantifiable results that demonstrate your impact?
3) Are you competing for the same grants with organizations that have more experience and a better reputation?
4) Does your project demonstrate any innovation? Is it informed by factfinding, research and collaboration?
5) Do you raise funds from sources other than grants? Do you have a fund-raising plan?
6) Do you have a budget and professionally-prepared financial statements? Did you end the previous fiscal year in a deficit?
7) Do you actively contact the funder in advance of your grant request to discuss the potential request?
8) Is this and other information well-communicated in your grant proposal?
9) Is your board of directors active in fundraising and strategic planning?

In other words, it takes more than just writing a strong grant proposal to obtain funding. We can help "sell" your organization, but we can't help your organization fly if it doesn't have wings yet.

For another take on this, go to "Is Your Nonprofit Ready to Apply for a Foundation Grant?"


Do you work for new nonprofit organizations?

We typically do not work for brand new nonprofits without a track record for the reasons identified above. We recommend developing your grassroots fundraising strategies - donations from individuals, small businesses, fund-raising events - before seeking grant funding. See our grants readiness success questionnaire for additional details.

There are exceptions to this rule, but most organizations that are brand new are not likely to immediately be competitive for grant funding. Grantors typically want to see some evidence that your organization is making an impact. They also want to see how effectively you are building a strong and active board of directors, creating and managing budgets, carrying out quality control, and more. This can take time to demonstrate.

What do you charge to write a proposal?

We provide flat rate pricing on the total cost of your job. Each funding source develops their own grant guidelines, and requirements vary widely. Our flat rate to develop a grant proposal in a common grant template typically is in the $1200 to $1500 range. More complex proposals are more costly. We do provide some discounts if you already have some materials in hand. If you have a specific funding opportunity in mind, send us the grant guidelines and we'll provide you with a bid.

Do you award grants?

No. We provide grant proposal writing services, along with workshops and trainings on writing grant proposals.

Do you work on commission?

We do not work on commission. We follow the Association for Fund-Raising Professionals code of ethics, which states that fund-raising professionals should not work on commission. For example, a proposal writer working on commission might be tempted to fabricate information to make your proposal more sell-able. Also, the decision to fund a grant proposal is based on many factors outside of the proposal writer's control.

Do you work for organizations based in other countries?

No. We lack the expertise needed to understand the fund-raising strategies, legal requirement and culture of organizations that are not based inside the United States.

Do you work for international organizations based in the United States?

We typically do not work for international organizations. The challenge for international organizations is more than writing the grant proposal: it's getting face or telephone time with a prospective funder. Because grants made to international organizations are harder to monitor, international grantors are often more cautious about their granting.

Do you work for organizations outside of southern California?

We work primarily in southern California and Colorado (see our sister website here). We have extensive familiarity with these geographic areas, including the funding climate, the landscape of grantors, and regional needs and resources.

We will occasionally provide one-time services to an out-of-state organization. However, we typically only work for large or mid-size out-of-state organizations or institutions, and develop grant requests to large foundation, state or federal grantors.

Can individuals or for-profit businesses apply for grants?

Outside of scholarships, typically there is not much funding for individuals. Acclaimed artists, research scientists, and university professors obtain grant funding all the time. In the charitable arena, however, individuals rarely are eligible to apply for grant funding.

There are no grants available to start or expand a business. There's some funding for high-technology innovations. On rare occasions, some funders allow for-profit businesses that provide a charitable service to apply for grant funding.