15 Questions for Hiring a Grant Writer
Here are 15 questions to ask a grant professional considering a job:
1) What is your success rate in grant writing? The best way to determine a success rate is to divide the number of approved grants by the number of submissions.
2) What are some examples of grants you have received?
3) How much money have you received in grants?
4) What is your primary area of expertise in grant writing?
5) What is the main type of funder you have approached? For example, have you approached primarily private corporations and foundations or public government agencies at the federal, state, or local level?
6) What has been the main focus of your grants … such as education, health, human services, arts and culture, environment?
7) What kinds of expenses have you obtained funding for … such as seed money, curriculum development, and travel?
8) What experience do you have in the field of finding grants? What experience do you have in researching and finding funders to meet the needs of our agency?
9) What experience do you have in program design and development? What kinds of strategies would you use to design and develop programs at our agency? What ideas do you have for getting stakeholder input and building partnerships?
10) What experience do you have in writing proposals? What training or experience do you have in putting together an effective grant application and writing a compelling funding case? What training or experience do you have in analyzing requests for proposals (RFPs), including standard proposal elements (eg, problem statements, action plans, timelines, evaluation, etc.) and making a persuasive argument?
11) What experience do you have in grant management? What experience do you have in completing reports accurately and in a timely manner, ensuring regulatory compliance, and facilitating the completion of activities outlined in the grant activity schedule and evaluation plan?
12) What is your preferred mode of communication? Find out how they prefer to communicate (i.e. by phone, email, text messaging, instant messaging, social media, etc.).
13) What is your response rate to emails or phone calls? Find out in advance how quickly they will respond to emails or phone calls (my response rate is usually 20 minutes. However, I mention up front that I have a 24-hour response policy), how often they will update you on the status, completion schedules and deadlines.
14) How do you deal with problems that may arise? Asking this question up front will give you an idea of how the candidate will approach problem solving. Ask for a specific example of how they have approached a problem in the past.
15) What are your expectations?