How long it takes to write a grant depends on a great many factors. These include the type of grant (government or foundation), the client’s past grant experience and preparedness, and the grant writer’s familiarity with the organization. Let’s take a deeper look into each of these factors.
How long does it take to write a foundation grant?
Foundations grants, as a whole, are more straightforward than government grants, especially federal grants. That’s because they have fewer requirements, and the applications are shorter. If the client has past applications and/or is fairly organized and prepared to deliver pieces of content to the grant writer, the process will go more quickly.
On the faster end, foundation grants may only take a handful of hours to complete. If the grant is more complex, or if it’s the client’s first grant application, these applications may take 20 to 30 hours to write and package for submission.
How about a federal grant?
Federal grants are often massive lifts, on both the client’s part and the grant writer’s. There is some variation among these grants, and you will definitely find that some are more straightforward than others. But in general, they involve guidelines (sometimes called a Notice of Funding Opportunity, or an Funding Opportunity Announcement) that can be 20 or 30 pages long. Just reading that document will take hours, with even more time required to digest it and understand all the components and requirements. The writing process is a concerted effort among multiple parties, all of whom will need to dedicate significant amounts of time. For the grant writer’s part, shorter federal grants may only take 20-30 hours, but longer ones will need 50, 60, 80, or 100 hours.
What is an average turnaround time for a grant?
Turnaround time varies, too, based on the type of grant and the other projects the grant writer is working on at the time. Squeezing in a federal grant, with an estimate of 100 hours, into anything less than a month is going to be a challenge. That’s true even for a full-time grant writer. But a grant writer may be able to turn around a foundation grant, with an estimate of 10 hours, in a week or less. We typically ask for two weeks’ lead time for a foundation grant, and 30 to 45 days for a federal grant, though often that timeframe will change once we have more context. If the client is prepared and willing to hustle, grant writers can work on shorter timeframes.
Learn more about our grant writing services here.