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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber ameryfd's Avatar
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    Default Appropriate Writing Fees

    Question here for the pro grant writers....

    There is a fellow in our neck of the woods who evidently is writing AFG's for some area depts and charges them something like $1000, plus another $1000 if the grant is funded.

    I thought I had heard a few years back that "contingency" fees weren't supposed to be charged. Not sure if it's true or not, just wondering if anyone else had heard this......


  2. #2
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    Seems to be excessive to me, but the PG states that the AFG will determine "reasonableness" for grant writing fees whatever that will be.

    The "contingency fee" is not an eligible expense to be recouped under AFG. The department would be on the hook to pay that.

  3. #3
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    Hmmmm time for some of the departments in your area to check out some of the other grant writers.

    Brian charged us significantly less* for a truck grant and nothing for an operations grant because it was for a piece of equipment that one of his sponsoring companies sells.

    I have gotten a lot of help from Kurt in the past, including reading some narratives and he never charged me a dime.

    * it was significantly less, but I decided to let Brian discuss his own prices.
    Last edited by kd7fds; 04-08-2008 at 04:32 PM. Reason: minor change

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    Smile Fees

    Let me echo the humbling sentiment regarding the effect Brian and Kurt have had on all of us who write. Ask and they help, it's that simple. If you take the time to attend one of their seminars you will learn more than enough to put your department in a position to succeed. Plus you will hear first hand of how little they charge. I have helped out a few departments by me (with success) and "charge" two dinners an application. Sorry to all of those who think this is a way make a quick buck - but Brian Vickers showed me it is a way to give back to the fire service and the people we signed up to serve.

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    Default

    For $1000 I'd expect a 100% guarantee of success.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber ameryfd's Avatar
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    Default

    It seems a bit extravagent to me too. I'm concerned this person, if it's true, is taking advantage of some folks. The thing that peeked my interest was the contingency fee..... that seems a bit aggressive to me.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber mtnfireguy's Avatar
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    Default My two cents

    Quote Originally Posted by ameryfd View Post
    Question here for the pro grant writers....

    There is a fellow in our neck of the woods who evidently is writing AFG's for some area depts and charges them something like $1000, plus another $1000 if the grant is funded.

    I thought I had heard a few years back that "contingency" fees weren't supposed to be charged. Not sure if it's true or not, just wondering if anyone else had heard this......
    Paying $2000 in the end for an AFG grant is nuts. (i.e.: waste of money)

    The process is not that complicated, there is plenty of good advice out there free of charge or at a minmal cost.

    In most cases if people read the grant program guidance, the FAQ's and the other support documents posted on the website they will be off to a good start. Then let some other folks take a look at the application.
    Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
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    Let's delete this thread before Kurt & Brian see that fee amount and start thinking!!

    onebugle is correct, fees paid can be applied for, contigencies cannot be funded under AFG.

    earl (i'm not worth $10, but what's a few zeros among friends?)

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber ktb9780's Avatar
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    Too late Earl! Ameryfire I am not going to knock paid grant writers hey, we all have to eat and who knows, there may come a time in my career where sponsor support of what I do is no longer available and I might have to charge. Here is what the PG says:

    G. Grant Writer Fees: Fees for grant writers may be included as a pre-award or pre-application expenditure. Fees payable on a contingency basis are not an eligible expense. For grant writer fees to be eligible as a pre-award expenditure, the fees must be specifically identified and listed in the "Request Details" section of the application. In addition, the fees must have been paid prior to any contact with grants management staff or an award (i.e., paid within 30 days of the end of the application period). Applicants may be required to provide documentation to support these pre-award expenditures.

    But let's be fair here. If a deparment or jurisdiction elects to hire and pay a grant writer to do the job and the guy wins them a truck of say $250K and it cost them $1,000 plus another 10% of funded amount for the "bonus round" how much did the jurisdication actually save? They got a $250K truck at a cost of $71,000 with the grant writers fees and the 20% cost match; is that cost effective?

    I don't know about you but, if I was a city manager answering to an auditoirum full of taxpayers as to why I spent that $71K, I beleive the taxpayers in that audeince would give me a raise for making that decision and saving them $179,000 of additonal tax expense.
    Kurt Bradley
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  10. #10
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    Before I forget what Don threw out there, no strings are attached to any of the companies that I work with nor Kurt's. We're free customer service enhancements for them, the only request is a quote at the time of application. They're not binding and you still have to follow local bid laws if awarded.

    And to echo Kurt and repeat what I've said in my workshops to some of you, it's not about how much they charge it's about whether or not they do the right thing for the department. One department I was working with this year on equipment was paying a pretty tidy sum to someone else for a vehicle app. A Tahoe-like first responder no less, as a rural organization. I could have let it go since wasn't really any of my business but advised them what I knew and gave them a better vehicle option, which they both thanked me for. The writer was more traditional non-profit and I'm sure knew what they were doing as far as putting the app together. But AFG isn't so easy if you just look at the PG and FAQs, knowing what has been going on and what is going on is part of knowing how to design projects. It's about whose in the game, not just what you're asking for. And if someone knows all that and charges $1000 then God bless you're getting your money's worth. I'll never take issue with what people do to put food on the table, just whether or not they're doing the right thing. I recommend people that charge more than me, none of us can work with everybody.

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    I've gone through a few non-profit grant classes, and written a few. Seems to me that it would be easier to transition from public safety grant writing to non-profit than the other way around.

    That said--it's tough work and i'm not sure i'd want to do it for a fee. It's agonizing enough to do it for free.

    earl

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    Forum Member Engine305's Avatar
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    Default bc79

    my yahoo mail is junky Brian, I have misses all your emails

    Did you get my last IM>?

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    Yes, responded to it too. Shoot me one from another email if you have it.

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    It was stated in our regional AFG workshop that acceptable charges ranged from $500 for simple application prep and narrative to around $1500 for full grant management (ie all quotes, research and reporting). IMHO, more pressure when you're getting paid. I couldn't accept cash for a grant that didn't get funded and still face those guys every day.

    Ben

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    MembersZone Subscriber mtnfireguy's Avatar
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    Kurt and Brians points are well taken..... But

    I have seen grants that were written by grant writers that were worse than than those wrote by a small town USA fire chief.

    It also depends on what you are asking for. Some things almost sell themselves (SCBA/Turnout gear).

    If you are getting your moneys worths, more power to you. But some folks who are, well to be frank...getting screwed
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    MembersZone Subscriber ktb9780's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnfireguy View Post
    Kurt and Brians points are well taken..... But

    I have seen grants that were written by grant writers that were worse than than those wrote by a small town USA fire chief.

    It also depends on what you are asking for. Some things almost sell themselves (SCBA/Turnout gear).

    If you are getting your moneys worths, more power to you. But some folks who are, well to be frank...getting screwed
    I am sure that Brian would agree with me on this but, it is a buyer beware market. Lots of successful grant writers out there for non-profits etc.. If you want a grant writer to do an AFG for you, I would certainly be asking for how many he or she wrote last year and how many got funded. Then I would want a list of references to talk to before I signed on the dotted line.!
    Kurt Bradley
    Public Safety Grants Consultant

    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

  17. #17
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    Not only should you verify the grant writer's credentials, you need to be an "Educated Consumer" as well. You need to have some understanding of the process, to make sure that the grant writer is doing the right thing. Remember, you are held responsible for the content of the application.

    PG states:

    Hiring a grant writer, or use of any other third party in preparing the application, does not eliminate the applicantís responsibility for ensuring that information contained in the application is true and correct. Applicants that submit false information with their applications, or misrepresent their organizations in any material manner, will have their applications deemed ineligible by the AFG Program Office and referred to DHS OIG for further action, as appropriate.

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    I love reading these discussions and learning, and I thank all the knowledgeable people out there that contribute. It is deeply appreciated.
    Just to throw in my $0.02......
    The two AFG Grants that I was successful in for my VFD practically wrote themselves.... PPE (Turnout gear and SCBAs) and Radios for every seated FF position on the apparatus.
    We needed them badly, and the reviewers must have agreed.
    I'm lucky that I learned to speak like and understand the Federal Goverment through my job as a USAF Contractor, but with a little concentration, careful reading of guidance docs, and understanding which of your department's needs match the AFG priorities, I think a lot more needy departments out there would be successful.

    Where the professionals earn their fees and stripes (IMHO) is in trying to sell the concept of replacing not-so-old equipment, with newer stuff, or adding capabilities that don't fit into the AFG priorities... That's where those silver-tongued devils earn the $$'s ;-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy2802 View Post
    Where the professionals earn their fees and stripes (IMHO) is in trying to sell the concept of replacing not-so-old equipment, with newer stuff, or adding capabilities that don't fit into the AFG priorities... That's where those silver-tongued devils earn the $$'s ;-)
    = Con man

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    Quote Originally Posted by onebugle View Post
    = Con man
    Exactly! They can screw up the competition for those of us who write "in house"

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