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  1. #1
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    Default Grant Writer Cost

    What is concidered "too much" to pay a grant writer? What has the norm or reasonable cost for a grant writer been in the past?

    The reason I ask is....our City has under-taken the FSC Grant and is paying a grant writer $5000.

    This seems excessive and I believe it may hurt rather than help our chances...any thoughts?

    Thanks
    Last edited by fyrmanbob; 06-27-2009 at 02:01 PM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by fyrmanbob View Post
    What is concidered "too much" to pay a grant writer? What has the norm or reasonable cost for a grant writer been in the past?

    The reason I ask is....our City has under-taken the FSC Grant and is paying a grant writer $5000.

    This seems excessive and I believe it may hurt rather than help our chances...any thoughts?

    Thanks
    This grant application is a different animal than the typical AFG grant. Is $5,000 reasonable, depends on who is looking at it. To me that is excessive and the grant writer is probably only trying to capitalize on this particular grant.

    Is the city aware that grant writing fees are an ineligible expense for this grant (according to the PG)?

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber LVFD301's Avatar
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    I bet the writer claims to be an expert in that kind of grant too..

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    Talking

    I would want to see a list of qualifications before I signed to pay any writer that large a fee.
    There are a few that frequent here that would be a good bet to be worth that much ,but on the whole just because someone tells you they are a grant writer doesn't mean their going to write an application that has a chance of being funded.
    We were approached a few years ago by a "grant specialist" to write our afg app. We asked for examples of their work both sucessful & not. After reading two of them we realized this "specialist didn't have a clue about AFG and hadn't read the program guidelines. needless to say we did not hire them and have been doing quite well writing them our selves by getting educated at Kurt & Brians seminars . participating here, and reading the instructions put out by the feds repeatedly, until we understood them.

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    Sounds like an "expert" at a COG. Expert at maintaining their standard of living/cut & paste expert.

    Local grant writer in NE Iowa that charges $500/app. If vehicle and equipment grant = $1000. I think that is over scale given that you have to feed most of the info for the app.

    Strange with FG it seems that many of those writing a large pile apparently under report how may they do (perhaps makes their success % seem high and income low) but those doing a few exaggerate how many they do (so don't look like rookies).

    Contact Kurt or Brian (and others) from this forum. They know what they are doing and for a fair price.

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    I spoke with a local builder who's done a few other fire houses and they have a grant writer helping them who only charges $25,000.

    They also told me that we could get it back if we are awarded a grant. I told them not to bother, I'll write the grant and use another builder.
    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".
    http://www.bufd7.org

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    FSC doesn't allow grant writer costs to be included, and it appears that the others in the AFG umbrella will be following suit.

    I have heard quotes from departments in the $5000 to $8000 range also. I know I'll be seen as biased anyway but I'll try to paint it in an objective manner. Like anything, what is being done for that amount of funding? On site meetings, handling all of the interaction with the builders, contractors, etc, etc? That's all time and materials if you think of it in a contracting sense. Some people do that. If I did site visits and part of the package was help create bid specs, evaluations, reports, site visits from DHS then by the time we kicked in travel expenses my prices might be there too. With the exception of those right around here we don't do site visits over a 2 hours drive because if we can't get to an understanding of what is needed over the phone then face to face isn't going to be much better. But some folks want that personal interaction to size someone up. That does cost more and to me it makes perfect sense for them to charge more. As long as they know the program or are quick learners. Funny but sad one is that I heard of someone quoting $10,000 to someone claiming they funded 6 FSC grants in 2008, more than anyone else in the country. Of course the department knew enough to mention that FSC wasn't around then...

    An unofficial DHS point of view is that $500 for narrative help in AFG, SAFER, and FP&S is reasonable, $1000 if all of the entry is done too. Since I'm about to put ours on our web site anyway as soon as FSC is over and I have time to write web pages we're charging $300 for writing AFG/SAFER/FP&S when we don't have free help, and $600 writing for FSC because there is that little added degree of difficulty and some extra work on our part for the writing and entry end. Again time and materials is how I figure things. I've actually 'lost' work because people didn't think we knew anything if that's all we were charging. I think Kurt's pricing is $1000 for reviewing 4 apps per year or something like that, works out to $250 each. Again, pretty dang reasonable in my book for another pair of eyes to look over your work.

    Now the biased statement: anyone using the percentage method is out to drive up their fee. That's why it's an unethical practice according to the National Grant Writing Association membership rules, and illegal to do in many federal programs.

    Considering that before this USDA and HUD were the lone federal options for grants, wonder what that $25k the builder's grant writer was getting covered in the way of work? Hope it was more than one application...
    Last edited by BC79er; 06-27-2009 at 10:05 PM.

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    MembersZone Subscriber LVFD301's Avatar
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    There are definately charlatans out there. We got many emails and letters from folks - like the architect, big firm, 3 offices at least, talked about all their experience with FSC grants, and that the grant period was fast approaching, as it was going to open in April 2009 - the date given was the date the AFG opened.

    Theres only two people I could recommend for fire grants, and both of them post on here.

  9. #9
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    Thanks All for the replies....
    We (the department) felt the same way but, the process was taken out of our control by "higher powers"...

    We've been very successful writing AFGs since 2001 (6 out 7) and to risk the outcome, however slim it might be, seems ridiculous....not to mention that $5000 would by alot of PPE or furniture for a new station if funded.

    Just venting, thanks B~

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fyrmanbob View Post
    Thanks All for the replies....
    We (the department) felt the same way but, the process was taken out of our control by "higher powers"...

    We've been very successful writing AFGs since 2001 (6 out 7) and to risk the outcome, however slim it might be, seems ridiculous....not to mention that $5000 would by alot of PPE or furniture for a new station if funded.

    Just venting, thanks B~
    An 86% success rate and that is not good enough for the "higher powers". What a slap in the face. I hope spending $5,000 is worth it....as you said could have been better used to purchase PPE etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onebugle View Post
    An 86% success rate and that is not good enough for the "higher powers". What a slap in the face. I hope spending $5,000 is worth it....as you said could have been better used to purchase PPE etc.
    what bugle said. If your managers don't feel that 6 out of 7 sucesses isn;t good enough. We are estatic that we've gone 3 out of 8 from the AFG program. If they spend 5k and don't get anything then what? will they blame you?

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