Cost of Living Got You down? Grant Writing: A Perfect Side Hustle!

Have inflation and the high cost of living got you wondering about taking on an extra job? You know, you might do well to consider grant writing. It’s the perfect side hustle. The rising cost of living is a major concern for most Americans. The price of groceries alone is enough to cause a legitimate anxiety attack. Add to that the price of gas, household utility bills, and rent or mortgage payments and the situation begins to get bleak pretty quickly. Let’s face it, times are hard. What’s more, most of us have familial responsibilities that make additional work difficult.

Here’s the good news: There is light at the end of the tunnel! Remote work is an excellent way to supplement your income and still be at home with your loved ones. And grant writing? You can write applications for grants and get paid for your work, all from the comfort of your own home. So, can grant writing be the perfect side hustle? GrantWatch says the answer is a resounding “Yes!”

The Perks

According to, the average hourly pay rate for a grant writer in the U.S. is $35 an hour. Of course, there are experienced grant writers who would likely charge more than that. Zippia reports that the need for grant writers is expected to grow 8% between 2018-2028. One of the best things about grant writing is that you can work as much or as little as you like. In addition, working from home allows you to set your own hours and be present for you family.

Grant Writing Skills

The most important skill needed to launch your grant writing career is to have strong writing skills. While a college degree is not a prerequisite, if you have a degree in English, Creative Writing, or a related discipline, this will be helpful. If not, it may be a good idea to brush up on your writing skills by reading for pleasure. Books or taking online courses. Beyond being a competent writer, it’s important to note that there are other specialized skills that will help you thrive as a grant writer. Some of these include good organizational skills, creativity, and passion for the issues at hand.

Gaining Grant Writing Experience

If you don’t have previous grant writing experience, it is a good idea to find a small local business or nonprofit that will let you write a grant on their behalf for free or a reduced rate in exchange for the experience you’ll gain. You may also find a nonprofit or business that will allow you to intern in their grant writing department. This would allow you to gain experience in researching and writing grants. In order to find jobs that pay market rates, most grant-writing clients will want to see at least a few successfully funded grants under their belt.

Focusing on a ‘niche’ is also a good way to start your grant writing career. This is a specialized segment of the market or industry where you can ‘stand out’ from others in your field. If you have written successful grants for a certain category of nonprofit like ‘healthcare’ or ‘education,’ you may want to look at what kind of niche within those industries will help you give you an advantage when people are seeking out a grant writer.

Grant Writing Promotion Avenues

  •  GrantWatch: GrantWatch is an easy-to-use and affordable option that lists close to 8,000 currently available grants. GrantWatch has grants from private foundations, as well as local, state, and federal government agencies.
  • GrantWriterTeam– The new GrantWriterTeam model allows writers to pay a small fee to publish their grant writer profile on the site for grant seekers to see, as well as have access to the contact information of the grant seekers who have put up a classified ad requesting a writer.
  • Social Media- It makes sense to be active on multiple social media platforms. LinkedIn is popular for professional networking. It is a good idea to have profiles on other platforms as well such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. Use these accounts to promote your grant writing work and find clients.
  • Personal or Business Website– Even though people find freelance jobs through boards and social media, having your own website makes gives you a more professional look and provides an internet home base. On your website, you can post details about your background and the services you offer to help the client feel more comfortable hiring you. You can use your own name or set yourself up with a business name that reflects your brand or service.
  • Email List– You may want to start a newsletter. You can provide useful free downloads, tips, and/or promotional (discount) offers for your services, as well as listing your business email, which can help encourage website and social media account visitors to subscribe.
  • Job Boards– These boards are another good way to find work as a grant writer. You can use one of the general job or freelance project boards.

The following is a short list of grants ranging in size and detail. We begin with smaller foundation grants before moving on to larger, more labor intensive federal grants. Enjoy!

Small Foundation Grants

  1. Overnight Tourism Grant: Grants up to $1,000 to organizations in eligible areas for projects, activities, and events that encourage tourism and overnight visits.
  2. Events that Benefit the Community: Grants up to $300 and grants of up to $500 to California individuals and organizations for projects and events that benefit residents in eligible communities.
  3. K-12 Diversity Education: Grants up to $1,000 to nonprofits, community groups, schools, and teachers in eligible locations for diversity-related educational programs designed for K-12 students.

Larger Federal Grants

  1. Youth Involved with the Justice System: Grants up to $50,000 for justice-involved youth. Funding reduces delinquency and recidivism among youth through providing high-quality arts programs.
  2. Researchers for Projects Related to Sustainable Agriculture: Grants up to $75,000 to faculty researchers for projects related to sustainable agriculture. Funding supports collaborative education and research projects.
  3. Renewable Energy Projects in Eligible Locations: Grant up to $50,000 to nonprofit, government agency, or school for renewable energy projects. Funding helps with the purchase and installation of on-site renewable energy projects.

In Conclusion

If you are considering grant writing as a side hustle, there are many online tools that can be helpful in your journey. Many are free or very reasonably priced. And remember, even if you are a pro at writing, it helps to use grammar and spell check software. There are free and paid plans available. As you can see, grant writing can be the perfect side hustle and the rewards are many. So, one more time for the folks in the back: Can grant writing be a profitable side hustle? Yes. Yes, it can!

About GrantWatch

With close to 8,000 grants currently available, is the leading grant listing directory. Upgrade to a MemberPlus+ subscription to view the full grant details, including eligibility criteria and application information. For more information, you can also visit the GrantWatch FAQ page. To see the great value of all 20 of the top GrantWatch features, click here. To conclude, see the latest episode of GrantTalk, powered by GrantWatch, with host Libby Hikind. You don’t want to miss this. Visit us on YouTube weekly. Don’t forget to get your copy of The Queen of Grants: From Teacher to Grant Writer to CEO, by Libby Hikind.

Please Note: There is no guarantee of grant awards as a result of this information.

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