Taking the Leap…Becoming a Grant Consultant

Why did you become a consultant?

How did you start your business?

How have you been able to be successful in your business?


These are the questions that Jo and Diane are frequently asked by SmartEGrants coaching clients as well as by colleagues at conferences and meetings that are considering becoming a full-time grant consultant or a part-time grant freelancer.

One of the best questions to start with as articulated by Simon Sinek is  to “start with why.” **Why do YOU want to become a consultant?**  Understanding your goal for wanting to establish your business will provide you with the necessary framework for your current and future business decisions. What is your reason for wanting to start your business now? There is not one right answer to this question.

When Jo and Diane sat down to talk about their “whys” for starting their businesses, their reasons were different based on their past professional experiences and also where they were with the rest of their personal goals. Neither was better than either as a motivation for starting a business. Diane’s background as a Program Officer for a public foundation had driven her to want to focus more on increasing nonprofit grant capacity through grant seeking efforts. Hence the focus on grant readiness and capacity through DH Leonard Consulting & Grant Writing Services. Jo’s background in healthy housing and lead abatement had driven her to want to use that expertise to assist more communities to “Get Grants, Do Good” through JM Grants.

So, once you have your why established, then it is time to think about some more of the logistical questions:

1 – What sort of expertise do you bring to the table for the client that helps define who is your “perfect” client type? Therefore what is your business mission and vision?

2 – What state or states do you plan to operate in? What are the legal requirements for business structure and most importantly, what are the registration requirements for grant professionals? Are they considered professional fundraisers and need to register as such even though not doing what we grant professionals consider “traditional” fundraising?

3 – What tools do you already have that you will need for running your business? What other tools do you need? Or what professional supports do you need instead of doing it all by yourself?

There are many additional questions in our grant consulting workbook that we use with your coaching clients, but these are some of the key questions to consider as you start your own personal SWOT analysis.

We’ll be talking with experienced consultants and sharing our own personal experiences about similar questions during #grantchat this week. We encourage you to join us on Tuesday, March 3rd at 12pm EST. Here is the question preview for the chat: http://grantchat.org/2015/03/grant-consulting-basics/

More importantly, if grant consulting is something that you *really* want to pursue, or you have recently started and you feel like you need some support in order to ensure your success, join us for our SmartEGrants Blueprints Webinar on Thursday, March 5th at 12pm EST. For only $25 for the webinar you also receive the slides and handouts. Grant Consulting 101: Consulting Business Basics is  a great way to get the critical basic information you need to consider and address as you work to launch a successful grant consulting business. You can register here. (Even if you can’t join us for the live event, you can register so you receive the recording and slides after the session so you still gain from this great session!)

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