Fundraising · Grants

Grant Writer and Deferred Payment?

Helen Adeosun

March 2nd, 2014

Hey all! We are applying for a SBIR Grant and looking at this thing makes me want to cry. I am looking for grant writers through LinkedIn and Odesk but I am wondering if grantwriters take a deferred payment or reduce rates for startups, and would get a bonus if the grants go through? Anyone have any experience setting something up like

Clynton Caines SharePoint Developer at Discover Technologies

March 2nd, 2014


I would suggest seeking intros from attorneys/CPAs in your network, checking out your local SBDC, SCORE office/site - or (shudder) check with the SBA. Like patent attorneys, grant writers would probably be categorized under small biz service providers (which are often single entrepreneurs). 

Your mileage will vary as far as what incentives they'd offer to win your business, but there's no guarantee of award. Therefore, I think it's highly unlikely that someone you're meeting for the first time will offer special/deep discounts. You'll have to review their prices and maybe get multiple quotes...

Take heed - this form of "free money" can be very expensive (even if you happen to win).
Good luck,

Kimberly MBA Director of Business Development at ExtendMyStaff, Inc.

March 3rd, 2014

I know some proposal writers that may be able to help you. Message me if you are interested and I can connect you with them.

Manny Acevedo Business Systems Analyst & Entrepreneur

March 3rd, 2014

Just reiterating what Clynton said. Also, the grant writers I've known have been willing to work on a differed payment. Their focus are educational grants unfortunately. They aren't interested in business grants, I've already asked :)  

That is a key point. Each type of grant has it's own very specific nuances that a grant approval committee is looking for. Make sure whoever you go with has written your particular grant and had it funded, preferably a few times.  Anyone that's had a 75% success rate would be my baseline

Charlene MD, MPH CEO & Founder, ReciproCare, Halcyon Fellow

March 3rd, 2014

Dear Helen,
You may consider BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting  ( They work with tech-based entrepreneurs on strategies to advance R & D efforts, including SBIR/STTR training classes and webinars. Training covers commercialization planning for tech enterpreneurs and SBIR/STTR grants from program and agency overviews to successful proposal writing and submission. 

An acquaintance of mine has been to one of their training classes and found it to be excellent.  I believe that they can also be hired for proposal development, but I'm not sure.


Christine E.B. Howard Founder & CEO @EBHConsulting | Non-dilutive Funding Development & SBIR/STTR expert

May 22nd, 2017

I know am I late to the show on this, but here is what I typically tell prospective clients that ask this question.

We do not work on a contingency or deferred basis. Here is why:

  • Due to the amount of time and resources used to assist organizations in during the development and proposal process, we must charge our clients. If you do not have any money, you are not ready to apply for a grant. Grants should never be an organization’s first dollar. You need to raise funds from individuals first: people who believe in your organization and are willing to make a contribution to get you started. A good place to begin is your board of directors.
  • Contingency payment or commission payment for grant writing is an unallowable expense with public dollars and is expressed in detail in the Grants Management Circulars[1]. You cannot pay for services rendered before the grant award and goes against Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), which state that fundraising services should be paid “at the time services are provided”. Should an organization be audited by federal agency (e.g. the IRS), the organization would then have to repay the amount paid out to the grant writer back to the funder, plus fines, plus possibly lose the grant and/or face federal jail time. We do not want to put any of our clients in a position of an audit.
  • As an active Grant Professional Association (GPA) member, contingency payment goes against GPA's code of ethics[2].



I would also remind that you get what you pay for. If you are asking for reduced rates, you may get reduced service.

I hope that you found a development consultant that helped develop a high-quality and high-competitive proposal.

I would love to hear how you made out.

Ed Park Business Application Development Manager at

March 3rd, 2014

Z assess

Helen Adeosun

March 3rd, 2014

Thank you so much everyone! I already have a ton of leads between here and posting at my grad school so I have interviews this week.

@Manny thank you so much for giving me that metric. That will be huge!

@Dr. Brown, I will look into that. The time is tight given the other things we have to do but I want to learn from the process so thanks!

@Clynton, thanks so much. My company is working off of deferred a lot of things but yes I am very wary so glad to know how to weight the quality of the professional I talk to!

Michael Kitson Creates disruptive commercially viable products using latest material advancements

May 2nd, 2015

We are looking for an SBIR grant writer. Need someone or company with proven success.

Karl Schulmeisters Founder ExStreamVR

May 2nd, 2015

SCORE is probably your best bet.  but other than that, given that independent grant writers are selling to exactly your category, I see no reason why you would be able to attract decent quality for deferred payment

Kenneth Larson Retired Aerospace Contracts Manager, MicroMentor Volunteer and Founder "Smalltofeds"

August 6th, 2015

The arrangement I have found works best is to locate individuals that you would plan to make part of the company if the grant is won and negotiate a contingent hire agreement with them, whereby they work on the grant proposal, you place their resume and credentials in the document and you sign an agreement specifying their salary and benefits if you win.  The result is used for pricing and proposing.

I have used contingent hire agreements on man occasions in government proposals and used them to make the personnel transitions as award.