Originally Posted by Gale Force
Getting money for land is going to be difficult. It's all going to be private foundations I would assume. I have next to no experience with private foundation grants.
: I deal with mainly private foundations for my clients and money is getting really tight and the next year or so is going to be hard to get funding for new projects. Many but not all foundations are reducing their giving this upcoming year, I was on the phone this past week with 2 different program officers at 2 different foundations and they were saying they are at the point they weren't even accepting inquiries or full proposals because they are swamped with requests.
I have done federal and private foundations and both are hard work, the thing with private foundations is you can put in a ton of work and the organization gets funded but its for less then you requested.
Also if the organization in question does not have a lot of experience getting grants, you need to make sure that what they want to do is realistic. Many newer organizations think that grants are free money that's easy to get and nothing can be further from the truth.
I enjoy the freedom that my work brings but its also coupled with consulting as well and its hard work. When I am actively writing a grant, I become a really nasty person, its not fun at all even when you know the work. Especially with budget issues like Gale Force brought up, too many times I have to review the figures and make sure they make sense since many times what a client gives me makes no sense to an outsider so as a outsider I have to identify that.
Don't mean to sound negative but I do think if it work you want to do its good to hear all sides. Most folks I know who do grant-writing solo pair it with other things, like I said I also consult, my specialty is board/staff development, strategic planning and working with start-up to young organizations. Another friend of mine deals with program planning... thing is if you are a freelancer versus a staff grantwriter (really different IMO) it helps a lot if you have another area of expertise. For starters it will keep you working continously plus when determing the feasibility of a project the extra areas help a lot.