I definitely would be freelancing if this moves forward. I was told for a percentage of the grant. Is that correct? How much does a freelancer usually charge in a situation like that? The situation IS that the non profit will hopefully buy more land for an eco village in 2 locations (including the one I live at that is hopefully being developed if the $ comes through). Thanks so much for the tips too Shay! I am in MA currently.
Generally folks with little to no experience will try to do this work for a percentage and again IMO its organizations taking advantage of the person's lack of knowledge. If you just google around you will see that the idea of a grantwriter working on a percentage is a really heated issue with most folks saying its a bad idea. My personal belief is that if an organization can't pay the grantwriter up front then they are not ready to pursue grants unless they are using volunteers.
There is also the pesky fact that most grants don't want to pay for someone's fee or salary (goes back to the point I made earlier about general operating fees and how difficult it is to get that type of money) and at the end of the funding period the organization has to report back to the funder how they spent the money and unless its a grant (generally federal) that will allow for salaries on the admin end, you or rather the organization is asking for trouble.
I'm with Avengingophelia on this one, my personal experience over the years is that organizations who are using this angle in many cases are just not ready for grant funding. Since in today's climate, grants really should just only be part of the overall funding plan. That said one of my regular clients did try that approach with me and after I said no, I did work with them to charge a fee they could afford now and that didn't leave me working for chump change. They are my one flat rate client, where they pay a flat rate every month.
Again, don't want to the voice of gloom but I hate when I hear organizations trying to get someone to do this work and are not willing to pay something. There is also the fact that the time between when you write a grant and when they get an approval and actually get the money could be 2-3 months but it could be well over 6 months. Personally I can't work for 6 months with no cash coming in, I'd be homeless and hungry.