It happens to all of us at some point. We burn out in our careers and are craving something new. Anna discovered grant writing and what a wildly fulfilling journey the last six years have been!
Becoming A Professional Grant Writer
Anna’s former work situation became toxic, and she knew she needed to leave. She wasn’t coming up with any ideas on what to do next. Finally, she was so fed up, she quit without a plan.
Around this same time, we went mountain biking and I encouraged her to consider grant writing. Anna has all the traits of a successful grant writer. She exudes positive energy. She’s highly community oriented. And, she knows how to keep people organized. It helps that she was an English major in college and likes to write.
We connected well before I had a book about grant writing or an online course. Thanks to people like Anna, I now have a better roadmap to offer those interested in grant writing. But at the time, I pushed her into the deep end of the pool.
Literally, I gave her a sample contract and told her to go win a grant writing consulting project so she could get paid to learn!
Landing a Full-Time Grant Writing Job
Anna started volunteering with two of her favorite nonprofits as a grant writer. She helped SheJumps, an organization that gets women and girls into the outdoors. She also volunteers with Evergreen East, a mountain bike advocacy organization in the Inland Pacific Northwest.
After that, an engineering firm reached out looking for a grant writer they could hire. I referred them to Anna and the rest is history! She has been working for Varela Engineering and Associates in Spokane for five years.
As an aside, our vision is to be the #1 platform in the world for credentialing grant writers and matching people up that want to hire professional grant writers. Experiences like this show how powerful it can be to connect the right people together!
Why She Loves Grant Writing
Anna loves that she gets to work on a lot of different types of projects. She notes that every grant is new and different. Even the same grant will have slight differences from year to year. “Being okay with not having all the answers but knowing that you can figure them out and working through it has been really fun and rewarding,” said Anna.
She shares that getting into grant writing has taken her places professionally that she never would have imagined. Others in the grant writing community asked Anna how she got into grant writing, and she said she kept saying yes even though she didn’t know where it would lead.
“You are a unicorn among engineers! They definitely don’t want to do the grant writing, but they are fun to work with.” That is the beauty of grant writing for job security! Most people dread it, so you will never be short of work opportunities.
Anna’s Future in Grant Writing
Anna is starting to think now about how she can continue to challenge herself. She works now for rural municipalities. She grew up in eastern Washington, so she loves working with the people and knows that these projects have a huge impact, like ensuring clean drinking water.
Looking ahead, she wants to set her sights on bigger projects. Her largest projects presently are $15-20 million. She is quick to say that it is a mind-blowing project budget compared to her roots volunteering, where a $25,000 grant seemed momentous.
Nope, Anna is going big. She wants to tackle $50-$200 million projects that are pursuing grant funding. We are excited to see where Anna goes with her grant writing career!
Want to Become a Grant Writing Unicorn Too?
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