Another question to ask yourself about a grant writing candidate: Did we ask for, review and check out their samples?
Make sure you review the candidate’s writing samples BEFORE the interview, not after. This will allow you ample time to review them and prepare specific questions. Also make sure that the candidate gives you a name and phone number to call from someone who worked with them on each sample so you can call about each sample and verify what contribution they made to the final product. Ask for a variety of samples that encompass a variety of budgets and a variety of different subjects. Also, if they have writing samples of materials other than proposals (e.g., articles, brochures, etc.) ask to review those.
Be warned though: there will be some grant writers, including me in some cases, who may ask for the professional courtesy that you only review the samples there in the interview. That is because there are some unscrupulous creeps out there who will copy a great grant that they know is a winner, use the research and wording for their own purposes with no intention of ever hiring the writer. In that case, you will need to allot more time for that writer’s interview slot. And you will still need to check references on those projects and can till do that before the interview.
Any grant writer who says they wrote a grant all by themselves is — to steal a phrase from screenwriter William Goldman — either lying or trying to sell you something.
In my next posting we’ll get into the interview and good questions to ask. Meanwhile, for more about how a grant writer should work as part of a planning team for your grant proposal, please read my new book, RIGHT BEFORE YOU WRITE: THE GROUNDBREAKING PROCESS USED TO WIN MORE THAN $385 MILLION IN COMPETITIVE GRANT FUNDS. Go to www.SandyPointInk.com.