“Crystal Ball” Grant Predictions for 2024: Grant Writers Impact

This is the fourth of a six-part series on 2024 grant predictions. If you missed part 1 , 2 or 3, you can still check them out here. In this series, Millionaire Grant Lady and Associates are sharing our insights into foundation giving. These predictions are based on the most up-to-date information available as well as our in-the-trenches work with our nonprofits. To date, we have won more than $103 million in funding for our clients. Every day, we use these insights to win more dollars for a wide variety of organizations all across the United States, and these insights can help increase your funding, too.

When we think about grants, we tend to consider it to be a direct relationship between the foundation giving the grant and the nonprofit organization that receives the grant. There is an important part of the puzzle that this equation omits—the grant writer. A talented grant writer can tell the story of an organization and match it to a funder’s priorities to win more dollars for the nonprofit. Qualified grant writers are in short supply, though. What does that mean for foundation giving?

How will the availability of qualified grant writers impact foundation giving?

We are seeing more complex and rigorous grant application formats (likely due to the increased demand for nonprofit services as well as the increased cost of those services). These complicated applications require more time and expertise to complete well.

Unfortunately, the grant writing field seems to be experiencing the same burnout and fatigue that is impacting other job sectors including education and healthcare. This is leading to more grant writers leaving the field altogether, resulting in fewer qualified grant writers to fill more open positions.

Some nonprofits may fill the grant writing position in-house by placing these job responsibilities onto existing staff. Other organizations may leave a position unfilled while they attempt to hire a qualified candidate. In our work with our nonprofit partners, we have heard many organizations talk about how it can take more than six months to fill a fundraising position. During this time, the nonprofit is missing out on key fundraising opportunities that ultimately will impact the organization’s bottom line. With fewer experienced grant writing professionals in the job pool (or really the job puddle), it is hard for nonprofits to raise the funds they need to do the vital community work that is so necessary to the vulnerable populations nonprofits serve.

If you want to learn more about creative ways to fill grant writing positions or about what to look for in a grant writer, we have two articles that cover these topics in-depth. Check them out here and here.

In fact, one study determined that potentially, a lack of fundraising staff may have contributed to the decrease in giving seen in 2022 (after being adjusted for inflation). With fewer fundraising staff available, many nonprofits may have applied to fewer foundations leading them to receive less money. Also, with less experienced grant writers, applications may have been less impactful leading foundations to not give as much as they might have.

Further, if you have worked in the nonprofit space for long, you understand that the grant application is simply one piece of the puzzle. Grant writers also must submit annual reports to funders and cultivate the relationship with the funder throughout the year so that the organization is top of mind for the funder when a new grant opportunity comes around. Without a dedicated grant writer, many of these tasks may have gone by the wayside, again, contributing to less funding.

Only time will tell if more grant writers will be filling more positions this year, but based on the last few years and our work with clients, we anticipate that at least for 2024 there will be many open grant writer positions at nonprofits. This is our fourth grant prediction for 2024.

 Prediction 4: It will continue to be difficult for nonprofits to hire and retain key fundraising positions. Hiring a grant consultant to outsource tasks can help current fundraising staff avoid burnout and focus on other vital work.

If you missed part 1 , 2 or 3, you can still check them out here.