I asked Heather Stombaugh, who is a professional grant writer and frequent contritbutor to this site, to answer. Here is what she said:
It is unethical to pay a grant writer on commission according to the ethical guidelines of both the Grant Professionals Association and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Here’s an excerpt from the Grant Professionals Association’s Code of Ethics:
“In alignment with the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Code of Ethics 24, GPA’s Code of Ethics states, 'Members shall not accept or pay a finder’s fee, commission, or percentage of compensation based on grants and shall take care to discourage their organizations from making such payments.' The funder is awarding dollars based on several variables, including the community need, the efficacy of the project, and the organization’s capacity to implement, deliver, monitor, and sustain the project.”
Professional grant writers would never accept this sort of payment because we would lose our memberships to our national organizations.
More from Heather Stombaugh:
- 8 Ways to Make Your Nonprofit Competitive for Government Grants
- Government Grant Prospecting - 3 Steps to Hitting Gold
- What Reviewers Want: 4 Ways to Improve Your Government Grant Application