Why are Female Freelance Grant Writers Working for Free?

Freelance grant writing is a female-led industry, with 82 percent of grant professionals surveyed are female. 

In our definition here, a grant professional is a grant writer that owns their own business. As far as grant writers who work within a nonprofit organization, this percentage is at 67 percent, which is also quite high.

Initially what the Global Development Solutions 2022 Pricing Survey found is that female grant professionals are charging more per hour than men. 

However, if this might not be entirely true (i.e. female grant writers pricing higher than men) is because of the following items:

#1: Female Grant Writers Give Discounts More Often

Just because a consultant has a rate, doesn’t mean they always abide by that rate.

The Pricing Report found that on average, 42 percent of female grant professionals vs. 31 percent of male grant professionals struggle to charge a fair price for their services.

Additionally, FreshBooks pointed out that 20% of women believe they must charge less – and give steep discounts – than male counterparts to get and keep clients.

So do female grant writers actually make more money if they aren’t sticking to their actual rates, and are instead giving discounts?

#2: Female Grant Writers are Not Charging for all Billable Hours

Female grant writers are working for free more often than their male counterparts. 

In fact, the 2022 Pricing Survey found that out of the 100+ grant professionals surveyed tha 45 percent of women vs. 6 percent of males worked more than 10 hours per month of unbillable hours.

What?! Yep. That’s right. 

Women may have higher rates posted, but they aren’t billing for all the hours!

#3: Female Grant Writers Don’t Feel as Valued as Their Male Counterparts

In the 2022 Pricing Survey, we see that 32 percent of female grant professionals vs. 6 percent of male grant professionals feel undervalued for their work.

Even though we see higher reported rates, if females are giving deep discounts and not charging for all their hours, then it is natural that they don’t feel as valued for their time.