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How to become a Grants Officer

grants officer careers

What does a Grants Officer do?

Grants officers consider applications for grants and decide which are worth putting forward for further consideration. Final decisions on grants are usually made by senior staff or by a committee.

Grants officers first check that an application falls within the scope of their organisation and gather further information about the application, giving the applicant advice on improving the application where necessary. The grants officer then analyses the information in order to assess the application - for very complex applications, they may need to arrange for a consultant to analyse the application before any judgement can be made. They then make a recommendation about the application and submit it to a senior staff member, a committee or board of trustees to make the final decision.

Once a decision has been reached, the grants officer informs the applicant of the result of their application and advises them on how best to proceed. They ensure that grant payments are made promptly and accurately, keep records of all applications and advise on the application status.

Other duties include dealing with general enquiries from applicants, colleagues and committee members, and possibly making presentations about the grants they offer and the procedures for applying.

What's the working environment like working as a Grants Officer?

There are no standard hours for this work; grants officers may work 9am to 5pm or flexitime. Flexibility in working hours is needed when working to deadlines.

Grants officers are office-based, but also spend some time away from the office when meeting applicants and consultants, visiting projects and giving presentations. A driving licence is helpful for some jobs.

What does it take to become a Grants Officer?

To be a grants officer you should:

  • be able to manage, prioritise and organise your own work
  • be able to work to deadlines
  • be capable of quickly assessing and making objective judgements on applications for grants
  • be skilled in using computers to collect and analyse information
  • have excellent written and oral communication skills
  • have the confidence and ability to give presentations
  • be a good team worker while also working well on your own
  • have the ability to deal sympathetically, yet firmly, with members of the public
  • be able to deal with complex written and numerical information
  • for some jobs have specialist knowledge, for example in heritage or the arts.

Grants Officer Career Opportunities

Grants officers are employed by local authorities, Government departments, charities, health authorities, independent grant-making trusts, the National Lottery's Big Lottery Fund, benevolent funds and large public companies.

This a small area of work but the number of grants officers is growing.

Vacancies for grants officers are advertised in the national press and voluntary sector publications. There is a lot of competition for advertised vacancies.

Grants officers can progress to senior grants officer or grants manager and then to chief officer. Some experienced grants officers become freelance advisers.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Grants Officer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF)
Central House
14 Upper Woburn Place
Tel: 020 7255 4499

Working For A Charity
Regent's Wharf
8 All Saints Street
N1 9RL
Tel: 020 7520 2512

Facts and Stats:

  • 22 million adults take part in a voluntary activity each year
  • Total sales of tickets since the launch of the National Lottery in November 1994 up to June 22nd 1999 have been £22.9 billion.
  • If all the volunteers from The Samaritans lay down end to end the line would stretch for 20 miles, the distance travelled, through air, by a cry of pain in 100 seconds

Courses to help you become a Grants Officer