Grant Writer (Contract)

VocalEssence | Minneapolis, MN
Salary Range: $0-$20,000 annually

VocalEssence, called “one of the irreplaceable music ensembles of our time” by Dana Gioia, past chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts—and the choir that Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones says “sings magnificently”—impacts thousands of students, singers, and composers each year through its innovative programs and support for creation of new art. VocalEssence was founded in 1969 and thanks to our two trademark choirs, the VocalEssence Chorus and Ensemble Singers, has debuted more than 350 commissions and world premieres.

The organization has a series of robust Learning & Engagement programs with the purpose of building community through the powerful act of singing together. Programs which garner the highest levels of support include:
• VocalEssence WITNESS—a workshop/field trip program which celebrates African American artists
• VocalEssence Singers Of This Age—a dynamic group of 40 young people from Twin Cities high schools who sing, dance, write their own music, rap, and, most importantly, reflect the diversity of our community in its membership
• VocalEssence Vintage Voices—a choral program that integrates the arts into the everyday lives of older adults and combats loneliness and isolation by fostering the creation of choirs in local senior centers.

For more information, visit

VocalEssence is seeking a grant writer to work on a short-term contractual basis that could expand to a long-term relationship. The grant writer would draft and submit all grant and sponsorship requests for the organizations including private foundation, corporate, city/state/federal government, as well as final reports for completed projects. Additional duties include prospecting for new grant opportunities.

Typically, VocalEssence submits 50-60 grants and final reports throughout the fiscal year (July 1- June 30). Total funding procured from these sources ranges from $700,000-900,000 annually as part of approximately $2 Million in total revenue. Budget and financial documents are prepared by the organization’s Director of Finance.

The organization is seeking an individual who has experience preparing and submitting grant proposals for arts-related funders, specifically submission to the Minnesota State Arts Board, National Endowment for the Arts, as well as other private and corporate foundations.

A successful candidate will have a proven track record in:
• Creating and submitting proposals to a wide variety of funding sources;
• Crafting compelling and concise storytelling and data-driven needs statements;
• Prospect research of local and national corporate and private foundation funding

Other desired qualifications:
• Skills in demographic data collection and analysis;
• Marketing sponsorship crafting and fulfillment.

VocalEssence is an Equal Opportunity Employer - VocalEssence welcomes qualified applicants and employees regardless of their race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, national origin, or status as a qualified individual with a disability or protected veteran. Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) are especially encouraged to apply.

The deadline for RFP submissions is April 15. Upon submission, top proposals will be considered and contacted for an online interview.

Work can begin as soon as possible, but no later than June 1, 2021. The length of contract will be determined between the organization and contractor and could range from a minimum of 3 months to an indefinite relationship to be re-assessed regularly.

The organization is open to a fee schedule that includes a retainer and/or monthly payment schedule based on an agreed upon total fee or an hourly rate to be mutually determined.

Issuance of this RFP does not obligate the organization to award a contract or to pay any costs incurred in preparation of proposals responding to this RFP.

To apply submit the following:

1. Up to three examples of grant awards from which the applicant has successfully obtained funding (provide specific examples of programs, foundation/government
agencies, amounts, and purposes of grants).

2. Clear demonstration of applicant’s knowledge of, and experience with funding for arts nonprofits

3. An excerpt from a successful grant written by the applicant that is representative of their writing style. The sample should not exceed two pages and should not contain any
confidential information.

4. Schedule of proposed fees/rates.

5. A minimum of two (2) professional references from clients for whom the applicant has successfully performed similar work.

6. Proposals must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 15, 2021 in one PDF file to Elissa Weller, Director of Development at