Shmuel: Karen's statements on grant receipt time-frames are right on the money...unless it is a foundation that meets monthly, grants are typically worked on months prior to submission, then reviewed quarterly or bi-annually, then gone over with a fine tooth comb, then awarded if it is going to happen. This can take 6-9 months or more in some cases. I have personally offered my services free of charge to NPO's where I had a personal interest. I would have been insulted to have been offered money on a "if we get awarded basis"...I could wait a year or more to get paid. Two of the last 3 grants were denied with very sincere praise of my grant writing effort by the executive program director, who personally phoned me to let me know they were denying the grant. This denial had nothing to do with my professional skills, but with the organization itself.
If you spend awarded grant dollars on something other than is listed in the grant budget, you could find yourself in hot-water as well. Your organization could find itself in the position of having to return the grant monies. No one wants to find themselves in that position. My advice to you is to review who is on your local team who believes in the mission enough to extend a helping hand writing grants. Because they will be working pro-bono, you must respect their position the same as a per-hour hire...making sure to help with research, provide documents when requested, etc. If your organization is providing impact, you probably have touched someone's life in a way that will motivate them to help. If you have no measurable impact, you will not be awarded any grants, making the topic of a grantwriter a non-issue.