FAQ

If your question is not mentioned, please send us a note so that your inquiry can be addressed and included here.

FAQ Categories:

General

Q: Who are the writers?

A: Most assignments, including all overnight and tight deadline assignments are handled by the managing director. Assistance is occasionally sought from a tight network of well-known U.S.-based writers whose aptitude can be verified.

Q: Are you hiring independent writers?

A: We prefer to work with writers we know. If we were ever up against a wall and pressed for time, a notice would go up in our blog. We do not read unsolicited résumés or cover letters.

Q: Where is AlphaComm Strategies located?

A: AlphaComm Strategies is based in the Washington DC area.

Q: Do you ever provide site visits?

A: Prospective clients in the Greater Washington area may request a site visit at no charge. Site visits outside of Greater Washington are provided at the client’s expense. All site visits after the initial consultation are billed in the final quote.

Q: Can you offer writing samples?

A: The AlphaComm Strategies website is a writing sample in itself; however, please visit the AlphaBlog, where we may occasionally post samples of various document types.

Q: Do you offer references?

A: References will be provided upon request.

Q: Why are there no testimonials posted on your site?

Testimonials are random names with glowing reviews that could be nothing more than the company’s creation. If you'd like evidence of our work ethic, please ask for references.

The Process

Q: What is the best way to submit inquiries?

A: The best way to submit assignment inquiries is through our Contact Form, which has been designed to gather the details we need to assess the project. If you are up against a tight deadline, feel free to give us a call between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM EST: 202-670-7065, or e-mail info@alphacommstrategies.com.

Q: How does the timeline for each project work?

A: In general the timeline works like this:

  1. Complete our Contact Form.
  2. If necessary, we will schedule a free telephone consultation within 2 business days to better understand the nature of the assignment.
  3. We will e-mail you a plan summary as well as a link to an online invoice. Our work will not commence until we have received either payment in full or the first installment, depending on the assignment.
  4. The final product will be delivered via e-mail.
  5. AlphaComm Strategies retains copyright privileges of all written material until the assignment is deemed final.

Grant Writing

Q: Why have you not calculated a grant writing success rate?

A: No two applicants are alike, just as no two grant reviewers are alike. Grant writing success is contingent on geographical considerations, history with a funder, expertise in a given field, among other factors. We cannot possibly merge these multiple considerations into a single percentage.

Q: How do you identify grant opportunities?

A: We are subscribed to databases and RSS feeds that facilitate our searches. We monitor various grant alerts and routinely scour the general Internet for new opportunities. We do not possess a magic storehouse of knowledge. Over time we have simply learned to patiently look in key places.

Q: How long does it take to prepare a full grant proposal?

A: The length of time to prepare a full proposal is contingent on various factors: familiarity with the client, familiarity with the funder, complexity of the proposal, etc.

Q: What is the most difficult aspect of writing a grant proposal?

A: Lack of details. We always want the client to know where they are going and what they need to get there. We may offer suggestions and technical assistance, but we can only help express your message, not substantiate it.

Q: Will you prepare grants for individuals?

A: No.

Q: Do you offer grant writing seminars?

A: We occasionally offer workshops via teleconferences. Many of these are by special invitation with existing clients, but announcements of open workshops can be found in the AlphaBlog. We are available to organizations to conduct staff workshops, particularly in settings where departments are required to conduct their own grant writing.

Pricing

Q: Do you ever work on a contingency fee?

A: We do not work on a contingency fee. We also do not work on commission or on spec.

Q: Do you work on an hourly rate?

A: No, you'll get a flat project rate.

Q: How are quotes generated?

A: Several factors are weighed in determining the final cost of an assignment:

  1. How much time do we have to finalize the product? Most assignments required within 5 business days will be considered a rush project, but everything is considered on a case-by-case basis.
  2. How complex is the assignment? The complexity of an assignment is determined not only by the technical nature of the project, but also by the level of research AlphaComm Strategies will need to conduct to deliver a solid copy. Any information we must seek to complete an assignment is considered research.
  3. What is our history with the customer? The longer we write for a customer, the more familiar we become with their needs and the more internal material we have to draw upon to meet future assignments.

Q: When do you collect payment?

A: The amount will be due up front if the amount is less than $500. If the amount is greater than $500, 50 percent of the cost will be due up front, and the other half will be due when the assignment has been completed.

Q: How many revisions does an assignment include?

A: All assignments include one revision. Thereafter the work is considered a new assignment.

Q: Do you offer a money back guarantee?

A: Once an assignment is delivered there is no way for us to accurately determine how and if the assignment will be used; therefore, we do not have a full money back guarantee. If you are not satisfied with the final product even after revisions, we will discuss a return of up to 25 percent of the agreed upon price and discuss discounts on future assignments.

Q: How do you bill miscellaneous expenses?

A: Expenses not directly related to the completion of an assignment are billed at cost, and include, but not limited to, such tasks as: travel, priority shipping, overnight delivery service, and printing and copying. AlphaComm Strategies primarily works electronically; however, if a client prefers an on-site meeting outside of Washington DC, transportation and related expenses will be billed in advance.

Q: Do you do any pro bono work?

A: We believe one should always make at least a small investment in one’s success. Such an arrangement makes for an overall healthier working relationship, even if in some cases the payment is token.


"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."--Benjamin Franklin