grant writing programs


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Home › Training › 11 Best Grant Writing Classes 2024: Reviews and Pricing

11 Best Grant Writing Classes 2024: Reviews and Pricing



The competition for grant money is fierce. With so many nonprofit organizations vying for each pot of funding, it’s essential to have a competitive edge to get the grant you need. One way to bolster your chances of success is by enrolling in one or more grant writing classes.

Do you want to learn how to start writing more effective grant proposals? If yes, then this is the article for you. Grant writing is a skill that can take years to master . On top of mastering grammar and research skills, understanding what funders are looking for in a proposal takes time.

There are many different options available for finding the best online courses for you, but this article will help make your search easier.

11 Best Grant Writing Classes Online

This is a vetted list organized by accredited grant writing classes, institution, pricing, and duration.

1.    Grant Writing Certification – Technical Writer HQ

TWHQ Grant Writing Certificate

Duration: 20 hours

Price:  $199

Technical Writer HQ’s Grant Writing Certification is great for those of you who are looking to become skilled in grant writing and want actionable advice and practical knowledge. The course covers every aspect of writing a winning grant proposal. Moreover, it covers how to build relationships with funders and present your proposal as well.

The best part is the course includes actual instructor feedback on a grant proposal that you create. This way, you can ensure you’re getting the most out of this course. The course also has a number of homeworks to help you write grant proposals with more clarity.

The course is taught by Josh (a certified grant writer with over 10 years of experience). There are also seven quizzes, a certification test, and a capstone project.

For more information and to enroll, check out Grant Writing Certification  by Technical Writer HQ.

Want to Become a Great Grant Writer

2. Fundamentals of Grant Writing (University of Georgia)

University of Georgia Grant Writing Course

Duration: 24 hours

Pricing: $159

The Fundamentals of Grant Writing certification course covers every critical concept that a professional grant writer should know. It teaches practical grant writing skills and covers specific aspects, including research, presentations, and networking. Additionally, the class focuses on finding potential funding sources that best suits your organization.

Because the course covers more advanced areas of the grant writing business, it’s also valuable to individuals who already work or have jobs as grant writers.

Fundamentals of Grant Writing has a total of 12 classes by Linda Vallejo (a full-time certified grant writer with more than three decades of experience). You can choose between the two formats available: instructor-led or self-study. The course duration is 24 hours, and the pricing is $159.

You can learn more about this grant writing class here .

3. Grant Writing for Non-profits and Freelance Writers (Udemy)

Udemy Grant Writing Course

Duration: 1 hour and 34 minutes

Pricing: $29.99, possible discounts

Udemy is renowned for its endless educational courses across multiple industries and niches. This 1-hour and 34-minute grant writing certificate program is for beginners seeking to enter the grant writing business as freelancers or under nonprofits.

It focuses on enhancing their research and technical writing abilities before applying for government grants. Tim Whitney developed the course as a professional grant writer with several successful multi-million dollar grant proposals under his belt.

He provides students with real-life case studies, strategies for developing successful grant proposals, and the language type and tone to write to different entities. He also highlights the non-technical aspects of a grant writer’s role, including relationship building and thinking like a funder.

This course comes with lots of extra perks. Though retailing at $24.99, Udemy constantly offers discounts on every course on its catalog. Depending on the promotional offer, you can get an offer as low as below $10. You also get lifetime access once you’re enrolled.

You can learn more about this grant writing class here.

4. Professional and Academic Proposal Writing (Thompson Rivers University)

Thomson Rivers University Grant Writing Course

Duration: 30 weeks

Pricing: $760 – $1419

This 30-week grant writing certification offers beginners and intermediate writers an excellent all-around grant writing program.

It’s applicable for numerous entities across the grant writing spectrum, including government, education, art, health, and the nonprofit sector. The program teaches students skills like developing a grant proposal, defining the prime purpose of the fundraising, coming up with efficient budgeting strategies, etc.

This writing course teaches students the procedures and guidelines for writing a successful grant application, including creating introductory sections and letters of intent. Despite having many fundamentals, the course has limited resources on interpersonal skills. This makes the program ideal for rookies who want to learn the basic principles of writing grants.

Despite covering many of the fundamentals, this course has limited resources on interpersonal skills. This makes it ideal if you’re entirely new to the industry and interested in learning the foundational principles of grant writing.

Pricing starts at $695 and reaches up to $1258. This includes the cost of reading material and the shipping cost of delivering your study material to you.

5. Grant Writing Basics for Beginners (Skillshare)

Skill Share Grant Writing Course

Duration: 50 minutes

Pricing: $165 annual subscription

This course is ideal for beginners with zero experience in grant writing. It consists of 10 lessons, for 50 minutes, which is a perfect length for a starter course. This class provides answers to frequently asked questions and concerns a novice writer may have. Unfortunately, it doesn’t cover in detail how to draft proposals.

Teresa Huff teaches the course as a professional grant writer with 20 years of experience drafting grant proposals. She shares tips on getting started as a grant writer while also sharing some common industry knowledge. Please keep in mind that this only course focuses on grants for nonprofits and schools.

Skillshare’s grant writing certification is free for the first 14 days after signing up for your Skillshare membership. After the free 14-day trial, a monthly subscription fee applies for $19.

6. WVDO Certificate in Grant Writing

WVDO Grant Writing Certificate

Duration: 9 weeks

Pricing: $250 to $2000 (depending on criteria)

This 9-week grant writing certification course teaches practical writing skills to develop effective grant proposal applications. There are no prerequisites here, so people with limited or no experience can enroll. This makes it the real deal for anyone switching to grant writing from any other writing discipline to grant writing.

This course helps you build industry experience writing for nonprofits. Students use ready-made letters and reference materials to draw proposals upon course completion.

Each enrollment section takes a maximum of 15 students. This shows the level of focus and individual attention received by each attendee. To apply for this certification, you’re required to submit an updated resume that shows your writing and communication skills and why you are interested in this certification.

The cost of this certification is $900, although students that cannot afford the full tuition fee can request financial assistance.

You can learn more about this course here .

7. Professional Certificate in Grant Writing (San Diego State University)

San Diego State University Grant Writing Certificate

Duration: 10 weeks

Pricing: $898

SDSU recognizes the vast number of charity and nonprofit projects requiring grant funding. This has led them to create a grant writing certification. Participants are required to complete

This recognition has led them to create their grant writing certification. The syllabus of the program contains two courses that students are required to complete to obtain this certification:

  • Introduction to Grants and Funding Research
  • Grant Proposal Development

The first course accommodates beginners and freelance writers. It takes students through the basics of grant writing. The second course is for the more experienced students looking to practice further and develop their skills.

Furthermore, this certification is specific to the nonprofit industry, involving clinics, local schools, environmental organizations, and food banks. It’s not a good fit for individuals looking to develop their portfolios as businesses or research writers. The tuition fee for this course is $449, and it runs for 10 weeks.

You can learn more about this course here.

8. A to Z Grant Writing (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs)

University of Colorado Grant Writing

  • Instructor-led: 6 weeks
  • Self-paced: 3 month
  • Instructor-led: $135
  • Self-paced: $100

The A-to-Z Grant Writing certification course teaches students everything they need to write a grant attracting attention from potential funders, getting them closer to winning grants for projects.

This course isn’t limited to a specific sector in the grant writing space. It works for religious institutions, education, and nonprofit management sectors. Furthermore, it’s an instructed-led course taught by Linda Vallejo.

Aside from teaching students the technical skills involved in grant writing, it also introduces them to essential activities away from the desk. These activities include organization, presentation, collaboration, and confidence. The course lasts for six weeks and costs $135.

9. University of South Carolina (USC)

University of South Carolina Grant Writing Course

Duration: 11 days

Pricing: $1332

The University of South Carolina provides one of the most elaborate and extensive grant writing certifications. The course prepares professionals for aspects essential to the grant writing field.

The course is primarily a formal training program, which begins with an introductory course to grant writing and a needs-based assessment.

Following the introductory module, there’s program development and evaluation. It concentrates on strategic models and tools necessary for writing a successful grant proposal.

Finally, the last module teaches the grant writing process. All courses are held online with no self-paced version yet. The tuition fee for this program is $1332.

10. Advanced Grant Proposal Writing (ed2go)

ed2go Grant Writing

Duration: 6-12 weeks

  • Self-paced: $115

As the name suggests, this course is for the more advanced, more experienced writers. It explores the structure and formatting more intricately than other grant writing certifications.

Aside from building the foundation of your grant writing knowledge, the course teaches you how to move forward (grant management) once you secure grant money. Additionally, you learn how to develop non-technical, practical skills.

Advanced Grant Proposal Writing offers teaching formats. The instructor-led option takes between 6–12 weeks to complete; however, you can learn at your own pace with the self-study variant. The course is by Dr. Beverly Browning, a professional grant writer with four decades of experience. You can enroll in this course for $115.

11. Arizona State University

Arizona State University Grant Writing Certificates

Duration: 7 weeks

Pricing: $999 – $1175

Arizona State University provides two grant writing certification programs. One is for beginners-writers, while the other is for mid-level writers. Students are encouraged to enroll in the latter after completing the first program and getting relevant hands-on experience.

Grant Development: State and Foundation Proposals

This course teaches strategic planning and the fundamental elements that students need to know when drafting proposals. This highly interactive course costs $1050 and runs for 7 weeks. Although it’s perfect for individuals new to writing grants, the providers describe the course as “fast-paced and intensive.”

This course isn’t instructor-led. Students engage with the course material actively. Furthermore, ASU offers a mid-level course for more advanced/experienced grant-writers.

Advanced Grant Development: Federal Proposals

This course is for writers with more grant writing experience. It coaches individuals to write compelling federal grant proposals, too.

Students work in smaller focus groups with the knowledge specialist. They also benefit from having their proposals reviewed before submission for federal grants. Since it’s an advanced program, it requires some experience in state and foundations grant writing.

The tuition fee for this certification is $1175. However, if you enroll after taking the preceding beginner course, ASU offers you a 25% discount.

You can learn more about their courses here.

So there you have it! A review of the best grant writing classes available online to help you find the best certification program for your needs. We wish you the very best in your learning journey and career.

Here are some frequently asked questions about grant writing.

Why should I take a grant writing class?

If you are new to grant writing, whether you need to write grants at your full-time job or if you’re looking to start freelancing, you would benefit from taking a course. If you’re contemplating switching careers to a sector/industry that requires writing grants, such as government or nonprofits, you may want to acquaint yourself with the process of grant writing by picking an online course.

Experienced professional grant writers probably don’t need to enroll in a course; however, continuing education courses or more advanced classes could spark new ideas or give a fresh perspective. You’ll also stay up-to-date with industry trends.

How much do grant writing classes cost?

Online grant writing classes range from $0 to $300. Live-instructor-led courses are usually costlier than self-paced courses. Some providers allow free trials or bar certain features, such as quizzes and graded assignments, for their free versions. A university-sponsored program or a more formal certification can cost thousands of dollars.

What are the best grant writing classes?

We compiled a list above of some of the best grant writing classes. To choose an ideal grant writing class, you need a career map. This helps you choose a course that delivers knowledge and skills best suited to your needs to increase your pay and salary . It’s also essential to pick a certification program that aligns with the professional sector you wish to work in (nonprofits, education, healthcare, etc.).

To identify the best courses, we looked at instructor quality, course material and length, cost, and student feedback. These are among the most important qualities to consider when finding the ideal online grant writing classes.

All courses on the list above have a comprehensive syllabus, are accessible on multiple platforms, have outstanding reputations, and benefit you quickly.

If you are new to grant writing and are looking to break-in, we recommend taking our Grant Writing Certification Course , where you will learn the fundamentals of being a grant writer, how to write proposals that win grants, and how to stand out as a grant writing candidate.

grant writing programs

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Become a Certified Technical Writer. Professionals finish the training with a full understanding of how to guide technical writer projects using documentation foundations, how to lead writing teams, and more.

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Become a Certified Grant Writer. In this course, we teach the fundamentals of grant writing, how to create great grant proposals, and how to stand out in the recruiting process to land grant writing jobs.


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The 19 Best Online Grant Writing Classes for Every Learner

You know that you’re interested in learning more about grant writing and that online courses and classes can help. We love that! Welcome to the party!

Now, where do you go from there? Which courses are relevant for you and worth investing in?

Knowing where to begin can be tricky because the field is so diverse. Grant writing courses and certifications come in all shapes and sizes, and different options are best for different learners.

This blog post aims to give you a solid overview of the grant writing education options available online. We’ve gathered the top grant writing resources, reviewed them, and sorted them into these categories:

  • Free grant writing classes and resources
  • Best for grant writing freelancers
  • Best for nonprofit professionals
  • Best for federal grant seekers
  • University-based grant writing programs

The Ultimate Resource for Grant Learners!

Learn Grant Writing has something for everyone

Quick Picks: The Absolute Best Grant Writing Classes

Maybe you’re in a hurry—we get it. Let’s cut to the chase. Here are our top recommendations for grant writing learners with different goals:

We’ll take a closer look at each of these options and more in the categories below. Think we missed a valuable program that should be included? Let us know.

Best Free Online Grant Writing Classes

Whether you’re just getting started, working on a budget, or aren’t ready to make a paid commitment to learning grant writing, there are tons of options available. These free grant writing resources can help:

1. Learn Grant Writing's Free Introductory Class

Our free grant writing class covers all the essentials and explains how you can build a career in grant writing without the fear of where you will find clients or feeling like a failure if your grant doesn’t win. We cover the top three mistakes that keep people stuck, how to get paid to learn grant writing, and strategy for pulling off a career transition.

Following that broad overview, you are then guided through our tried and tested seven steps to writing winning grant applications:

  • Step 1: Prepare for success
  • Step 2: Host kickoff meeting
  • Step 3: Develop your budget (you’ll also get a free copy of our grant budget template!)
  • Step 4: Preparing key attachments (including a resolution and letters of support)
  • Step 5: Write your narrative
  • Step 6: Persuasive writing
  • Step 7: Submitting your application

This free resource is best for those interested in learning about grant writing without the burden of financial or time commitment. It’s for all of you who want to get your feet wet.

2. Coursera: Fundraising & Development Foundations

Coursera is home to a free intermediate-level course created by the University of California Davis. The course carries a fee if you wish to earn a course certificate, but you can audit all of the course content for free.

This four-module course provides an in-depth background on nonprofit fundraising and development, giving grant writers invaluable context for how grant funding fits into the bigger picture of running a nonprofit. While not all of the content is directly related to grant writing, it will help you learn:

  • Nonprofit and fundraising lingo
  • The nonprofit fundraising process
  • How to develop a case for support (an essential skill for grant writers!)
  • Current issues and trends in the fundraising world

This class is best for folks who already have a general understanding of grant writing and want to learn more about the nitty gritty, technical aspects of the nonprofit world.

3. Peak Proposals: The Basics of Finding & Applying for Grants

Getting Started: The Basics of Finding & Applying for Grants is a free course consisting of three modules. It covers how to find potential funders, an overview of writing a grant proposal, and the process of submitting a proposal. Each of the 17 lessons in the course contains an assignment to help students apply the lessons learned.

Peak Proposals is best for those wanting even more hands-on training without making a financial commitment.

4. MIT: Advanced Writing Seminar

MIT’s graduate-level Advanced Writing Seminar covers much more than grant writing, but you'll find lessons on grants plus tons of writing and presentation tips that can improve your general skills. There is no enrollment or registration fee for this self-paced course.

Note that while this seminar is useful for improving writing skills as a whole and includes a grant writing-specific lesson, it won’t be a thorough dive into the grant writing process.

But it’s still an extremely helpful course for those looking to sharpen their professional writing skills, which are (of course) essential for successful grant writing. The course materials and reading list provide interesting sources to guide your self-study of writing, including The Oxford Essential Guide to Writing by Thomas Kane and The Elements of Style by Strunk and White.

***P.S. If you read only one book about writing, make it The Elements of Style ! It’s a classic for a reason. This three-minute video highlights our favorite (and arguably the most valuable) takeaway from the book.

5. Almost Free Grant Writing Courses on Udemy

Udemy is an eLearning platform where experts create and sell courses on a wide variety of subjects. It offers dozens of grant writing courses on different aspects of the process. Options range from introductions to grant writing to more specialized classes on nonprofits and NIH grants.

While these courses aren’t free, they are relatively inexpensive and can help you bolster your skills in more specific areas. Course costs average around $80, but they frequently go on sale—keep an eye out for big discounts down to $15 or less!

Is Grant Writing For You?

If you are looking for a career change and interested in grant writing consulting, check out this training on how to get started. Build a flexible life you love!

Best Online Grant Writing Classes for Freelancers and Side-Hustlers

Tons of people are drawn to grant writing as a way to generate extra income, start a freelancing business, or make bigger career changes—and for good reason! Grant writing is a learnable, specialized skill that’s always in demand, and it helps nonprofit organizations make bigger impacts in their communities.

Here are some of our favorite resources for those interested in investing more time and energy into grant writing as a business:

1. The Global Grant Writers Collective from Learn Grant Writing

The Global Grant Writers Collective is a year-long membership that includes online instructional videos, community, certification, and coaching to teach you a step-by-step system for building a flexible career in grant writing. In addition to an ever-growing community and mentorship, there are live trainings offered twice a month.

The Collective is structured in seven phases:

  • Phase 1: Get Started (learn how to get paid to learn + tons of freebies!)
  • Phase 2: Find Grants (our tried and true grant research method)
  • Phase 3: Write Grants (a step by step approach)

After Phase 3 (and some homework!), you’ll receive your certificate - yay! With your certificate and real-world experience, you can interview well for higher-paying, quality jobs. If you enjoyed the freelancing, we show you how to work for yourself and build a vibrant grant writing consulting business in the final two modules.

  • Phase 4: Make Your First $15,000 (no need to set up a business yet)

After Phase 4, you can start thinking about your next career path: full-time freelance or new job. Either way, you have $15,000 worth of freelance expertise under your belt. It’s time to grow! You can take your portfolio to land a new job or scale your freelance practice to a $250,000 per year business.

  • Phase 5: Growing to $50,000 (form your LLC)
  • Phase 6: Growing to $100K-$250K Annually (join the 5% club and make 6 figures!)
  • Phase 7: Advanced Grant Writing

Members of the Collective also have access to an entire community of fellow grant writers, coaching and mentorship, and bonus trainings. These include logic and evaluation models, resume writing, fiscal sponsorship, federal grant training, contracting & retainer pricing, and more!

Membership in the Collective costs $500 per month or $6,000 annually. Check out these reviews and member spotlights to see how our community has changed members’ lives and unlocked lucrative new careers!

This Collective was created for those looking for a career change and are interested in freelance grant writing or landing a new job—plus, it brings the added benefits of a vibrant community and steadfast peer support.

2. Holly Rustik’s Grant Writing & Funding Course

Grant Writing & Funding, founded by Holly Rustik, offers several grant writing courses:

  • Grant Writing Master Course; and
  • Freelance Grant Writing Master Course.

In 39 videos, the Grant Writing Master Course covers the basics of grants, finding grants, identifying needs and problems, developing a grant proposal, and building a budget. The course is self-paced and can be purchased for $697 or in six payments at $129 each. Included in the cost of this membership are sample grants and community engagement.

The Freelance Grant Writing Master Course is for folks who want to start a grant writing business but don’t know how to find clients, build a brand, and get started with marketing. The cost of this course is $997 or six installments of $183.20.

3. Resources from the American Grant Writers Association Review

The American Grant Writers Association (AGWA) is a common resource for people to consider when researching their first steps for a grant writing side business or career change.

However, it’s important to note that AGWA converted their live workshops into an online format without intentionally building it for online learning, which might negatively impact your experience with the program.

Sarah* approached the team at Learn Grant Writing after having an unpleasant and floundering experience with a grant writing course offered through AGWA. We’ve published the review she offered to write so you can have the best information possible when deciding where to learn about grant writing. Give it a read here.

Discover Grant Writing as a Career

If you’re interested in becoming a grant writing consultant, check out this free training on how you can pull off a meaningful career change.

Best Grant Writing Certifications & Courses for Nonprofit Professionals

In the nonprofit world, it’s super common for fundraisers and program staff to wear many hats. Maybe you’ve just been handed the grant writing hat for the first time and have no idea where to start—we’ve got you covered.

Here are our favorite online resources for nonprofit professionals to learn grant writing or sharpen their skills to help their organizations secure more funding:

1. The Global Grant Writers Collective

Yep, we serve nonprofit professionals as well. The Global Grant Writers Collective helps you become a confident grant writer with a peer-proven step-by-step system for writing winning grants. Never navigate a sticky situation alone again.

This self-study online course and community help you take the guesswork out of managing all the moving parts involved in writing winning grant applications. The Collective is structured into five seven phases:

  • Phase 1: Get Ready (become irresistible to funders + tons of freebies!)
  • Phase 3: Write Grants (a step-by-step approach)
  • Phase 4: Career Paths (build your career for portfolio experience and income)
  • Phase 5: Business Development (Bonuses)
  • Phase 6: Continued Education (never stop learning!)

Access to the Collective and ongoing membership costs $500 per month or $6,000 annually. With it, you get the full library of training content and coaching, plus inclusion in a thriving community of fellow grant writers eager to share and learn from each other—no question goes unanswered!

Ed2Go offers a variety of courses on grant writing, from overview classes for beginners to more detailed, advanced options. Classes vary in hourly requirements and costs, but for most of the six-week, 24-class courses, the cost hovers around $150.

The majority of these courses are geared towards nonprofit professionals involved in grant writing.

3. University of Wisconsin: Introduction to Grant Writing

The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee offers an Introduction to Grant Writing course for $150. The course covers fundraising strategies and explores the six stages of grant writing. The stages include identifying a need for funding, researching grantmakers, relationship cultivation, the grant writing process, and appropriate follow-up after winning or losing a grant award.

This course is designed for those seeking to gain a basic understanding of nonprofit management.

4. Holly Rustik: Strategic Planning Master Course & Start-Up Academy

We’re throwing Holly Rustik’s courses on here again because she has two offerings specific to nonprofits. Grant Writing & Funding offers two courses focusing on grant writing in the nonprofit sector including:

  • Nonprofit Strategic Planning Master Course; and
  • Nonprofit Start-Up Academy.

The Nonprofit Strategic Planning Master Course is designed for both nonprofit leaders and freelance consultants. The course will help nonprofits get their fiscal and program health organized. You can buy this course for $697 or make six payments of $127 each.

The Nonprofit Start-Up Academy covers how to create a working board, outline a strategic plan, find funding streams, and cultivate branding and messaging. This self-paced course is priced at $297.

Free Grant Matrix Template

To stay organized, we recommend you put your grant findings in a matrix. This way you can systematically filter the top pursuits.

Best Grant Writing Classes for Federal Grant Seekers

Securing grants from federal agencies and funding bodies is its own unique beast to tackle. It’s highly competitive and draws on special sets of tactics and best practices (like using Freedom of Information Act inquiries ). Sounds tough, but rest assured it’s all learnable with the right support.

Here are our recommendations for grant writing courses and resources specifically designed to help you better compete for federal funding:

1. DH Leonard Consulting: Fast Track Learning to Write Federal Grants

DH Leonard Consulting & Grant Writing Services, LLC, offers a Federal Grant Writing Boot Camp . This training webcast, spread over four half-days, covers how to successfully apply for and secure federal grants. It’s taught by Diane Leonard GPC in conjunction with My Fed Trainer .

Early bird pricing is $495 while last-minute pricing is $795 while tickets last. This Boot Camp course is offered numerous times each year — click here for the schedule .

DH Leonard Consulting & Grant Writing Services frequently offers a range of other Federal Grant Writing Training courses throughout the year as listed on their course listing. Many of these courses cost around $87. Catch webinar replays of their all-time faves, Federal Grants 101: Securing Millions for Your Organization and Federal Grants 201: How to Feel Confident and Competitive as You Click Submit, for $60 for $50, respectively.

These resources are best for individuals interested in improving their federal grant writing skills by watching webinars.

2. Grant Professionals Association: Next Level Grant Training

Next Level Grant Training is live online training to help folks advance their grant careers. The 2024 Next Level Grant Training topics include federal grants, research prospecting, best practices for reporting, and more.

Next Level Grant Training features include:

  • One monthly class for 12 months
  • One-hour sessions including Q&A
  • Online-archived class content for later reference; and
  • A constant cohort of participants, led by Grant Professional Certified and GPA-approved trainers Cyndi MacKenzie and Scot Scala.

Each session focuses on reinforcing the GPA Code of Ethics and related GPC Competencies, along with providing participants the opportunity to earn up to 12 CEUs. This series is priced at $240 for members or $299 for non-members for the entire offering.

These sessions are best for those especially interested in the ethical ins and outs of grant writing, those seeking to earn credits, and those already in established grant writing careers.

Best University-Based Grant Writing Certifications

A handful of grant resources created by universities have already been mentioned in this list, but there are more where those came from! If you’re looking for more structured certificate programs and courses taught by professional educators, higher ed has a lot to offer.

Here our are top recommendations for grant writing classes and certification programs offered by universities:

1. University of Georgia

The University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education offers two grant writing courses: an introductory-level course called Fundamentals of Grant Writing I, and a higher-level course called Advanced Grant Proposal Writing. Each course provides 24 hours of instruction for a cost of $159.

2. University of South Carolina

University of South Carolina’s Grant Writing Certificate Program involves 30 hours of classes covering four courses: Introduction to Grant Writing, Needs Based Assessment, Intermediate Grant Writing, and Program Development and Evaluation.

Both online and classroom options are available for a fee of $1,322. The goal of this program is to prepare new and established professionals for the practical and conceptual aspects that are critical to the grant writing process.

3. Arizona State University

Arizona State University offers two levels of grant writing certificates : Grant Development—State and Foundation Proposal Certificate for $999 (early bird price) and Advanced Grant Development—Federal Proposal Certificate for $1,050 (early bird price).

Both courses are fast-paced and intensive for those ready to make a serious investment in their grant writing skills. The courses take seven weeks to complete, and students can expect to spend 12 to 15 hours a week on coursework.

4. University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

UCCS has an intensive credit-bearing certificate program, Graduate Certificate in Grant Writing, Management, and Program Evaluation. To apply for the program, students must hold a bachelor's degree.

Completion of the certificate requires a grade of B- or better in four courses: Evaluation, Grant Writing, Grant Management, and an elective. The certificate is designed for people interested in professional careers in or related to grant writing, grant management, and/or nonprofit program evaluation.

Non-degree, non-Colorado resident graduate students completing the required 12 hours of coursework can expect to pay roughly $9,700 plus a $60 application fee for an online UCCS certificate program. For Colorado residents, the fees are roughly $8,300.

5. Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University offers an eight-week University Grant Writing Certification Program for $175. Available for students in the United States only, the class meets online for two months.

While this is an introduction to grant proposal writing, many students enroll for a review and refresher course. The areas of focus include title page, abstract, statement of need, goal, objectives, procedures, budget, qualifications, evaluation, sustainability, dissemination, sources cited, and appendix.

Choosing the Right Grant Writing Classes for Your Goals

There is a whole internet of opportunity for you to learn more about grant writing. We hope this list guided you through your search and gave you a clearer idea of the wide range of options available online today.

As you get started, please keep this one important takeaway in mind: A grant writing course will only serve you well if it's aligned with your goals and needs.

No matter your goal, whether it’s getting your feet wet, improving skills for your nonprofit, learning more about federal grants, or starting a business, the Global Grant Writers Collective is chock-full of support for any grant writer. With curriculum, coaching, mentorship, and community, the Collective is a one-stop shop for learning about grant writing and how to adjust your mindset to achieve your goals.

For more tips and tricks on grant funding and writing a proposal, be sure to check out our FREE Grant Writing Class . You can also contact us anytime with your questions—we’ll be happy to help!

But no matter your goals, we hope you keep learning more. Keep the ball rolling by checking out these additional resources from the Learn Grant Writing blog:

  • Can I Make Money as a Grant Writer?
  • How to Become a Freelance Grant Writer
  • How to Write a Grant in 7 Easy Steps
  • Project Management for Nonprofits and Grant Writers

Let's Kickstart Your Grant Writing Journey

Learn Grant Writing has something for everyone – all backgrounds, goals, and skill levels are welcome!

About the author...

Alexis Swenson serves as Unicorn Coach and Content Director for Learn Grant Writing. The product of small-town northwestern Minnesota, she is a self-declared “old soul” and grounded free spirit. She has secured over $2.7 million in grant funding in her career. Alexis writes to help people learn, laugh, and not be so hard on themselves.

Want To Learn More?

We made this video to answer your questions about how to build a career in grant writing without the fear of where you will find clients or the fear of failure. We cover the top three mistakes that keep people from making the leap from a soul-sucking job to something more meaningful.

Watch Video

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Listen to the audiobook, take free grant writing class, free grant writing resources, take our career fit quiz, take our business diagnostic audit quiz.

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Home » Blog » 8 Top Grant Writing Certifications in 2023

8 Top Grant Writing Certifications in 2023

grant writing programs


With more and more non-profits popping up, each looking to promote their cause by acquiring sufficient funding, the demand for writers who can create the most compelling, detailed, and creative grant proposal is also on the rise. If you’re considering this path, investing in a grant writing certification is a good place to start.

When it comes to becoming a writer , many think that they are mostly freelancers with an unreliable source of income. However, we’re here to tell you that this isn’t the case. In fact, there are numerous grant writing services out there that hire experts from the field and make it easier for nonprofit organizations to find the right set of skills.

The journey to becoming an expert grant writer begins with a simple step — making up your mind and getting the right training. However, with the myriad of options out there and each one claiming to be the best grant writing certification of them all, the step doesn’t remain as simple anymore.

To make the journey easier for you, we will look at some of the best grant writing certifications of 2023 for you to consider along with their pricing and certifications.

Top Grant Writing Certifications for 2023

When it comes to picking a grant writing certification course, here are some of the best grant writer classes out there:

1.    TWHQ’s Grant Writing Certification

Grant writing certification

Rating: 9/10

Duration: 4 hours/week for 10 weeks

Technical Writer HQ’s Grant Writing Certification is ideal for those seeking to master grant writing, offering practical advice and essential knowledge. This comprehensive course encompasses all elements necessary for crafting successful grant proposals. Additionally, it provides insights into fostering relationships with funders and effectively presenting your proposal.

A highlight of this course is the opportunity to receive direct feedback from instructors on a grant proposal you develop, ensuring a deep understanding of the material. The course includes several assignments aimed at enhancing your ability to write clear and effective grant proposals.

Instructed by Josh, a certified grant writer with a decade of experience, the course also features seven quizzes, a certification exam, and a final capstone project.

For further details and enrollment options, visit Technical Writer HQ for their Grant Writing Certification program.

The course costs $199, which makes it one of the more affordable certifications you can get for such an in-depth curriculum. We wouldn’t shy away from recommending this grant writing course to anyone.

To enroll, visit Technical Writer HQ

2) Skillshare Grant Writing

grant writing programs

Rating: 8.5/10

Duration: 50 minutes

In this 50-minute course, writers will learn the basics of creative and technical writing all the way to persuasive writing, the format of a grant, tips, and more. Grant Writing Basics is a 50-minute divided into 10 lessons.

To test your skills after you are done, you will have access to three thorough projects to complete at your own pace. You will have to submit these courses, of course, after which you can get the online certificate in your portal.

You have the option to download and print it at your own leisure, though.

This course is perfect for beginners and experts alike, helping you cover the basics and complex intricacies involved with the research process, addressing funders, and more.

The instructor has 20 years of experience in the field, which is evident in the way she takes some of the most difficult aspects of grant writing and turns them easy.

However, before you jump into the certification course, it is important to remember that you will only learn the complications and procedure for writing grant proposals for schools and nonprofits instead of getting a complete overview of the process in general.

The course is available for free to those who have subscribed to Skillshare. The membership itself costs $169 per month. We believe that the value you’ll get against your investment is well worth it. Of course, you will have to spend some time practicing on your own to be able to write grant proposals for other niches.

For more information and to subscribe, visit Skillshare Grant Writing .

grant writing programs

Duration: 1h 41m (48 lectures, 12 sections)

For those of you who need a cross-industry overview of what technical writing is and how you can write a simple grant proposal for a myriad of industries, Udemy’s Federal Grant Writing 101 could be the perfect course for you.

The principles taught in this course apply to almost every grant you may have to write, thus truly turning you into a certified grant writer.

This grant writing certification caters to government agencies, above all else, because these grants are what matter the most for many organizations. Grant writing classes are led by Dr. Beverly Browning, an Advanced Grant Proposal Writing class teacher who has been hosted in numerous schools and colleges for this specific purpose.

The course is broken into 12 different sections, each with distinct lectures covering hard and soft skills required throughout the grant writing process.

The first section will cover the basics and as you move on, you will find information about formatting, content, what to address, who to address it to, and most importantly, how to address it. The next section covers all the necessary forms that you will have to fill when submitting the grant, while in the last section you will address the frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the process.

This grant writing course is priced at $44.99 but Udemy rolls out discounts and offers regularly, reducing the price down to as low as $13.99! At the time of writing this review, it is priced at $14.99, and gives you lifetime access to course’s constituents. This includes the videos, 35 downloadable resources and a grant writing certification telling the world that you are ready. The certificate is accepted my more widely than that of Skillshare.

You can access the course via the Udemy web portal or mobile app on iOS and Android phones alike.

To enroll, visit Udemy .

4) University of South Carolina

grant writing programs

Rating: 9.5/10

Duration: 5 Sessions (in-person, physical classes). 10 sessions (online)

If you are really looking to up your grant writing game, you simply can’t go wrong with the certification offered by The University of South Carolina. The course is dedicated to helping students not just learn about the grant writing process but also experience it practically as they get to write samples and get them tested by expert evaluators.

You can either take the classes in person or online via zoom, thus giving you the freedom to learn based on your preference.

This grant writing course is rather extensive, helping individuals procure government grants and private donors via compelling grant applications.

Where the previously reviewed grant writing certifications take a two dimensional approach, the University of South Carolina takes a three dimensional approach, preparing individuals for practical and professional writing as well.

Students get to learn more about the research and writing process in a much more up-close and personal manner, not to mention identifying the different forms that need to be filled for different industries, amounts, and more.

This Grant Writing program begins with helping individuals create a strategic outline for their query and create newer ways to effectively help their clients gain a competitive edge and a much higher chance of securing grants via their successful grant proposals.

The course costs $1,322, which is high compared to the two we previously reviewed but relatively conservative considering the value we get and the style of teaching We wouldn’t shy away from recommending this grant writing course to anyone.

To enroll, check out University of South Carolina .

5) Portland State (Non-Profit)

grant writing programs

For those of you who want to excel practically and theoretically in the world of grant writing for non-profits, this certificate program is exactly what you need. Enrollment closed in September 2020 and will reopen in July or August for early birds.

Portland State is rather well known for their grant writing certification and is recognized throughout the US because of the advanced grant writing skill graduates boast. In fact, many non-profit organizations require the certificate from Portland State as a prerequisite for hiring writers.

Along with earning a good income, writers also get to promote noble causes with the help of this online course.

As you continue through the grant writing course on Zoom, you can’t expect to have practical experience and a rather strong proposal to include in your job market portfolio. Some areas in particular the program focuses on includes

  • Environmental defense grant writing
  • Racial equity cause grant writing
  • Grant writing for animals
  • Grant Writing for Indigenous Sustainability, and more.

Throughout the course you get to learn from several experts as they use new, experimental learning approaches where you get to write actual grants for a live audience and clients. By seating you in the driver’s seat, Portland State is able to guide you better about the grant writing process and stuff years of experience into several business days.

The course costs just $900 ($800 for early birds) and in our opinion offers immense value to those who want to pursue a career in grant writing. We would wholeheartedly recommend the course to students, provided they don’t mind becoming professional grant writers for non-profits only.

To enroll, visit Portland State (Non-Profit) .

grant writing programs

Rating: 9.8/10

Duration: 6 weeks

The advanced grant proposal writing certification offered by ed2go is revered in the industry to be one of the most thorough course out there.

It isn’t just suitable for those who have no writing experience whatsoever but also works impeccably well for professional grant writers or technical writers who are looking to perfect their craft.

If we were to pick a favorite certification among out list, ed2go would definitely make it in the top 3.

When going through the course, we also found that it takes a much deeper and thorough approach when explaining the grant proposal writing process, formatting, tone, what to address, length of paras, words to use and those to avoid and more.

The course is headed by Dr. Beverly Browning who brings 40 years of experience on the table. The 12 lessons within start with the cover letter and explain everything in great detail all the way up to the contact page.

Once you are done with the course, we can safely say that you will confidently be writing grant proposals addressing corporations, government, private individuals, foundations, and more with a much higher rate of success.

Unfortunately, the course does cater to beginners but not absolute beginners who have no skill or experience in grant writing, which is why it isn’t a 10/10 for us.

There are certain prerequisites of the course, i.e. a cover letter and an introductory course certificate or relevant work experience.

The course allows individuals to learn at their own pace or via a bootcamp learning model as there are two options to choose from; the self-paced version where you learn as when you please. This is perfect for people who are currently working and can’t attend regular classes.

There is also the instructor-led online version that adopts a bootcamp-like approach. Both these versions cost $159. The instructor-led course takes about 6 weeks to complete while the self-paced course is available for 3 months to help you study properly.

To enroll, visit ed2go .

7) University of Georgia

grant writing programs

Rating: 8/10

Duration: 24 hours

Another course suitable for beginners, this grant-writing course can help you build a strong foundation for writing detailed and successful grant applications for foundations, nonprofits, schools, orphanages, shelters, and more.

The thing about this course is that it builds a great base to further your grant seeking ventures. The syllabus, cost, and length of the course by University of Georgia is rather well-reputed and well-recognized, which bodes well for all enrollees. You get 2.4 credits for completing the course as well, which means students in the university can opt for this grant writing certification during their degree, win a certificate without worrying about losing precious time.

Costing $159, we would recommend the course to beginners but not for those who looking to continue education or perfect their craft.

To enroll, visit University of Georgia .

8) Thompson Rivers University

grant writing programs

Duration: 30 weeks

Thompson Rivers University might not be as prestigious as others on our list but when it comes to technical writing and grant certificate programs, it doesn’t hold back any punches. The university has always been known to focus on literature, focusing on industry-specific best practices for grant writing to help individuals create exemplary and eye-catching grant proposals with minimal time and money investment.

The course begins by helping students understand the key elements that go into development of a grant application. And then it goes into defining the funding purpose, accountability, budget practices, and most importantly, completing pre- and post-funding due diligence.

During the grant writing classes in this course, you will learn to write grant proposals for academic institutions, research labs, healthcare facilitates, art communities, non-profits, and other professionals seeking persuasive, informative and professional grant proposals to send over.

The pricing for the course depends on shipping location and residency tuition type.

To enroll, visit Thompson Rivers University .

Online Grant Writing Certification FAQs

Now that we have covered the best grant writing certifications you can enroll in, let us consider some of the most commonly asked questions in the industry.

What is Grant Writing?

Grant writing is the act of compiling information necessary to apply and procure funding from private, commercial, or federal grants. The goal of grant writing is to persuade grant makers into making a favorable decision in their favor. A basic proposal includes a cover letter, budgetary requirements, fund allocation, and more.

A grant writing certification is a form of technical writing certification for the grant application niche.

Are Grant Writing Classes Important?

Grant writers are much like other technical writers, except that they have very specific requirements to follow.

Without classes, it takes an individual around 3–5 years to master grant writing to the fullest. Furthermore, with the help of grant writing classes writers can master the art within 1–2 years and then keep on making improvements. Certified grant writers are paid more than those without certification purely because of the classes they took.

In the US, the number of grant writers increased by 7% within the last year.

How Much Do Online Grant Writers Make?

Some grant writers are paid by the hour while some are paid a flat fee for the project. Beginner grant writers make $35-$75 per hour, while reputable, professional, and certified writers can charge up to $75-$150 per hour.

The flat fee can be anywhere between $200 to $700 (or more), depending on the project’s scope.

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  • Grant Writing Certificate

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  • Grant Writing and Nonprofits

Gain valuable fundraising skills that benefit your organization and your career

The Grant Writing Certificate program teaches you how to write compelling proposals that secure funding and generate ongoing support for your organization. Whether you’re looking to start a new career in grant writing or further your existing career, this course will teach you transferable skills that will benefit you for years to come.

For many organizations and businesses, grant writing is a critical “lifeline” for their funding. Consider writing a grant to help get the funding needed to operate your business, programs or projects. The University of Georgia’s Grant Writing Certificate is a classroom program offered at UGA’s Gwinnett Campus in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

What You'll Learn

Who should attend, course information.

This intensive course is designed to teach you how to follow a step-by-step process that will increase your confidence when writing a grant proposal. As you take the class, you’ll have 24 hours in the virtual classroom to learn systematic strategies for improving your success with writing compelling and exciting proposals that will generate support for your organizations. Cooperative learning is integrated into each course session. (Cooperative learning is a teaching strategy in which small groups [including learners with different ability levels] use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject.) You will then apply the learned skills from the interactive group sessions to your individual grant proposal writing time. Most students use the individual writing time towards a grant proposal they are hoping to submit for funding.

Topic areas covered are:

Essential Grant Proposal Writing Skills

  • Components of the Grant Proposal
  • Characteristics of Fundable Proposals
  • Analyzing Request for Proposals

Grant Applications & Program Development

  • Letters of Intent & Inquiry
  • Program Description & Implementation Plan
  • Designing Measurable Goals & Objectives

Grant Proposal Package Elements

  • Executive Summary & Abstract
  • Evaluation Methods with Outcomes & Impact
  • Program Budget Development & Narrative

Interested in National Certification: If you are interested in becoming a nationally certified grant writer, please visit American’s Grant Writers’ Association or Grant Professionals Certification Institute .

  • Anyone with little or no grant-writing experience
  • Experienced and professional grant writers looking to enhance their skills
  • Anyone looking to start a new career or further their existing grant writing career

On-Campus Course – Register now Limited Space Available University of Georgia Gwinnett Campus April 13, 20, 27, May 4, 2024 Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET *A personal laptop is required. #0312-022

Live-Online 2024 Course – Register now Instructor-led, virtual online class sessions June 4 - 27, 2024 Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. ET #0312-024

On-Campus Bootcamp Course – Register now University of Georgia Gwinnett Campus July 8 - 11, 2024 Monday - Thursday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET #0312-023

Classroom and Live-online

For each course, the learning activities can be completed during the class time provided. These activities include group work, individual writing assignments, and peer review activities. All assignments will be submitted electronically.

$999 (includes materials)

Dr. Diane Rice Photo

In addition to working as a part-time grants consultant for Grant Writers Quill LLC, she is embarking on her 19th year as a full-time public school teacher in Georgia. As a member of the American Grant Writers Association (AGWA), she has been a Certified Grant Writer® since June 2015. Dr. Rice has panelist experience with AGWA, and she served as the AGWA Special Interest Chair for the PK-12 and Special/Gifted Education groups. Dr. Rice also consults as a grant proposal reviewer at the Foundation and Federal level. As a part-time grants consultant, she has procured thousands of dollars in grant funding.

Dr. Rice holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Anderson University, a Master of Human Resource Development from Clemson University, an Education Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Piedmont College, and a Doctorate of Education degree from Walden University. She considers herself a lifelong learner and enjoys working as a grants consultant to support outstanding causes.

Dr. Diane Rice is a Certified Grant Writer and a member of the American Grant Writers Association (AGWA). In addition to working as a Certified Grant Writer Consultant at Grant Writers Quill LLC, she serves as a consultant for various nonprofit organizations, as well. Dr. Rice earned a Bachelor of Science in business management from Anderson University, a master’s degree in human resource development from Clemson University, an education specialist degree in curriculum and instruction from Piedmont College, and a Doctorate of Education degree from Walden University.

Continuing Education Information

Students will be mailed a Certificate of Program Completion and awarded 2.4 Continuing Education Units ( CEUs ) upon completion of 24 hours of course work.

Attendance Policy and Other Important Requirements: To receive the Certificate of Program Completion, participants must:

  • Attend at least 85% of the online or classroom sessions.
  • Participate in all in-class learning activities. Activities include group work, individual writing assignments, and peer review activities.
  • Earn 70 points or more on in-class assignments.

Details are subject to change.

  • No prior grant writing experience required.
  • For both the online and classroom courses, the required assignments will be submitted via the UGA online portal, eLC. Approximately one week before the first session, participants will receive their online access information. You will have a Welcome Assignment to complete before the first session.
  • During the live-online sessions, participants are expected to have strong internet service and a laptop/desktop computer with audio and video capabilities to fully interact with the instructor and classmates. Participants are encouraged to bring a personal laptop/tablet for the classroom course as well.

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Free Online Grant Writing Classes

Ready to learn how to write a winning nonprofit grant proposal choose your first course and learn where to find grants, how to become a grant writer, grant writing best practices, and so much more, explore some of our most popular courses on grant writing.

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Get Grant Ready

Cornerstone ondemand foundation.

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Dare mighty things.

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This guide details the keys to winning government grants.


Proposal Writing

Cornerstone ondemand foundation, learn how to write effective and persuasive grant proposals..

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Earn a free certificate in grant writing!

Learn how to find the right grants for your nonprofit and write great grant proposals with this free, 2-hour online training. Eligible for CFRE Continuing Education Credits.

> Click here to learn more about this free grant writing certificate program 


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Consulting Service: NIH K Grant Specific Aims 

Apply to have the specific aims section of your grant reviewed by Harvard faculty. Request consult .

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Course goals.

  • Know the preliminary components needed to apply for any grant funding.
  • Appreciate the importance of communicating grant ideas clearly. Understand the basic construction of a grant and how to address each component.
  • Understand the budget process and its implications.
  • Understand the aspects of a general peer review process, what it entails, and what happens after the grant application leaves your hands.

This online course is designed to provide an overview of the requisite skills and comprehensive considerations needed to give participants an in-depth introduction to the grant writing process. Participants in this course will learn grant writing strategies firsthand from researchers who have successfully applied for funding from a variety of sources. The online course will cover:

  • an overview of project management practices, techniques, and procedures applicable to grant writing
  • the preliminary criteria being considered to apply for grant funding
  • the components of a grant
  • understanding the grant application process
  • creating a clear and concise grant proposal
  • understanding the peer review process

Interested in diversifying your funding portfolio even further? Register for the Grant Funding for Researchers Certificate and learn the skills needed to meet grant application requirements from multiple funding sources. This comprehensive program combines five existing grant writing courses:

  • NIH Funding: Navigating the R01 & K Grant Submission Process
  • Non-NIH Government Agency Funding: Grant Submission Process
  • Industry Funding: Application Process & Establishing Industry Relationships
  • Funding Your Research: How to Obtain Foundation & Philanthropic Funding

Session dates

September 13 – November 8, 2023

Time commitment

Online course work and assignments averaging two to three hours per week.

Clinical professionals seeking to gain an initial overview of grant writing including how to prepare, manage, and write successful grant applications.

We believe that the research community is strengthened by understanding how a number of factors including gender identity, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, culture, religion, national origin, language, disability, and age shape the environment in which we live and work, affect each of our personal identities, and impacts all areas of human health.


  • Doctorate or master-level degree or be actively involved with the grant-writing process.
  • Participants are expected to have a central hypothesis or objective for their future grant application so that they can use the course to begin preparing for submission within the next two years.
  • Free for Harvard-affiliated institutions
  • Non-CTSA member: $500.00
  • CTSA member: $375.00
  • Cancellation and Refund Policy [PDF]
  • Additional 10% off for nurses and Allied Health Professionals (can be combined with other discounts)
  • Community Partners of Harvard Catalyst Programs
  • Countries with  GNI  below $13,000

Accreditation Statement

The Harvard Catalyst Education Program is accredited by the Massachusetts Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Harvard Catalyst Education Program’s policy requires full participation and the completion of all activity surveys to be eligible for CME credit; no partial credit is allowed.

Registration is currently closed. Please check back for future opportunities.

Learn How to Write Grants

Free Certificate Programs in Nonprofit Grant Writing.

Learn how to write winning grant applications with FREE online courses, videos, and certificate programs from experts in nonprofit grant writing.

Join our community of 150,000 learners, including nonprofit professionals from:

The Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation established to address the critical need for professional development in the nonprofit world.

" has helped tremendously with my ability to "tune up" my professional development skills and share some of what I have learned with others."

"As someone who is in the midst of starting their own nonprofit organization, I've been focusing on the project management and effective leadership courses. I've found them complete, and filled with relevant information to do my duties mobilizing other people to get things done."

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Browse our library of FREE resources on how to write grants for nonprofits including:

Getting Foundation Grants

From the planning phases to the application, get the basic knowledge necessary to start grant writing like a pro.

Grant Writing Essentials

Learn best practices to help you find the right grant, avoid common mistakes in writing grant proposals, and more.

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Grant Writing Certificate

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Improve your skills and be better prepared to secure foundation, state and federal grants.

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5 reasons to earn your Grant Writing Certificate from USC


This four-course series will teach students how to research grants, create outlines, map out goals, and identify the mission of grants in order to execute a concise and winning proposal.

USC’s Grant Writing program is designed to set-up professionals with strategic outlines and the ability to demonstrate innovative thinking to gain a competitive advantage with high caliber proposals.


Students who complete the four-course series receive their Grant Writing Certificate from the University of South Carolina.

Hands-On Training

This series engages students in the grant proposal process from research to submission, and even revisions and provides a unique opportunity for peer and professional review and feedback.


You will have the professional credentials to show employers that you are trained to write winning grant applications for the organization.

Upcoming course


April 15 – 26, 2024 10 Sessions, 6:00pm – 9:00pm (4/15-4/19 & 4/22-4/26) Tuition: $1600 (this includes all courseware and certificate upon graduation)

July 8 – 12, 2024 5 Sessions, 9:00am – 4:00pm (7/8, 7/9, 7/10, 7/11& 7/12) Tuition: $1600 (this includes all courseware and certificate upon graduation)

Continuing Education and Conferences No thanks. Continue to site »

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The Grantsmanship Center

Contact: [email protected] (800) 421-9512 (213) 482-9860

Grantsmanship Training Program, Competing for Federal Grants, and Essential Grant Skills - Now Online.

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Get funding for your community.

Now offered online!

In only 5 days learn to find funding and use the world's most successful grant proposal format. Learn by doing! Get expert guidance while you and a team write and review proposals. Novice or professional — sharpen your skillset and jumpstart your career.



Tight schedule & tighter budget?

This 2-day course concentrates the material of the 5-day Grantsmanship Training Program into bite-size info and exercises. Create key parts of a grant proposal for your own nonprofit and learn how to avoid pitfalls that plague even experienced proposal developers.


Ready to take your grant skills to the next level?

In 5 days, learn how to find federal grant opportunities that match the priorities of your organization and secure those federal funds. Create a concept paper. Get a wealth of resources and samples of winning proposals from government grantmaking agencies.


Effective grant administration is essential for your agency.

In this 2-day workshop, learn to manage grants so your organization is in full compliance. Examine critical legal and policy issues. Inspire funder confidence and avoid bad audits and disallowed costs. Examine real-world situations that grant managers confront every day. 

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Meet the Grantmakers-Online

Zoom training

Next FREE  Event! Wednesday April 17, 2024

Hear what inspires grantmakers' work!


Grantsmanship: Program Planning & Proposal Writing

Grantsmanship: Program Planning & Proposal Writing  rocked the world of philanthropy in 1972. Now expanded and updated, this colorful manual is loaded with clear instructions and concrete examples for planning and funding programs.

" Don’t buy one... buy two... and give a copy to someone who's struggling to raise funds. It will be a gift that will repay many, many times. " – Bernard Ross, Director, The Management Centre


Project grantsmanship.

Project Grantsmanship

PROJECT GRANTSMANSHIP is a philanthropic partnership established in 2008 to strengthen small to medium-size, community-based organizations serving Los Angeles County . Through this project, our flagship grant development class, the Grantsmanship Training Program , is provided to qualifying nonprofits at a significantly reduced cost.

Is your organization eligible?

Underwriting for this project has been generously provided over its 15-year history by the Annenberg Foundation, California Community Foundation, Dwight Stuart Youth Fund, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, S. Mark Taper Foundation and The Grantsmanship Center.

Bring us to your community

Partner with us, become a host or sponsor

Strengthen your organization, serve more clients, and empower your community.

Sponsor one of our grant courses or talk with us about creating a customized workshop for your nonprofit, community or academic organization or a specific target audience.

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Front Page Resources

Get a head start with these quick, free resources

What is a Grant Proposal? Grants as Advocacy, Not Just Asking

Most staff members in nonprofit organizations define a grant proposal as a request for money. That definition is only superficially correct. To achieve the best results for their constituents and move more surely toward their missions, nonprofits need to think of grant proposals in a different way.

First, nonprofits must consider grants from a funder’s point of view. For funders, a grant award is an investment in positive change. It’s a tool they use for having an impact on issues they care about.

Next, nonprofits must consider grants from a mission-focused perspective. Since the point of a grant award is impact rather than money, the real point of a grant proposal is to rally the necessary resources to help the nonprofit fulfill its purpose. A grant is a tool nonprofits use to address important issues within their communities.

Definitions matter, and defining grant proposals accurately can help both funders and nonprofits work together more productively. A grant proposal is actually a call to action. It’s a request that a funder join the nonprofit as a partner in achieving specific results. At its best, a grant proposal is a cogent, persuasive, well-supported argument for change.

This definition moves the work of grantseekers well beyond reactive dollar-chasing and into the realm of social activism. It’s no longer about supporting “our organization.” It’s about linking arms with colleague organizations, beneficiaries, community members, and funders to embrace a mission and confront the dragons.

Focusing on the articulation of a logical argument for action also means that the document you produce when seeking grant funds can be sliced and diced and used in numerous ways. You can use the proposal to educate staff and board members so that they’ll be better prepared to rally community support, engage with other organizations, and convince funders to come onboard as partners.

You can also use the proposal as the basis for editorials, blogs, presentations, and public testimony. By disseminating solid information widely you’re laying the groundwork for progress. When the community understands the significance of the issue you’re working on, you’re more likely to get the cash, in-kind donations, and volunteers you need to do your work.

You can edit the proposal into a briefing document and share it with those who are concerned about the issue or who should be. The list may include politicians, local officials, targeted community members and colleague organizations.

Embracing grant proposal development as a form of advocacy challenges the resource development team to impose standards on its work that may be higher than those demanded by funders. These include:

  • Deeply studying the issue you’re concerned about, listening to various and sometimes dissenting voices, looking at it through different lenses, and then digesting it all until you can concisely and precisely explain what concerns you, why it needs to be changed, and what’s causing the situation.
  • Specifically defining what changes your organization plans to achieve, the degree of change you expect, and how you’ll track progress.
  • Identifying the actions that have the highest likelihood of producing the desired change, documenting why you expect the approach to succeed, and committing to what your organization will deliver within a set time frame.
  • Imposing accountability on yourself rather than expecting some outside watchdog to do it.
  • Communicating fully and honestly with staff members, beneficiaries, board members, the community, contributors, major donors, and grantmakers.
  • Claiming and celebrating successes, and acknowledging, examining and learning from failures.

A top-quality grants professional is not just a seeker of dollars, a writer, a completer of forms, a person who answers the funders’ questions, or a person who regurgitates information. They are a rain-maker, a change-maker, and a social activist. They find the sweet spot where the needs of the community, the commitment of the funders, and the mission and capacity of the nonprofit organization align.

A grant proposal is not just a request for money. It’s much more than that. A grant award is not just funding. It’s a tool, a means to an end, an investment in change.


Want more? The Grantsmanship Center has a wealth of resources for you! For 50 years, we’ve served nonprofits, academia, and government and Native American groups by providing training and the textbook, Grantsmanship: Program Planning & Proposal Writing . Choose a training to fit your budget, schedule, and experience and join 145,000+ alumni helping to build a better world!

We welcome you to link to these pages and to direct people to this information on our site. If you'd like to use this copyrighted material in some other way, please contact us for permission:  [email protected] .

© copyright 2009-2023 The Grantsmanship Center. All rights reserved. (800) 421-9512

Getting the Grant 101 The Essentials

The process of “getting a grant” or “writing a grant proposal” can sound mysterious, like an old family recipe with secret ingredients. For nearly 50 years The Grantsmanship Center has been helping people demystify this process and to understand that, like a recipe, creating a compelling proposal simply requires common ingredients put together in a logical and understandable sequence using tried and true techniques.

First, let’s talk about what a grant is and is not. In most cases a grant is support that does not need to be repaid. Usually it comes in the form of money, but it may be technical assistance or training. Grants are usually awarded after the submission of a written proposal. So, the “grant” is the funding or other assistance that is received as a result of a grant proposal (also referred to as an application). A grant is not the written document that we submit to a potential funding source!

Each funder sets its own eligibility criteria for grant applicants, and eligible applicants are typically nonprofit organizations or public agencies. Nonprofits are often required to be 501(c)(3) organizations under the IRS. Click here for IRS information on nonprofits . Grants to for-profit entities or to private individuals do exist; however, they are far less common.

Each funder will also have its own application process and the degree of detail required will vary. Here, we’ll focus on The Grantsmanship Center Model, which consists of eight sections. The first seven sections, Summary through Future Support, are the narrative. The eighth section is the Budget. Each part has a job to do and, because each supports the others, a weakness in one affects the entire proposal. Let’s take a look at the basic ingredients required in a typical proposal, and how to include them.

Components of The Grantsmanship Center Model:

  • Summary (goes at the beginning but is written last)
  • Introduction to the Applicant Organization
  • Future Support


Funders look carefully at the applicant organization’s history, leadership, and track record. Offer factual and objective descriptions of your organization’s accomplishments, including statistics and examples. Highlight achievements that will be most meaningful to the potential funder. “Season” your proposal with a quote from someone in the community who values the contributions of your organization. If your organization is new and its track record brief, look to the background of the staff and board of directors to provide credibility, and stress community partnerships to build the funder’s confidence in the new organization’s ability to achieve results.

Consider this section of the proposal as a resume for your organization – your goal is to impress the reader with the organization’s credibility and qualifications.

This section of a grant proposal may be called the problem statement, statement of need, or something similar. Your discussion of the problem to be addressed lays the foundation for the program plan, and if this section is weak, so goes the rest of the proposal. A strong statement of the problem will address the following:

  • Who is affected? What are their qualities or characteristics? How many people are affected and where do they live?
  • In what ways are they affected and to what extent? How do you know? Be clear about this. Quantify the problem using hard data and cite your sources. Provide context about the problem to elicit the funder’s empathy and create a sense of urgency. Your understanding of the target population is critical. There’s a story to tell and it’s your job to tell it.
  • Why is the problem significant? Why should the funder care about what’s happening? There are urgent and compelling problems all around us. Why is it important to address this situation now? If there is credible research on the subject, discuss it. It can sometimes be useful to show how the local problem compares with the state or national situation.
  • Why is the problem occurring? Identification of the causes of the situation will lead you directly to possible solutions. Remember to ask those affected by the problem why they think it exists. Their direct experience is invaluable and can help challenge preconceived notions that you, your team, or even a potential funding partner might have about the situation. Avoid assumptions.

As you explore the problem and its causes, a helpful question to ask is: How do we know this? One final note: the situation for which your organization is seeking a grant should generally not be about your own organization. Rather, it should be about those you are proposing to serve.

After you have clearly identified the situation that needs to be changed, it’s time to specify the outcomes you hope the grant-funded program will achieve. Funders use lots of different terms and may call these program outcomes, objectives, results, or even goals. Whatever they are called, think about this: what do you expect to result from the program your organization will run? Propose outcomes that are specific, measurable, and that will be accomplished within a set time frame. If you have defined the problem well, the outcomes will follow logically.

Next, lay out how your organization will accomplish the projected outcomes. Funders may call this section methods, approach, plan of action, program plan, or something else. No matter what they call it, this is what your organization plans to do when it gets the grant. Include who, what, when, where, and how. Explain it like you would explain a program to someone who knew nothing about it.

  • Who? Who will be in charge of getting the work done? What are their qualifications? Who will be served or affected? How many people will be involved? Are there any specific criteria for the people to be involved in this project? Discuss any collaborative efforts that will be a part of the program.
  • What? What will be happening? What are the specific strategies that will be used?
  • When? What is the timeline for activities? It’s helpful to lay out a graphic timeline, whether it’s a GANTT chart or a simple chart with three columns that describes 1) who, 2) will do what, and 3) when.
  • Where? Where will the work take place?
  • How? How will the work be accomplished? What resources will be used to get the job done?

Finally, one more question to answer – Why this approach? Have others used this approach and been successful? Is this approach considered to be a best practice or a model in your field? Share your rationale. It adds credibility to your proposal if you can demonstrate that you have a broad understanding of what other organizations in your field are doing and have learned. Note: you might end up with more information in this plan than what you ultimately have room to include in the proposal. That’s okay! Submit the key points, but keep all the detail in your files. This work will be used to create the program management plan, and when you’re ready to implement the program you’ll be glad you put the time into planning!

Nearly every funder will ask for a description of how you will evaluate the grant-funded program. Funders want to know that their investment in your organization was a good one. This stumps a lot of people, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Simply put, the evaluation plan describes how your organization: (1) will measure the level to which the program is achieving the expected outcomes; and 2) will document that program activities unfolded according to plans, as well as any course corrections you’re making and why.

First, think about the projected program outcomes. How will you know when you have accomplished them? Are there benchmarks along the way that will indicate that you’re headed in the right direction? Describe those benchmarks and what they will tell you about results. Describe what data will be collected and analyzed and by whom. Then describe what you will do with what you are learning. Will you be able to use those results to help guide future program development? If so, describe how that will be done. Remember that outcomes are all about results, so how will you monitor results? This is what many funders call the “outcome evaluation” plan.

Then, think about how your organization can improve the program from day one. How will the organization know whether the program approach is working? Or when revisions to the plan are warranted? Typically, some of the things that may be monitored are client participation, community support, feedback from clients, collaborators, and others, client satisfaction, and staff feedback. For example, if the plan was to conduct community forums about a particular issue, and few people attended, this would tell you something. Maybe the forums were held at the wrong time of day. Maybe people couldn’t find the place. Maybe the subject was not of interest. Maybe childcare was a problem. Analysis of the situation can help you modify the approach so that it’s more effective. This part of the evaluation plan is often called “process evaluation.”


Grants are wonderful (usually). But they are generally short-lived! What is your organization’s plan for the program after the grant ends? If this is a program or service that should continue, what are your ideas for funding it? Aside from seeking more grants! Think about potential funding mechanisms that can be explored for long-term sustainability. Perhaps your organization excels at community fundraising. Maybe there is potential for contracts with government or for-profit corporations who need your service. A social enterprise might be something to explore.

In this section, also describe who else will be supporting the program. Support from other sources, whether cash or in-kind, may provide leverage for the grant. Don’t forget about what your own organization will contribute, like office space, administrative support, or whatever you are able to provide.

Now it’s time to put dollars to the plan. How much will this cost? Be specific and account for all the ingredients in your program recipe. Start by making a chart with four columns:

  • Column 1 – Line Items: Use your organization’s chart of accounts to list the line items that must be addressed in budgeting for the grant-funded program.
  • Column 2 – Total Program Budget: This column shows the cost of everything that will go into the program, even if it’s already covered by other sources.
  • Column 3 – Other Funding: For each line item, show funding and the value of other resources that will be contributed from sources other than the requested grant. Be sure to include what your own organization will provide. The amounts in this column are sometimes called “matching resources,” “leveraged funds,” or “cost sharing.”
  • Column 4 – Amount of The Requested Grant: The difference between Column 2 and Column 3 is the requested grant amount.

Learning to use spreadsheet software well will make budget calculations faster, easier to adjust, and more accurate.

A few more points about the budget:

  • Typically, grant proposals include budgets for one year time periods. If you are submitting a multi-year request, calculate each year separately and include a summary that shows the   multi-year total.
  • Remember you are projecting a budget. Therefore, you want to think not just about what the line items would cost today, but what will they cost when you actually incur the expense. Will salaries go up? Will benefits change?
  • The value of donations should be calculated in the total program budget and then be indicated in the other funding column. Value should be based on what you would actually pay in your community for that item if you had to pay cash for it.
  • Be certain that there are no expenses in your budget request that are unexplained. Some funding sources will ask for a budget narrative, which gives you an opportunity to explain each item, how you calculated it, and how it is important to your proposed program.
  • Check your math!

Once you’ve completed the budget, you’ve completed the body of the proposal – the main dish! Now you’re ready to write a summary.

A summary is brief and may be just a few sentences. But it gives an overview of the entire proposal. And, while it is written last, it is almost always placed at the very beginning of a grant proposal. Since it is usually the first thing that reviewers will see, craft it with care! Pick out a key point from every section of narrative and write a sentence about it. Then, summarize the budget and how much you are requesting. That’s it.


Sometimes funders require that you send additional attachments along with your proposal. Typically requested items include brief resumes of key staff, job descriptions, letters of support or commitment from collaborating organizations, your organization’s current operating budget, and a copy of your organization’s 501(c)(3) letter from the Internal Revenue Service. Have these typical attachments on hand and keep them up-to-date so they’re ready to go when you need them.

A Few General Tips for Preparing the Grant Proposal

  • Use short sentences and paragraphs.
  • Edit, edit, edit. Get rid of excess words.
  • Write so that anyone can understand what you mean.
  • Have someone who is not familiar with your organization or the proposed program read the  grant proposal. Can they understand what you are saying?
  • Use simple language. A grant proposal is not the place to dazzle others with your vast vocabulary.
  • Avoid acronyms or jargon. In fact, don’t use them.
  • Make your point at the beginning of each section and at the beginning of each paragraph. This prepares the proposal for skimmers. Remember, reviewers usually have many proposals to read. They appreciate your getting to the point.
  • Include “the human face” — quotes, brief anecdotes and examples can make your proposal more readable and understandable. Remember that reviewers are human; the more interesting we make the proposal, the more likely it will be read thoroughly.

Take Time to Produce a High-Quality Proposal – This Isn’t Fast Food

Finally, remember that a grant proposal isn’t fast food or even a ten-minute recipe. It requires careful thought and planning. The better you plan on the front end, the greater the likelihood that the program will be successful – not just in obtaining a grant, but in making a difference in the lives of others. And that’s really what it’s all about!

Find the Right Funders Where’s the Money?

Once you understand your organization’s mission and priorities, you’re ready to begin identifying funders that might be a good fit.

Let’s start with a few key points:

  • There are no shortcuts to finding the right funding source. Nothing can replace thorough research.
  • Look beyond the obvious funders to find a wider group of prospects.
  • Grantmakers can change interest areas, application processes, and staff. Always get the most up-to-date information.
  • Get strong community support before seeking funding outside your community. Local support can build a potential funder’s confidence in your organization.
  • Grantmakers receive tons of requests for funding. Don’t waste their time–or yours–with requests that don’t align with their interests.


Your task is to identify all potential funders whose interests align with your organization’s mission, priorities, and program plans. Sometimes you’ll focus your search on grantmakers for a specific program. That’s fine. But to build a grant funding program that will be most productive over time, it’s best to explore the entire universe of grantmakers to find those that are the best fit for your organization.

Don’t approach this task in a hit-or-miss manner. Lots of internet sites provide lists of foundations and announcements of upcoming foundation or government funding opportunities, and you may run across some promising opportunities there. But browsing free sites and responding to list-serve announcements puts you in a disorganized, reactive position that won’t produce the best results. Learn about the serious research tools available then use them in a well-considered, strategic way to find appropriate funders.

Even if the database you subscribe to saves your searches, supplement that tool with an Excel or Google sheet to organize your research and avoid getting overwhelmed by the data.

There are two general types of grant funders: government and private .


Grantmakers exist at all levels of government, from the federal level down to the local level.


There are several resources available for identifying federal funding programs, and each requires that you think broadly about the terminology you use in identifying your organization’s interests.

To get started, think about the problems or issues your organization is addressing and brainstorm key words and phrases to use in your research. For example, if your organization’s work focuses on teen substance abuse, key words and phrases might include substance abuse, drug abuse, addiction, health, alcohol, drugs, youth development, adolescents, teens, drug abuse treatment, drug abuse counseling, etc.

In order to apply for federal funding, you need to follow a few important steps:

  • Get a Dun & Bradstreet number (aka: a D-U-N-S number) at: Allow at least a couple of days for completion of this process. You can use this resource to search for grant programs, and it’s also the portal through which many grant applications must be submitted.
  • Register with at: This is the official site for registering to do business with the federal government. Allow up to five weeks for completion of this registration process.
  • Register with at: is the main tool you will use for identifying federal funding. Ideally, registration for can be accomplished the same day.

It’s always a good idea to allow more time for each step above, if you can.

Registration on these sites is free and does not commit your organization to making a specific application for funds.

Once you have identified potential opportunities, read the program listing carefully. Is your organization eligible?

  • Visit the relevant federal agency’s website to learn all you can about the program.
  • Contact the agency’s designated staff member if there are important questions you can’t answer from studying the relevant websites.


State, county, and municipal grantmakers rarely have a structured, user-friendly way of letting applicants know when a grant competition will open – or even that a grant program exists. For the most part, to unearth the possibilities, grantseekers have to become detectives. A few words of advice:

  • Call the offices of government officials and ask if there is a system that makes grant application announcements available to the public. If there isn’t (as is often the case), ask how you can learn about grant opportunities.
  • Visit government websites and explore the various departments to see if grant programs appear to be available.
  • Speak to elected officials about what resources might be available.


Non-governmental funders include private foundations, community foundations, corporate foundations, and federated grantmaking organizations such as United Way.

As a part of your research, look for any connections that may help your organization build a relationship with the funder’s board or staff members. Establishing a relationship with a foundation prior to submitting a proposal is a basic strategy that is worth the time and effort.


Like the search for government funds, the starting point for private funders is a list of key words and phrases. This list will be similar to the one you used for government funders, but expand it with words relating to the type of support you’re looking for, and your type of organization. For example, if one of your organization’s priorities is to reduce health-care inequities by building a free community health clinic, you might use key words and phrases such as capital support, health, health care, social justice, free clinics, health care inequity, low income, and uninsured. And you’ll want to target foundations that have expressed interest in your organization’s geographic service area.

There are now myriad databases making many claims. You need to carefully check them out and determine if they will meet your needs. There is no single, free database of information on all foundations. To get serious and get best results, consider a subscription. Here’s two we can recommend to help you conduct thorough research:

Candid was created in 2019 when The Foundation Center merged with Guidestar. Extensive databases of foundation information have been combined with comprehensive data on nonprofit organizations for a powerful research tool. Some information is available for free on the website. To access the free services you’ll need to register and set up an account. To dig deeper, with structured research, you’ll likely want to use one of the online fee-based subscription services. When you search the nonprofits database by zip code, you’ll discover foundation as well as colleague nonprofits because foundations are also nonprofit organizations. Candid resources are also available in-person, without fees, at their Funding Information Network (FIN), carious libraries and regional centers across the U.S. For a list and map of Funding Information Network locations, go to: .

GrantStation provides a continuously updated database of information on private and government grantmakers. The Grantsmanship Center partners with GrantStation providing access to their databases for the Center’s training participants and alumni. After training, alumni continue to have access to GrantStation as an Alumni Membership benefit. You can also subscribe separately to GrantStation.

GrantStation funder criteria:

  • The funder accepts unsolicited proposals, applications, or letters of inquiry.
  • The funder accepts requests from a range of organizations, not solely one specific group, such as members of an association.
  • The funder provides grants. Select product donations, fellowships, training programs, etc. are also included. Funders that only provide scholarships are not included.

Foundation Websites are hugely helpful, but unfortunately not all foundations actually have websites. If they do, study them. You may be able to find details on their missions and giving interests, past grants including amounts and purposes, application guidelines, names of officers and staff. Read everything on the website. The more thorough your research, the better equipped you will be to make contact with the foundation.

Foundation Tax Returns. These are called 990-PFs, are public information, and for researching the many foundations that don’t have websites, they’re absolutely essential. Use Candid 990 Finder : Free, no registration required.

State and Regional Directories. Organizations and publishers have developed state-level foundation directories for most states or regions. Some are in print format and some are free online. Use a web search engine to look for a foundation directory for your state.

The Grantsmanship Center’s State Grant Resources webpage provide both government and private funder information—It’s free and requires no registration.


Use the available research tools to search for private grant makers that align with the mission and priorities of your organization, and that fund in the geographic region you serve. Use the key word lists you’ve developed, and don’t limit your research only to grantmakers who are appropriate for an immediate funding need. Instead, develop a repository of information that can support your organization’s work for the long-run.

Start by using a good database, and then use the 990-PF tax returns to fill in the blanks where necessary.

As you examine information on grantmakers, keep these questions in mind.

  • Do they limit funding to specific geographic areas?
  • Are their expressed areas of interest aligned with those of your organization?
  • What’s the typical grant award amount for an organization such as yours?
  • Do they accept unsolicited applications? If they don’t, a relationship is critical.
  • Does the foundation have staff? Those who do are more approachable than the large percentage that don’t.

Even the most extensive databases available do not show every grant that a funder has made, to whom, and in what amount–and that information is critical. So unless a foundation maintains a thorough website or publishes a full annual report, the only place you’ll find that information is in its tax return. Information about grant awards is found in Part XV, Line 3 or on a list, attached to the end of the return.

As you move along in your research, analyze what you’re finding and strategize about how you can use it. Do you see grantmaking trends? Can you find connections with foundation officers or staff members? The more you know about a foundation, the better prepared you are to talk to its staff and board members and, ultimately, to submit a proposal.

Doing the research to identify funders may seem like an unnecessary hurdle that takes too much time and effort. But finding grantmakers that are aligned with your mission, geography, and goals will contribute to your grant success so that your organization can make a difference in people’s lives.

We hear the words "grant writer" and "grant writing" all the time. But how about swapping those words for something better—more accurate, more effective, and all-inclusive?

Who cares? Why get picky with this language? Because we know words matter, affecting how we think and ultimately impacting what we do.

The field of grant development, formally initiated in 1972 with training by The Grantsmanship Center, has grown, evolved, and become more complex, touching a vast number of lives. We get it, “grant writer” is often meant as shorthand, an abbreviation used by busy people moving mountains to make the world better. Here’s why we'd like to change this terminology:

First, it’s incorrect.

If you’re a grantmaker, then you write grants. But if you’re trying to get grant funding, then you write proposals or applications, not grants. And a more accurate title might be: grant proposal writer, grant developer, grant specialist, development specialist, grant professional , or something else. But not “grant writer.” Grantmakers write grants.

It’s a misdirect.

“Grant writing” implies that the “grant” (the award) plus “writing” sums it all up. It can inadvertently trigger chasing money instead of pursuing impact—a counterproductive, even dangerous approach.

What matters more than the money is what your program will accomplish—the results—the outcomes you’re proposing. Sure, money’s a factor—a tool—but it’s just not the most important ingredient.

And it’s misleading because developing a successful grant proposal requires so much more than writing. Yes, writing is certainly part of it, but writing is the culmination of a more complex planning process. Critical thinking, logic, data, and a sense of humanity inspire funders to award grants. Careless thinking, with faulty assumptions and bloviated claims, leads to declines, no matter how lovely the written words.

“Grant writer” suggests that people simply put words on a page to get money—like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. It doesn’t work that way.

It shortchanges people and the process.

You'd never intentionally disrespect colleagues or the people you serve, right? Of course not! But this terminology does just that by leaving out key people and essential processes.

Successful grant proposals rely on solid program planning, research, and teamwork. They show an understanding of the community, its needs, and the causes of the problems it faces. It’s a thoughtful process, which at its best is logical, culturally sensitive and inspired by a drive to help others.

Funders ask: “What about the people you serve—did you engage them in planning?” Those people, your beneficiaries, are critical to this process. When their vision, voices, and experience are neglected or left out, a project is usually doomed.

And what about program staff? Ever heard the wails after a grant was awarded and program staff who weren’t consulted asked, “You want us to do what ?”

When administrators and the board are overlooked or ignored, valuable insight, guidance, and muscle are lost. They're left feeling blindsided and the work may be jeopardized. Other community leaders and organizations also have a stake in your work. Collaborations that include their energy and knowledge will benefit everyone.

Developing an effective grant proposal depends on connecting with people, getting informed, listening to various viewpoints, juggling disparate personalities and priorities, building coalitions, being an advocate, and ultimately creating and articulating a compelling plan for action that reflects the community. It's so much more than just writing. When the process succeeds, it's because it wraps its arms around everyone, authentically meeting community needs so that grant funding actually helps make positive change.

Whatever your job title —proposal writer, program planner, development director, executive director, grant professional, board member, volunteer, or something else—we know that your hours are often long as you bring vital change to your community. Thank you for your passion, hard work and dedication—for what you contribute and accomplish every day!

We wish you great success and satisfaction!

Want more? The Grantsmanship Center has a wealth of resources for you! For more than 50 years, we’ve served nonprofits, academia, government, and Native American groups by providing training and the textbook, Grantsmanship: Program Planning & Proposal Writing . Choose a training to fit your budget, schedule, and experience and join 150,000+ alumni helping to build a better world!

Managing Your Grant Nuts, Bolts, Coffee

Everyone is elated! All the planning and research paid off and your organization has been awarded its first grant. Whether it’s a $500,000 grant from the US government or a $10,000 grant from a private foundation, now’s the time to lay essential groundwork to ensure grant funds will be spent and accounted for as required, and that program obligations will be met. Welcome to the world of grants management.

The Initial Paperwork

As you might imagine, government grants come with more red tape than foundation or corporate grants. For government grants, your top executive officer or board chairperson must usually sign and return documents accepting the grant award and agreeing to reporting and fund draw-down requirements, as well as any other special requirements that have been attached to the funding. This is strictly a business transaction—there’s no need to send along a warm letter of appreciation. Be sure to return paperwork by the required deadline.

Corporations and foundations sometimes require that officers sign a letter accepting the grant award, but often they don’t—a check simply arrives in the mail with a letter of congratulations laying out the expected reporting requirements. If you’re expected to return a signed acceptance document, do so promptly and be sure to include a letter expressing appreciation, acknowledging any reporting requirements, and inviting the funder for a visit. While this is a business transaction, it’s also a starting point for building an ongoing relationship of trust, commitment, and support.

Establish both an electronic and hard-copy file for each grant your organization receives. Since so much business done electronically, be sure that e-documents and emails are organized for easy access–and be sure electronic documents are backed-up in case of a failure in technology. Place copies of signed grant documents in a hard-copy file, and keep the file updated with subsequent correspondence related to the grant. When an e-document is of particular importance, print it out and file it here as well.

Put the Financial House in Order

To establish your organization’s ability to receive and manage grants, it’s necessary to establish adequate accounting practices and systems.

A primary concept in grants management is that each specific grant award should be accounted for as an “independent cost center.” This means that all income from a grant and expenditures from that grant are accounted for as a distinct, separate category within your accounting system. This is a basic protection against co-mingling all funding into one big pot and losing track of what money paid for what expenditure. Using an “independent cost center” approach helps to ensure that grant funds are spent for the intended purpose and can be fully accounted for at all times.

While this article can’t provide a basic overview of bookkeeping or accounting, the strength and clarity of your organization’s fiscal systems will play heavily into the ability to manage grants. If a strong accounting system is not in place, and if there’s not an expert on staff, seek guidance from someone who knows what they’re doing.

A few of the most basic, most critical rules include:

  • Only expend funds as laid out in the approved grant budget
  • Never use funds from a grant for items not included in the grant budget or for purposes other than those described in the grant narrative
  • If the original budget requires an amendment in order to support the purpose of the grant, contact the funder to get permission before making changes
  • Support every expenditure with adequate documentation
  • Use a system of checks and balances so that no one person is solely in charge of the money (e.g., dual sign-offs on expenditure requests and checks).
  • Keep receipts, documentation, and monthly financial statements well-organized and accessible
  • Monitor grant expenditures monthly to ensure that over-spending or under-spending can be addressed before the end of the grant period

If your organization doesn’t have a high-quality accounting software package, get one or retain an experienced bookkeeping firm. Strong financial management is essential to the health of your organization and there’s no way to manage grants effectively if the fiscal house isn’t in order.

Review the Grant Proposal

In the euphoria of receiving grant funds, staff members can forget to review the grant proposal to refresh their memory on the specifics laid out in the narrative and this can lead to problems. It is not unusual for three to nine months to pass between submission of a proposal and receipt of an award. Nobody’s memory is that good.

Upon receipt of an award, call a meeting of the executive, fiscal, and program staff who will be involved and review the grant document to ensure a common understanding of exactly what must be done. If the grant included a thorough Methods Section with a detailed time-line assigning responsibility for major tasks, that will be extremely helpful.

If the proposal didn’t include that, now’s a good time to hammer out those details. By reviewing the proposal thoroughly and making sure all elements are implemented as planned, you’ll be laying the groundwork for success and avoiding major problems that are inevitable when grant implementation drifts off course from the original plan.

Understand Rules and Regulations

While all grants management requires checks, balances, documentation, fiscal controls, and the like, there is no doubt that grants from government agencies are especially demanding.

If you have received a grant from a federal government agency, be sure you study that agency’s rules and regulations regarding grants, and that you also study the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular that specifies the administrative rules regarding grants to an organization such as yours (i.e., nonprofit organization, hospital, educational institution, municipality, etc.). If the agency doesn’t provide you with a grants management document or booklet, ask if they have one and if so, get it. OMB Circulars can be found at .

If you don’t understand something, figure out who can provide you with accurate information and call them. If you are overwhelmed, retain a consultant to determine exactly what you need to do and to help you get the necessary systems set up.

Schedule Reports

Almost all grants require that financial and program progress reports be submitted according to a schedule. With the hectic work pace that often accompanies receipt of a grant award, it’s critical to establish a system for recording when reports are due and then reminding responsible staff of upcoming deadlines. If staff members realize that reports are due within a week, or are past due, it’s not possible to do a high-quality job. Poor or late reporting will damage your organization’s credibility with the funder.

Even if a funder does not demand reports, provide them. It’s good business practice, enhances credibility, and helps to build a solid relationship with the funder. You can establish your own reporting calendar in this situation, but take it seriously and make sure you provide information at the six- and twelve-month points at a minimum. If you’ve never done a grant report, and the funder hasn’t provided a format, include the following information:

  • Financial overview: explain the grant’s status including income, expenditures by line-item, and funds remaining
  • Program implementation: Update the funder on was originally planned and what has been accomplished to date
  • Program Outcomes: The best evaluation plans measure program results as the grant work progresses, rather than at the end of the period of grant support. Provide the funder with information on evaluation activities and on the degree to which the program is producing the results that were expected.
  • Change of Plans: If an alteration of the planned approach is needed to achieve the best outcomes, explain what you need to change and why. If the alternation is major or will result in budget changes, you’ll need to request a meeting or phone call with the funder.
  • Challenges, Successes, and Lessons: If your organization has encountered specific challenges in implementing the program, or has had great success in some area, let the funder know. And if there are lessons that have been learned that will inform the future work of your organization, explain that as well.
  • Attachments: Attaching pictures, news clips, letters from the people benefitting from the program, or other relevant information can bring the report alive and engage the funder more deeply. Don’t overdo it, and don’t do it at all if the funder asks you not to.

Reports, like any other important documents, must be passed up a chain of command for sign-offs before being submitted. When establishing the reporting calendar, schedule in time for submission of drafts to supervisors, draft revisions, and final sign-off.

An Outlook or other electronic calendar can be used to schedule reports and remind staff members of deadlines, and a master reporting calendar can be established on a spreadsheet. Just be sure that someone is minding that shop.

Don’t Forget Partner Organizations

Most grant proposals include some sort of collaboration with other organizations. These partnerships are usually critical to implementing a program and sometimes involve the sharing of grant funds through subcontracts. When the funded proposal includes partnerships with other organizations, it’s critical to make a strong start together and avoid misunderstandings. To accomplish that:

  • Immediately inform partner organizations that your organization has been awarded the grant.
  • Provide partner groups with a copy of the grant proposal, or at least with that portion of the proposal that spells out their involvement in the program’s implementation.
  • The amount of funds to be provided, and the payment schedule (funds should be provided incrementally in response to deliverables)
  • Reports required and deadlines
  • Services to be delivered and timeline
  • Consequences of non-compliance with contract agreements
  • Hold a meeting of partners to celebrate the grant award, to review each organization’s role, to agree on reporting deadlines, and to finalize start-up plans. Be sure the discussions are recorded.

Announce it to the Community

A grant award increases your organization’s capacity to serve the community and shows that funders are willing to invest in its work. Some funders request that their grant contributions be announced to the public, but even when they don’t, it’s a good idea. Let the public know what’s happening, highlight your organization’s commitment to the cause, and publicly thank your funder for the support. It’s a good investment in community relations and funder relations, and may even help build future support for what you’re doing.

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grant writing programs

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Grant Writer Career

What is a grant writer.

A grant writer identifies grant opportunities, writes and polishes complete grant proposals, and submits those proposals for review. They maintain responsibility for most stages of the grant application process, managing grant proposals from initial creation stages through submission.

Grant writers typically require an undergraduate degree to be considered for hire. An advanced degree can help set you apart from the competition even more. In addition, some employers might prefer grant writers with experience in a grant writing setting.

grant writing programs


What Does a Grant Writer Do?

Grant writers focus most of their attention on writing, revising, and submitting grant proposals throughout the year. They will also assist in identifying new grant opportunities, and can answer follow-up questions from government agencies issuing the grants.

The exact responsibilities of a grant writer can include:

  • Identifying grant opportunities  in your local community and beyond.
  • Communicating with government agencies , private trusts, and other organizations issuing grants.
  • Writing grant proposals  according to grant requirements.
  • Revising grant proposals  to create a polished, final version.
  • Submitting grant proposals  before grant deadlines.
  • I nforming executives and stakeholders  about potential grant opportunities.
  • Collecting and submitting supportive documents  that help strengthen an organization’s case for receiving a grant.

These and other responsibilities keep grant writers busy, even when there are no proposals to be written.


What education does a grant writer need, before you can gain employment as a grant writer, you’ll need to complete a few educational requirements. first, you’ll need to obtain an undergraduate degree in a writing field or  educational studies , programs that teaches you the basics of composition, revision, style, and tone. these skills will help you craft authoritative grant proposals in a professional setting..

A  master’s in educational leadership  can help to improve your chances of getting a good grant writer job or improve your salary if you’re already working as a grant writer. This degree can give you the understanding of modern education and curriculum standards necessary to write compelling grant proposals.

Completing your education can make you eligible to apply for  school administration jobs , where grant writers can help connect teachers, and entire departments, with valuable resources. To be fully eligible for an education-based grant writing position, you may also need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in an academic field.

grant writing programs

Best Degrees for a Grant Writer

These online, non-licensure educational studies degrees prepare you to...

These online, non-licensure educational studies degrees prepare you to make a difference in a field that interests you.

Based on your career goals and interests, you can choose an educational studies program in one of 10 content areas that meets your needs while working toward employment in school settings, corporate training, or instructional design. These programs do not lead to a teaching license.

  • Time:  Completion time varies depending on the specialty track you choose.
  • Tuition:  $3,825 per 6-month term.
  • This bachelor's degree allows students to learn about education but does not include student teaching and it does not lead to a teaching license.

Focus areas of this educational studies degree program include:

  • Elementary Education
  • Elementary and Special Education
  • Mild to Moderate Special Education
  • Secondary Biology Science Education
  • Secondary Chemistry Science Education
  • Secondary Earth Science Education
  • Secondary Physics Education
  • Middle Grades Science Education
  • Secondary Mathematics Education
  • Middle Grade Mathematics Education

Students in this program will be prepared for careers including:

  • Instructional support
  • Community outreach
  • Education staff (museums, learning centers, etc.) 
  • K-12 opportunities that do not require a teaching license

An online master's degree for current teachers looking to move into a...

An online master's degree for current teachers looking to move into a school or district leadership position, like principal, vice principal, or administrator.

  • Time:  61% of grads earned this degree within 21 months.
  • Tuition: $3,975 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 13 total courses in this program.

This program is for licensed teachers who are ready to take the next step in their education career.

Graduates of this program are prepared for careers in a variety of places, including:

  • Elementary schools
  • Middle schools
  • Junior high schools
  • High schools
  • Private and charter schools
  • District-level positions

Put your leadership skills to good use—in the service of America's children—with this education master's degree. 

States that do not accept this program: Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, and Minnesota.

grant writing programs

How Much Does a Grant Writer Make?

The exact income of a grant writer can vary based on several different factors, including your employer, employer’s location, employer’s private or public funding, education, and years of experience. On average, the  salary of a grant writer  is $49,226, with a range of roughly $37,000 to $70,000 earned each year.

grant writing programs

What Is the Projected Job Growth?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics counts grant writers among other types of writers and authors when determining job outlook. From 2019 to 2029,  employment for authors and writers is expected to decline by 2% . Grant writers will need to actively adapt to improvements in writing technology. As a grant writer, the use of new writing tools, revisions applications, and grant submission programs will likely be an ongoing responsibility.

What Skills Does a Grant Writer Need?

Grant writers depend on well-developed skill sets to help them thrive in a variety of professional environments. These skills help them communicate effectively, both verbally and through written grant proposals.

The exact skills a grant writer needs can include:

  • Grant writing.  The ability to draft grant proposals according to exact proposal requirements.
  • Revision.  The ability to revise grant proposals according to style and tone best practices, suggestions from others, and proposal parameters.
  • Time management.  The ability to complete tasks well before deadlines by allocating appropriate amounts of time to grant writing, revision, and submission tasks.
  • Research.  The ability to identify new grant opportunities by utilizing search engines and local resources.
  • Ongoing education.  The ability to continually pursue improved grant writing skills, specifically through  teaching and professional development courses .
  • Interpersonal communication.  The ability to correspond effectively with other grant writers, organizational representatives, and any other individuals involved in the grant application process.
  • Technological proficiency.  The ability to fully use all necessary pieces of technology, including computers, tablets, phones, online programs, and grant submission portals.
  • Perseverance.  The ability to persist through grant rejections and unfulfilled applications, to eventually connect your organization with grant funding that enables specific projects.

These and other skills make grant writers crucial to the success of many nonprofit organizations and charities, which depend on grant funding for continued operations.

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Grant Writing

University of South Carolina Grant Writing Certificate program

The University of South Carolina’s Grant Writing Certificate program is designed to prepare you for the practical and conceptual aspects that are critical to the grant writing process. You can earn your certificate from USC - in the classroom or online! 

Learn the skills and strategies to write effective grant proposals

The University of South Carolina's Grant Writing Certificate program is designed to prepare professionals for the practical and conceptual aspects that are critical to the grant writing process.  The ability to locate, propose and obtain grants is essential for organizations in most industries, including: government, nonprofit, foundation, education, public health and social work.

USC’s Grant Writing program is designed to set you up with strategic outlines and the ability to demonstrate innovative thinking to gain a competitive advantage with high caliber proposals. You will be engaged in hands-on training in the grant proposal process – from research to submission, and even revisions – and provides you with the unique opportunity for peer and professional review and feedback.

You must participate in all five days or all online sessions of training to receive a Grant Writing Certificate from the University of South Carolina. This certificate recognizes professionals as successfully completing the formal training in the discipline of grant writing. Once you complete these requirements, you will have a full understanding of the critical elements, strategic techniques and systematic methods necessary for a successful grant proposal.

The curriculum will cover the following:

  • Introduction to Grant Writing
  • Needs Based Assessment
  • Program Development and Evaluation
  • The Grant Writing Process

Learn on Campus

The University of South Carolina's flagship campus provides exceptional academic resources in an energetic environment that easily connects you to other students. Nestled in downtown Columbia, you'll be close to everything.   Classes are held   from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm on the Columbia campus. 

The classroom courses are held on the Columbia campus from 9:00AM - 4:00PM each day. 

Learn from Anywhere

Learning in our live, online course is just like being in a classroom without traveling to campus. No matter where you live in or outside of the country, you will have the opportunity to take the course and you will only need access to a computer and the internet.  Best of all, it won't require pricey software, new hardware or advanced computer skills.

The online certificate program is held in the evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. for two consecutive weeks.

Registration and Fees

Tuition for the Grant Writing Certificate program is $1,600, which includes all course materials and the University of South Carolina certificate upon completion.  Once you have paid and are enrolled, you'll be emailed specific details about the program approximately one week before the begin date.

Dates / Sessions Times Fees Grant Writing Certificate Program-Online 04/15/2024 – 04/26/2024 Monday - Friday 10 Sessions Register Online or  Register By Mail Notes: Online instructions will be emailed approximately one week before the course starts. 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm $1600.00 Grant Writing Certificate -Online 05/06/2024 – 05/17/2024 Monday - Friday 10 Sessions Register Online or  Register By Mail Notes: Online instructions will be emailed approximately one week before the course starts. 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm $1600.00 Grant Writing Certificate -Online 06/03/2024 – 06/14/2024 Monday - Friday 10 Sessions Register Online or  Register By Mail Notes: Online instructions will be emailed approximately one week before the course starts. 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm $1600.00 Grant Writing Certificate Program-Campus 07/08/2024 – 07/12/2024 Monday - Friday 5 Sessions Register Online or  Register By Mail Notes: The program location and directions will be emailed approximately one week before the program begins. 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM $1600.00 Grant Writing Certificate -Online 09/09/2024 – 09/20/2024 Monday - Friday 10 Sessions Register Online or  Register By Mail Notes: Online instructions will be emailed approximately one week before the course starts. 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm $1600.00 Grant Writing Certificate -Online 10/21/2024 – 11/01/2024 Monday - Friday 10 Sessions Register Online or  Register By Mail Notes: Online instructions will be emailed approximately one week before the course starts. 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm $1600.00 Grant Writing Certificate -Online 11/04/2024 – 11/15/2024 Monday - Friday 10 Sessions Register Online or  Register By Mail Notes: Online instructions will be emailed approximately one week before the course starts. 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm $1600.00

Registration and Payment Notes

If you plan to pay by check or purchase order, select "register by mail." Complete the form and return a printout with payment to: USC Continuing Education and Conferences, Close/Hipp Building at 1705 College Street, Suite 591, Columbia, SC 29208. Your seat is not guaranteed until payment is received. We accept online payment via electronic check, VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express through MarketPlace, a secure electronic environment that simplifies business transactions with the university. Follow the MarketPlace prompts to complete payment. Your transaction is only complete when you receive an order number, which is your receipt of payment. Your seat is not guaranteed until payment is received and you receive an order number. Once you have paid and are enrolled, you'll be emailed location and parking information for face-to-face programs or online instructions about one week before the program begins.

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  • Professional Certificate in Grant Writing

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San Diego and California are home to thousands of nonprofit organizations, including nonprofit organizations like community food banks, mentoring programs, health clinics, art organizations, environmental organizations,as well as school districts and local governments. These organizations must compete for funding in an increasingly challenging funding environment. Grant writing is a key component of securing funding for many of San Diego's most dynamic organizations.

Spring & Summer Courses Now Available

Register Today

With a Professional Certificate in Grant Writing from SDSU Global Campus, you’ll learn how to research and construct grant proposals that are clear, persuasive, and aligned with the priorities of your funders.

About the Program

San Diego and California are home to thousands of nonprofit organizations. These organizations must compete for funding in an increasingly challenging funding environment. Grant writing is a key component of securing funding for many of San Diego's most dynamic organizations. Nonprofits, school districts, and local governments regularly seek staff and consultants with comprehensive writing, research, and strategic skills to obtain grant funding.

Total Estimated Cost $xxx Total Cost/Unit -->

Min. Completion Time

Online + Asynchronous

Course Format

Build your grant writing skills and learn how to market yourself to employers by earning a Professional Certificate in Grant Writing from SDSU Global Campus. In as few as 10 weeks, you’ll learn how to develop compelling grant proposals that will help your organization obtain the funding it needs.

What Do Our Students Have to Say?

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- Kaitlen Daigle, Assignment Editor, Fox 5 San Diego

Is This Program Right for Me?

Are you an SDSU Alumni Lifetime Member? If so, click here to learn more about how you can receive 20% off registration for this program.

Your organization needs funding. SDSU’s Grant Writing Certificate program can help you get them. Whether you’re new to grant writing, or you’re taking on a new role in your organization, our program can show you how to develop compelling, effective grant proposals in just 10 weeks.

SDSU’s online grant writing courses will show you how to get funds for a variety of organizations, including:

  • Community Food Banks
  • Mentoring Programs
  • Health Clinics
  • Art Organizations
  • Environmental Organizations
  • School Districts
  • Local Governments
  • Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)

This program is ideal for current and aspiring grant writers working full-time and freelancing, as well as:

  • Employees from nonprofit organizations
  • Employees from city and county governments, chambers of commerce
  • Individuals working in education (private and public)
  • Public health professionals
  • Social workers
  • Independent consultants/ grant writers

This program is focused on nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations that provide charitable or public benefit services. The course is not oriented toward research grants or grants for individuals or businesses.

San Diego Workforce Partnership: Creating Workforce Solutions

SDSU is a State-approved provider for the Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). If you’re unemployed or underemployed, you may be eligible to receive full or partial tuition assistance on this program. Equal Opportunity is the Law. Equal opportunity employer/program auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.  Click here to learn more .

What Can I Learn?

SDSU’s online grant writing courses will show you how to craft grant proposals that will help your organization compete in an increasingly competitive funding environment.

Employers look for both training and experience in their grant writers. This grant writing program will help you:

  • Build the foundational knowledge you need to identify and research grant prospects.
  • Write a proposal.
  • Work to help nonprofit leaders strategically position their organizations to succeed.
  • Learn how to interview staff and volunteers to get the information you need to develop highly-effective grant proposals.
  • Combine your technical writing skills with the ability to understand guidelines, communicate clearly and persuasively with your audience.
  • Develop a compelling program narrative and budget.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of nonprofit management and programming.
  • Learn how to strengthen an organization to better compete for funds.

The program consists of two 25-hour online courses:

  • Introduction to Grants and Funding Research is designed for those with no or little prior experience developing grant proposals. This course requires approximately 3-4 hours of work per week, including homework.
  • Grant Proposal Development will provide you with an opportunity to practice and develop grant writing skills. This course requires approximately 4-6 hours of work per week, including homework.

Lessons in both courses are pre-recorded, which means that you can watch them on your schedule. You’ll also connect with your instructor one-on-one via email and the course’s discussion board.

To earn your Professional Certificate in Grant Writing, you’ll need to complete both courses.

Meet Your Instructor

More about Jay Katz

Get Help from the SDSU Writing Center

When you join the program, you’ll be able to get valuable feedback on your writing from the San Diego State University Writing Center. Click here to learn more .

Career Outcomes

Labor analysis fundraising manager — nationwide.

101,300 Job postings in the last 12 months

+16% Projected job growth in the next 10 years

$73,073 Average salary of graduates

Source: Burning Glass/Emsi, 2022

With budget cuts and revenue shortages across the country, today’s funding environment is fiercer than ever before. As nonprofit organizations compete for funds, they’re seeking well-trained grant writers to research and develop highly-effective grant proposals.

Nationwide employment opportunities for grant writers are projected to grow by more than 10% over the next decade. Compensation is varied — according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many grant writers are self-employed, and they usually charge a flat fee or an hourly rate for their services.

According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a grant writer is $51,395, and can range from $33,000 to over $80,000 per year, depending on your experience level, location, and other factors.

Why Should You Choose Us?


All courses are 100% online, self-paced, and accessible from anywhere in the world, which makes this grant writing program ideal for working professionals and busy students. You can complete the program in as few as 10 weeks, or take up to two years to complete all your courses.

Highly-Experienced Instructor

This grant writing program is led by expert grant writer Jay Katz. He brings over 25 years of professional grant writing experience to every virtual lesson. Through his expertise, you’ll learn what works — and what doesn’t — for today’s grant writers.

As one of the top 100 public colleges in the country, when you earn a certificate from San Diego State University, you’re putting a name on your résumé that will help you stand out in the professional world.

To earn your Professional Certificate in Grant Writing, you’ll need to take both courses. This means that you can complete the program and earn your certificate in just 10 weeks.

View the schedule below and click on the red course names to register.

Course List

*Dates and fees subject to change.

Finished all the required courses? Click the button below to receive your certificate.

Request Your Certificate

Registration Instructions

To register for courses in the Grant Writing program, please complete the following steps:

  • Choose your courses in the "Courses" tab.
  • Click on the red course links to register.
  • Check the dates and times to ensure that you can attend all sessions of the course.
  • Click “Add to Cart.”
  • Add more courses to your cart or click “Checkout.”
  • Log into your SDSU Global Campus Account, if you haven’t already done so.
  • Pay for your course(s).

Enroll in the program at any time, even before registering for a course. It’s free, and offers many benefits:

  • Secure your curriculum (should the requirements change in the future).
  • See upcoming courses when you log into your student account.
  • Track your progress.

Enrolling in a program doesn’t mean you’re registered for courses. You’ll still need to register and pay for each course you wish to take.

Frequently Asked Questions

Students in the Grant Writing Program can check their progress by logging into their SDSU Global Campus student account here . If you need assistance with your account, contact our Registration staff at 619-594-5152 or [email protected] .

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These courses do not receive academic credit and will not show up on an SDSU transcript.

However, students who complete courses in our professional certificate programs (other than those that are graded as Pass/No Pass) will receive a final letter score that mimics the grading rubric SDSU uses for credit-bearing courses. Students will also receive a Letter of Completion from our registration team for each course they complete, which will include their final score.

Our grant writing program is 100% online. The program consists of two 5-week courses that contain 25 total hours of work each. You can complete the program and earn your Professional Certificate in as little as 10 weeks.

Courses in our grant writing program feature a mostly asynchronous virtual instruction learning modality. This means:

  • Unless otherwise noted, instruction is provided through a combination of recorded and limited direct instruction with academic activities, quizzes, etc., at the arranged times and dates described in the footnotes and syllabus. Content may be open for restricted periods of time.
  • Students may be expected to attend any live sessions necessary to complete the course.
  • Final exams or assignments will be listed in the course syllabus and may need to be completed at a set time and date.
  • Faculty and instructors are available for office hours and instructional support when needed.

Mostly Asynchronous courses may be preferable for students in different time zones as they provide the flexibility to do work on your own schedule at your own pace. However, these courses may require group activities and arranged meetings with faculty.

As a student in our grant writing program, you have options when it comes to paying for your courses. This program is eligible for the following discounts and support programs:

Once you’ve completed all the program requirements, fill out a certificate request form . SDSU Global Campus will verify that you’ve completed all the required courses and assignments. Once you’ve been verified, you’ll receive a digital copy of your certificate.

Ready to take the next step? Click  on the Courses tab to browse our courses and register. If you have any questions about the program, our Welcome Center can help! Fill out the form at the bottom of this page to get in touch.

Related Links

Request Your Certificate Certificate Programs Workforce Partnership Alumni Lifetime Member Discount  Grant Writing Flyer

Get advice from SDSU writing tutors when you join the program!

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Want To Learn More?

Submit this web form and we’ll be in touch to answer all your questions and explain the next steps in the process. Or, you can reach a program recruiter by emailing  [email protected]  or by calling  (619) 594-7700 .

Core Courses

This course will prepare you to write successful grant proposals for nonprofit organizations or tax-exempt institutions (we do not focus on research institutions, businesses or individuals).

You will learn how to successfully research funding prospects, interact with those funders, and plan to write a grant proposal. We will explore why grants are funded, and what motivates a grantor to award a grant. You will also develop a brief letter of inquiry proposal, receiving feedback and guidance on improving your request. The course will also guide you on creating a plan to track, manage, and plan your grant proposals.

You will learn how to develop a compelling, effective grant proposal, including the proposal narrative and budget. You will gain an understanding of federal, state, and private foundation grant guidelines. The course will help you learn how to make your grant proposal stand out. You will have the opportunity to practice writing elements of the proposal with support and guidance from an expert in the field. The course will also provide you with example grant proposals, and you will review those proposals for strengths and weaknesses with your fellow students.

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From Proposal to Funding: A Comprehensive Guide to Grant Writing for Nonprofits

Nonprofit Grant Writing: The Secrets to Securing Funds

Grant writing for nonprofits is the process of applying for funds to support your nonprofit organization’s programs. It involves performing research on potential grant funding sources and opportunities that align with your mission and goals, developing a compelling proposal that convinces them to fund your programs, submitting the proposal for review, and performing follow-up. While there is no one size fits all approach for grant writing for nonprofit organizations, the most common sources of grant funding are community groups, government agencies, corporations , and private foundations.

For most nonprofits, this process can seem daunting and stressful. But it doesn’t have to be. Understanding the current nonprofit grant writing trends and implementing essential best practices can streamline your grant proposal and writing process and position your nonprofit for success this grant season. 

grant writing programs

Learn the Secrets of Grant Seeking Success

Watch this on-demand webinar to learn tips, tricks, and tools to increase your success with grants and keep that funding flowing for years to come. 

Understanding Grant Writing for Nonprofits

What is grant writing.

Grant writing is the process of preparing and submitting a proposal to request funding from various sources, such as government agencies, private foundations, corporations, and other philanthropic entities. Nonprofit organizations rely on grant funding to finance their programs, projects, and initiatives that align with their mission and vision.

The Purpose of Grant Writing:

The primary purpose of grant writing is to secure financial resources to support the nonprofit’s activities. Grants can provide vital funding for program development, research, capacity building, infrastructure, community outreach, and more. Grants not only provide financial support but also lend credibility to an organization, validating its cause and attracting other potential funders.

Role of Grant Writing in Nonprofit Organizations:

Grant writing plays a pivotal role in the sustainability and growth of nonprofit organizations. Here are a few key aspects to consider:

Identifying Funding Opportunities:

Successful grant writing begins with identifying appropriate funding opportunities. This involves researching and understanding the priorities, funding criteria, and guidelines of potential grantmakers. By aligning your nonprofit’s mission with the goals of a funding source, you increase your chances of securing financial support.

Building Relationships with Funders:

Grant writing also involves developing relationships with potential funders . Cultivating connections through networking events, attending conferences, and engaging with philanthropic community and talent community can lead to valuable insights, partnerships, and funding opportunities. Building trust and rapport with funders can strengthen your organization’s chances of securing grants in the long run.

Grant Management and Reporting:

Once you secure a grant, proper management and reporting are crucial . Fulfilling the obligations outlined in the grant agreement, providing progress reports, and demonstrating the effective use of funds are essential for maintaining a positive relationship with funders and ensuring future funding opportunities.

Navigating Common Challenges in Grant Writing

By understanding common challenges and implementing effective approaches, you can enhance your chances of securing grants and making a meaningful impact in your community.

Finding the Right Grant Opportunities:

One of the initial hurdles in grant writing is identifying the right grant opportunities for your organization. With countless grants available, it can be overwhelming to determine which ones align with your mission and goals. To overcome this challenge:

  • Conduct thorough research: Explore grant databases, online platforms, and government websites to find grants that fit your organization’s focus areas.
  • Network and collaborate: Engage with other nonprofits, attend conferences, and join professional associations to discover potential grant opportunities through shared experiences and connections.
  • Create a tailored grant calendar: Maintain a calendar with upcoming deadlines, eligibility criteria, and requirements to stay organized and ensure you don’t miss out on valuable opportunities.

Developing a Compelling Proposal:

Crafting a persuasive and compelling nonprofit grant proposal is essential for capturing the attention of funders. However, nonprofits often struggle with clearly conveying their goals, objectives, and impact. To tackle this challenge:

  • Clearly define your project: Clearly articulate your organization’s mission, project objectives, target population, and the specific problem you aim to address.
  • Tell your story: Use compelling narratives , real-life examples, and data to illustrate the importance and impact of your work. Highlight the personal stories of individuals who have benefited from your programs or services.
  • Align with the funder’s priorities: Tailor your proposal to align with the funder’s interests and priorities. Show how your project fits within their funding guidelines and supports their overall mission.

Addressing Budgeting and Financial Management:

The budgeting process can be intricate, particularly when aligning it with the grant requirements and expectations. Nonprofits often face challenges in accurately estimating project costs, managing budgets effectively, and demonstrating financial sustainability. To overcome these hurdles:

  • Be meticulous in budget planning: Conduct a comprehensive assessment of your project’s needs, including personnel, resources, supplies, and indirect costs. Provide clear justifications for each budget item.
  • Develop strong financial systems: Implement robust financial management systems to accurately track expenses, demonstrate transparency, and ensure compliance with grant reporting requirements.
  • Seek expert assistance : Consider involving a financial expert or consultant to assist with budgeting and financial reporting, particularly for complex grants.

Managing Collaboration and Partnerships:

Collaboration and partnerships can enhance the competitiveness of your grant proposal, but they can also present challenges in terms of coordination, communication, and aligning objectives. To navigate these challenges effectively:

  • Identify strategic partners: Seek out organizations or individuals whose missions align with yours and who can contribute complementary resources or expertise.
  • Establish clear roles and responsibilities: Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each partner involved in the grant project, ensuring everyone is aware of expectations and timelines.
  • Foster effective communication: Regularly communicate with your partners to maintain alignment, address any issues or challenges, and ensure a coordinated approach.

Ensuring Grant Compliance and Reporting

When it comes to managing grants, compliance and reporting obligations are paramount. As a recipient of grant funding, you have a responsibility to ensure that the funds are used appropriately and in accordance with the grant guidelines. Additionally, timely and accurate reporting is crucial to maintain transparency and accountability . Let’s delve into the importance of grant compliance and reporting obligations and provide you with valuable guidance on establishing effective systems for tracking progress and meeting deadlines.

Importance of Grant Compliance:

Grant compliance serves as the foundation for a successful grant-funded project. It ensures that the funds are utilized for their intended purpose and in accordance with the grant agreement. Here are a few reasons why grant compliance is of utmost importance:

  • Maintaining Integrity: Grant compliance helps maintain the integrity of the funding source, instilling confidence in the grant provider that their funds are being used appropriately. It builds trust between the grantee and the grantor, paving the way for potential future funding opportunities.
  • Legal and Ethical Obligations: Compliance with grant regulations is not just a matter of good practice; it is often a legal and ethical obligation. Failure to comply with grant requirements may lead to financial penalties, legal consequences, and even jeopardize your organization’s reputation.
  • Transparency and Accountability: Compliance ensures transparency and accountability in the use of public or private funds. It allows stakeholders, including grantors, community members, and the public, to have access to accurate and timely information about how the funds are being utilized.

Establishing Effective Systems for Tracking Progress

Tracking progress is crucial for effective grant management. By establishing robust systems, you can monitor and measure your project’s advancement, ensuring compliance and demonstrating the impact of the grant. Here are some steps to establish an effective tracking system:

  • Understand Grant Requirements: Thoroughly review the grant agreement and guidelines to gain a clear understanding of the reporting and compliance obligations. Identify specific deliverables, milestones, and deadlines to guide your progress tracking.
  • Develop a Project Plan: Create a comprehensive project plan that outlines the tasks, timelines, responsible parties, and expected outcomes. Break down larger goals into manageable milestones, making it easier to track and assess progress along the way.
  • Implement Documentation Procedures: Maintain a centralized repository for all project-related documentation, including invoices, receipts, progress reports, and communications with the grantor. Consistent documentation ensures easy access to relevant information when reporting is required.

Meeting Reporting Deadlines

Meeting reporting deadlines is essential for maintaining a positive relationship with the grant provider and ensuring ongoing compliance. To meet these deadlines effectively, consider the following:

  • Establish Internal Deadlines: Set internal deadlines well in advance of the actual reporting due dates. This buffer allows time for any unforeseen issues or delays and helps you stay on track.
  • Maintain Clear Communication: Regularly communicate with your team members and stakeholders involved in the project. Clear and open lines of communication will help ensure everyone is aware of their responsibilities and can address any challenges promptly.
  • Regularly Review Progress: Continuously monitor your project’s progress against the established milestones and deliverables. Regular reviews will allow you to identify any potential roadblocks and take necessary corrective actions in a timely manner.

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You’re one step closer to writing the perfect grant proposal!

Use this FREE Grant Preparation Toolkit to familiarize yourself with grantmakers and get access to a worksheet that can help structure your grant writing process.  

Leveraging Evaluation and Impact Measurement

When it comes to grant writing, securing funding is often contingent on demonstrating the potential impact and measurable outcomes of your proposed project. Evaluation and impact measurement play a pivotal role in this process, providing essential evidence of your project’s effectiveness and demonstrating your organization’s commitment to accountability. By leveraging these strategies effectively, you can enhance your chances of securing grants and driving meaningful change.

Understanding the Role of Evaluation and Impact Measurement:

Evaluation and impact measurement are integral components of grant writing, as they allow funders to assess the effectiveness and sustainability of proposed projects. They provide a systematic way to collect data, measure progress, and determine whether project objectives have been achieved. By incorporating evaluation and impact measurement into your grant proposal, you can showcase your commitment to accountability, demonstrate your project’s potential for success, and increase your credibility as a grant applicant.

Setting Measurable Goals:

To effectively leverage evaluation and impact measurement in grant writing, it is essential to set measurable goals. Clear and specific goals enable you to define the desired outcomes of your project and provide a framework for evaluation. When setting goals, consider using the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) criteria to ensure they are well-defined and actionable.

Clearly articulate what you aim to achieve, focusing on specific outcomes rather than vague intentions. For example, instead of stating a goal as “improve educational outcomes,” specify it as “increase the high school graduation rate by 10% within two years.”


Establish concrete indicators that allow you to measure progress and determine whether your goals have been met. These indicators can be quantitative (e.g., number of participants, percentage increase) or qualitative (e.g., improved quality of life, increased satisfaction).


Ensure that your goals are attainable and realistic within the scope of your project’s resources and timeframe. Setting unrealistic goals can undermine the credibility of your proposal.

Align your goals with the overall mission and objectives of your organization, as well as the specific funding opportunity. Emphasize how achieving these goals will contribute to the funder’s priorities and address the identified needs.


Set clear deadlines or milestones to track progress and provide a timeline for evaluation. Establishing specific timeframes creates accountability and demonstrates your project’s potential for timely impact.

Showcasing Outcomes:

Effectively showcasing outcomes is crucial for demonstrating the impact of your project and increasing your chances of securing grants. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Data Collection and Analysis: Develop a comprehensive plan for collecting relevant data throughout your project’s lifecycle. Use both quantitative and qualitative methods to capture a holistic view of the outcomes. Analyze the data to identify trends, measure progress, and determine the success of your project.
  • Narrative Storytelling: Supplement your data with compelling narratives that illustrate the real-world impact of your project. Share success stories, testimonials from beneficiaries, and anecdotes that highlight the transformative power of your work. This humanizes your project and helps funders connect emotionally with your cause.
  • Visual Representation: Utilize visual aids such as charts, graphs, and infographics to present data in a visually appealing and easily digestible format. Visual representations can effectively convey complex information and make a stronger impression on funders.
  • Comparative Analysis: Provide benchmarks or comparisons with similar projects or interventions to demonstrate the uniqueness and effectiveness of your approach. Highlight how your project outperforms existing initiatives or fills a gap in service provision.

Utilizing Keela for Streamlined Grant Writing

Grant writing plays a pivotal role in securing funding for nonprofits, but it can be time-consuming and complex. Fortunately, Keela offers a comprehensive solution that streamlines the process, improves efficiency, and maximizes your chances of success.

Fundraising Software :

Keela’s integrated fundraising software simplifies donor data management, enabling you to track and nurture relationships efficiently. By leveraging this feature, you can identify and target potential donors who align with your organization’s mission and funding criteria. Keela provides customizable donor profiles, donation tracking, and analytics, offering valuable insights for strategic grant writing. Centralized access to donor information empowers you to tailor your proposals and create compelling narratives that resonate with funders.

Communication and Email Marketing :

Keela’s email marketing capabilities are a powerful tool for engaging potential funders and stakeholders. With pre-designed email templates and automation features, you can streamline your outreach efforts and maintain consistent, professional communication. Craft personalized email campaigns, update donors on project progress, and share success stories that demonstrate your impact. Keela’s email marketing functionality allows you to segment your contact lists, ensuring targeted messages that enhance your grant proposals.

Donor Journeys and Automation :

Keela’s automation tools simplify repetitive tasks, freeing up time and energy for strategic activities. From automated follow-ups and reminders to task management and deadline tracking, Keela ensures nothing falls through the cracks. By automating routine processes , you can focus on crafting compelling narratives, conducting research, and addressing grant application requirements.

Grant Writing Trends for Nonprofits

Grant writing is an essential skill for nonprofit organizations seeking funding to support their mission and initiatives. In today’s ever-changing landscape, it is crucial for nonprofits to stay updated on the latest grant writing trends to maximize their chances of success. Here are six key trends to consider when crafting your best grant proposals:

1. Shifting Funding Priorities: Examining the Changing Landscape of Grant Opportunities

The pandemic has brought about significant shifts in funding priorities. Granting organizations are increasingly focusing on supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in their funding decisions. They are seeking to promote transparency, provide easily accessible information, and simplify application or grant request forms. As a nonprofit, it’s important to understand these changes and ensure that your application aligns with the evolving priorities of grantors.

2. Embracing Technological Advancements: Leveraging Digital Tools and Platforms

In today’s digital age, nonprofits have access to a wide range of technological tools and platforms that can enhance their grant writing efforts. From online grant databases to project management software, these digital solutions can streamline the application process, improve collaboration among team members, and enhance reporting capabilities. Embracing these technological advancements can help nonprofits stay competitive and increase their chances of securing grants..

3. Focus on Collaboration: Harnessing the Power of Partnerships and Collective Impact

Addressing large-scale social challenges often requires collaboration and collective action. Grantors are increasingly interested in funding projects that involve partnerships between multiple nonprofit organizations. Instead of viewing similar organizations as competitors, nonprofits should explore opportunities for collaboration, pooling resources and expertise to solve complex problems. Highlighting partnerships and demonstrating a collective impact in your grant proposals can make them more compelling to funders.

4. Data-Driven Grant Writing: Incorporating Evidence and Impact Metrics

Grantors are placing greater emphasis on data and evidence-based practices. Nonprofits should focus on collecting and presenting relevant data that demonstrates the impact of their programs and initiatives. This includes outcome measurements, success stories, and other evidence of effectiveness. By incorporating data-driven elements into your grant proposals, you can provide funders with a clear understanding of the results your organization can achieve and the value of their investment.

5. Grantor Expectations: Understanding the Evolving Requirements and Application Processes

Grantors are continuously evolving their requirements and application processes. It is crucial for nonprofits to stay updated on these changes and tailor their proposals accordingly. This includes understanding the specific goals and priorities of each grantor, as well as any new reporting or evaluation requirements. Taking the time to research and understand the expectations of each grantor will greatly increase your chances of success.

6. Grantors are Donors Too

Treating grantors as valued partners and donors can significantly impact your grant writing success . Just like individual donors, grantors have specific funding interests and preferences. Take the time to get to know your potential funders , reach out to them to discuss your project, and explore potential alignment between your organization’s mission and their funding priorities. Building relationships with grantors can lead to more targeted and successful grant proposals.

By keeping these grant writing trends in mind, nonprofits can enhance their grant-seeking efforts and increase their chances of securing funding to advance their mission and make a positive impact in their communities. Stay informed, adapt your strategies, and always strive for strong partnerships and measurable impact.

See how Keela can help you access all the reports you need for your grant application.

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Essential Tips for Successful Grant Writing

Grant writing is a crucial skill for a nonprofit organization looking to secure funding for their programs and projects. A well-crafted grant proposal can make all the difference in attracting the attention and support of grantors and funders. Here are some essential tips to enhance your grant writing process and increase your chances of success:

1. Conducting Effective Grant Research:

Identifying Suitable Opportunities Before diving into grant writing, it’s essential to conduct thorough research to identify suitable grant opportunities for your organization. Utilize funding databases, both online and offline, to explore various family, corporate, federal government, and other grant sources. Create a calendar to track deadlines and set realistic targets for funding amounts. Remember that larger grants often have longer review processes, so plan accordingly.

2. Crafting a Compelling Grant Proposal :

Key Components and Writing Strategies A compelling grant proposal should clearly convey your organization’s mission, goals, and the specific project or program you seek funding for. Consider the following key components when crafting your proposal:

  • Executive Summary: Provide a concise overview of your organization and the project, highlighting its significance and impact.
  • Statement of Need: Clearly articulate the problem your organization aims to address and explain why it is important to solve it.
  • Goals and Objectives: Define the specific goals and measurable objectives of your project, demonstrating how they align with the funder’s priorities.
  • Program Description: Describe your project in detail, including its activities, timeline, and expected outcomes.
  • Organizational Capacity: Highlight your nonprofit’s strengths, experience, and track record in delivering successful programs.
  • Evaluation Plan: Outline how you will measure and evaluate the success of your project, including data collection methods and indicators.
  • Sustainability and Budget: Discuss your organization’s plan to sustain the project beyond the grant period and provide a realistic and comprehensive budget.

Ensure that your proposal is clear, concise, and compelling, using simple and jargon-free language. Follow the grant application guidelines provided by funders and tailor your proposal to resonate with their mission and goals.

3. Demonstrating Organizational Capacity:

Highlighting Nonprofit Strengths and Track Record Grantors are interested in funding organizations that have the capacity to successfully implement and manage projects. Clearly demonstrate your nonprofit’s strengths, experience, expertise, and track record in delivering impactful programs. Highlight any relevant partnerships, collaborations, or achievements that showcase your organization’s credibility and ability to achieve the desired outcomes.

4. Building Strong Relationships:

Nurturing Connections with Grantors and Funders Building relationships with grantors and funders is crucial for successful grant writing. Whenever possible, reach out to the grantor to discuss your organization’s program and inquire about the fit with their funding priorities. Building a rapport with funders can increase the likelihood of your proposal being considered and may provide valuable insights for future grant opportunities. Maintain open communication, express gratitude for their support, and provide updates on the progress and impact of funded projects.

5. Effective Budget Planning:

Developing Realistic and Comprehensive Budgets A well-planned and realistic budget is an integral part of any grant proposal. Develop a comprehensive budget that aligns with your project’s activities, timelines, and anticipated outcomes. Ensure that all expenses and revenue sources are clearly outlined and justified. Pay attention to any specific budget requirements outlined by the grantor and ensure accuracy and consistency throughout the proposal.

6. Reviewing and Editing:

Ensuring Clarity, Coherence, and Error-Free Proposals Before submitting your grant proposal, review it thoroughly to ensure clarity, coherence, and error-free writing. Check for spelling and grammatical errors, mismatched dates, and missing information. Engage your grant and fundraising strategy team or other colleagues to provide feedback and suggestions for improvement. A well-polished proposal enhances your professionalism and increases your chances of success.


Successful grant writing for nonprofits requires continuous learning, adaptation to trends, and leveraging technology and resources. Key points include understanding grant writing, finding opportunities, developing compelling proposals, addressing budgeting and collaboration, ensuring compliance, measuring significant impact, and staying informed about trends. By following these guidelines, you can position your nonprofit for grant-seeking success and make a positive impact in your community. To learn more about grant writing tips and strategies, contact Sheila Kern at Purposefully.  

grant writing programs

About the author:

Sheila Kern , Principal Consultant, Purposefully

Sheila Kern is a results-driven leader who’s dedicated her career to supporting social purpose and charitable organizations to achieve impact in their communities. As principal consultant at Purposefully in Vancouver, Sheila offers experience in leadership, fundraising, strategic planning, governance, and grant writing.

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Grant Writing Series

A four-session series to build capacity for a sustainable grant proposal program within your nonprofit..

When it comes to grant writing, you may be a good writer, or even a great writer, but everyone can improve their skills at any time in their career. 

2024 Schedule: February 28 – March 20.

Four half-day sessions, 9am – 12pm PT. Via Zoom.

The series conducted on Zoom consists of lectures, scenario-based learning, and group discussions that reinforce the material, involves peer review and includes writing exercises.

The series will support participants learning more about:

  • Key components of a grant proposal.
  • Approaches to funder research.
  • Crafting a boilerplate grant for one of the organization’s programs.
  • Terminology in the grant seeking field.
  • Eligibility criteria to apply for grant programs.
  • Program budget development.

View the Info Session for the Grant Writing Series

Program Details

  • Tuition: Full series $795 for CVNL members, Member with Early Bird is $645; $895 for non-members, Nonmember with Early Bird is $745.
  • Apply by Jan. 19 for $150 Early Bird Discount
  • Discounts: 10% discount for groups of 3 or organizations with budget size under $750K.
  • Tuition includes: All materials, including handouts and additional web resources.
  • Limited to 20 participants.
  • Registration deadline: Feb. 19
  • BIPOC scholarship available for eligible BIPOC participants who are CVNL members serving Marin, Napa, Sonoma, and Solano counties.

Grantwriting – Organizational Description

This session provides a solid foundation to deepen understanding of describing your organization and its strengths to grantors. The focus of this course is to know how to highlight the best qualities to the funders, so your organization shines among the many applicants. Session will cover: 

  • Describe the history of your organization
  • Highlight the strengths of your organization’s effectiveness, practices, and board
  • Describe the outstanding qualities of your program 
  • Learn to write a compelling need statement 

Grantwriting – Program Description

Without a strong program description, your grant proposal cannot highlight your capabilities. This course will dive deeper into specific structures and processes of your program. Session will cover: 

  • Craft an easily understandable program description  
  • Write clear and strong goals and objectives 
  • Apply the basics of program evaluation to demonstrate your ability to produce outcomes 

A key element in grant-seeking is presenting a strong budget.  This session explains the different types of budgets used by a non-profit organization. We will do an exercise to create the basics of a program budget. Session will cover: 

  • Learn the nonprofit budgeting terms 
  • The budget line items are used to explain the rationale for grant funding
  • Understand how foundations and corporations evaluate budgets to determine grant giving 

Discover what funders are looking for in nonprofits seeking grants and how to find potential funders that align with your organization’s needs. This session will take you through the process of creating a grant calendar and discussion on building relationships with funders. The training includes: 

  • Who funds nonprofits and what are their motivations 
  • What do funders really want to know about the organizations they are interested in funding 
  • ​​​​​​​How do you identify potential funders and make the first approach 

Cancellation policy:  If plans change and you are no longer able to attend, we will transfer your enrollment and payment to the next program cycle. Funds must be applied and used within a 6 (six) month period. We do not offer refunds. 

Sponsored in part by:

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If you have any questions about CVNL Learning and Leadership opportunities, contact:

Tom Hayashi at [email protected]

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What you will learn, tools & materials.

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Professional Grant Writing

  • Why Get a Grant Writing Certification
  • Being Confident in Your Grant Writing Skills
  • Grant Funding Trends
  • Grant Funding Resources and Best Matches for Programs and Projects
  • Establishing Initial and Ongoing Relationships with Funders
  • Relationship Between Organizational Development and Grant Seeking Readiness
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  • Proposal Writing Research, Implementation Strategies, Writing Characteristics, and Incorporating Graphics
  • Writing the Boilerplate for the Grant Applicant Organization
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  • Stakeholders, Partnerships, and Key Personnel Collaborations and Communications
  • Effective Program and Project Design and Development Strategies
  • Community Resources, Evaluation Designs, and Cultural Competencies
  • Proposal Budgets
  • Grant Proposal Submission Processes and Follow-up for Unfunded Submissions
  • Funded Grant Requests
  • Writing an Effective Case Statement for Fundraising Purposes
  • Capstone Assignment: Case Statement
  • Deciding to Move Forward with Certification
  • Employability Ethics
  • Bonus Lesson: Interview Pregame


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 10 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.10 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox is preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Microsoft Excel (not included)
  • Microsoft Word Online
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment. The following textbooks will be shipped to you approximately 7-10 business days after enrollment:

  • Prepare for the GPC Exam: Earn Your Grant Professional Certified Credential

Please note: You will receive a digital book if the physical book is on backorder.

Dr. Beverly A. Browning

Dr. Beverly A. Browning is a grant writing consultant and visionary who uses thought leadership to work with nonprofit organizations struggling with the woes of revenue stream imbalances. She has been researching grant funding, grantmaking trends, and board-related barriers to nonprofit capacity building for over 40 years. Together she and her team have helped her clients win over $750 million in grant awards. Dr. Browning is the founder and director of the Grant Writing Training Foundation and Bev Browning, LLC. She is the author of 44 grant writing publications, including six editions of Grant Writing for Dummies and the 6th edition of Nonprofit Kit for Dummies (to be published in 2021). Dr. Browning holds graduate and post-graduate degrees in organizational development, public administration, and business administration. She is also a Certified Strategic Planning Facilitator (CSPF), has a McNellis Compression Planning Institute Facilitation Training distinction, and is an Approved Trainer for the Grant Professionals Association (GPA), the Certified Fund Raising Executive International (CFRE, and the Grant Professionals Certification Institute (GPCI).

Does this course prepare for a certification?

Yes, you will be prepared for the Grant Professional Certified (GPC) exam offered by the Grant Professionals Certification Institute (GPCI), which has minimum education and grant experience requirements based on the level of education obtained. Completion of this course is applicable for 10 GPCI Education points towards acquiring or in maintaining the GPC certification. For information on GPC Exam Eligibility

When can I start this course?

This course is open enrollment, so you can register and start the course whenever you are ready. Access to your course can take 24-48 business hours.

How long does it take to complete this course?

After you register, you will receive 6 months to complete the course. The time allotted for completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours.

What if I don't have enough time to complete the course within the time frame provided?

The time allotted for course completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours. However, if you are unable to complete the course, contact the student advising team to see what options you may have available to work out a suitable completion date. Please note that an extension fee may be charged.

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Our courses are designed to accommodate various learning preferences. Depending on the course structure, you may get different forms of support. Self-paced courses are designed to be user-friendly and independent, minimizing the need for external support. In courses with instructors, our direct platform support feature includes opportunities for questions, discussions, and remediation, with email and phone support available for select courses. Our student advising team is available to guide you on program requirements and administrative requests, but they do not provide assistance with course content. Our goal is to provide you with the necessary support for success, whether it's through self-paced exploration, direct communication, or guidance from our advising team.

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Upon successfully passing the final exam, you will be awarded a certificate of completion from the school or organization that you registered through.

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ed2go courses will help you gain the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. However, you should always research the job market in your area before enrolling.

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How can I get more information about this course?

If you have questions that are not answered on our website, representatives are available via LIVE chat. You can also call us at 1-877-221-5151 during regular business hours to have your questions promptly answered. If you are visiting us during non-business hours, please send us a question using the "Contact Us." launches $20M generative AI accelerator program

grant writing programs, Google’s charitable wing, is launching a new program to help fund nonprofits developing tech that leverages generative AI.

Called Accelerator: Generative AI, the program is to be funded by $20 million in grants and include 21 nonprofits to start, including, a company creating AI-powered tools for student writing feedback, and World Bank, which is building a generative AI app to make development research more accessible.

In addition to funding, nonprofits in the six-month accelerator program will get access to technical training, workshops, mentors and guidance from an “AI coach.” And, through’s fellowship program, teams of Google employees will work with three of the nonprofits — Tarjimly, Benefits Data Trust and mRelief — full-time for up to six months to help launch their proposed generative AI tools.

Tarjimly aims to use AI to translate languages for refugees, while Benefits Data Trust is tapping AI to create assistants that support caseworkers in helping low-income applicants enroll in public benefits. mRelief, meanwhile, is designing a tool to streamline the U.S. SNAP benefits application process.

“Generative AI can help social impact teams be more productive, creative and effective in serving their communities,” Annie Lewin, director of global advocacy at, said in a blog post . “ funding recipients report that AI helps them achieve their goals in one third of the time at nearly half the cost.”

According to a PwrdBy survey , 73% of nonprofits believe AI innovation aligns with their missions and 75% believe AI makes their lives easier, particularly in areas like donor categorization, routine back-office tasks and “mission-driven” initiatives. But there remain significant barriers for nonprofits looking to build their own AI solutions or adopt third-party products — chiefly cost, resources and time.

In the blog post, Lewin cites a survey that similarly found that, while four in five nonprofits think generative AI may be applicable to their work, nearly half currently aren’t using the tech as a result of a range of internal and external roadblocks. “[These nonprofits] cite a lack of tools, awareness, training and funding as the biggest barriers to adoption,” she said.

Encouragingly, the number of nonprofit AI-focused startups is beginning to tick up.

Nonprofit accelerator Fast Forward said that this year, more than a third of applicants for its latest class were AI companies. And Crunchbase reports that, more broadly, dozens of nonprofit organizations across the globe are dedicating work around ethical approaches to AI, like AI ethics lab AlgorithmWatch, virtual reading clinic JoyEducation and conservation advocacy group Earth05.

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Spring 2024 FSDP Workshop Registration Now Open

Empower your future - Advance your possibilities

Registration for our highly popular Faculty and Staff Development Program (FSDP) is NOW OPEN for spring 2024!

New and noteworthy this spring:.

New website and registration system:

You've provided your feedback, and we're giving you an all-new user experience on our FSDP website and registration system! In partnership with our OHR Communications Team and Pitt IT, we're proud to introduce this more user-friendly site   with a new interface making it easier than ever to navigate and view our available offerings, register for courses, or access your FSDP transcripts. Jump start your personal and professional development today!

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19th Edition of Global Conference on Catalysis, Chemical Engineering & Technology

  • Victor Mukhin

Victor Mukhin, Speaker at Chemical Engineering Conferences

Victor M. Mukhin was born in 1946 in the town of Orsk, Russia. In 1970 he graduated the Technological Institute in Leningrad. Victor M. Mukhin was directed to work to the scientific-industrial organization "Neorganika" (Elektrostal, Moscow region) where he is working during 47 years, at present as the head of the laboratory of carbon sorbents.     Victor M. Mukhin defended a Ph. D. thesis and a doctoral thesis at the Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia (in 1979 and 1997 accordingly). Professor of Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia. Scientific interests: production, investigation and application of active carbons, technological and ecological carbon-adsorptive processes, environmental protection, production of ecologically clean food.   

Title : Active carbons as nanoporous materials for solving of environmental problems

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