How to Write a Grant Proposal


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  • 16
    Lessons
  • 29
    Exams &
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  • 15
    Hours
    average time
  • 1.5
    CEUs
  • 2,824
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    have taken this course
 
 
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Course Description

Did you realize that you are most probably an experienced grant writer already?
 
"NO", you say, "I've never written a grant in my life before" -- but you have.

Most people out there have asked somebody, at some time, for something in writing (one way or another), so you have most likely followed some of the basic principles and procedures of putting a good case forward for something you want (and not necessarily for money).

And basically that is what a grant proposal is all about.  Okay, there's a little more to it than that--but the techniques you consciously (or unconsciously) learned when putting together those requests, when submitting them and SUCCEEDING, are a fabulous place to begin. BUT obviously you need to polish up that gem by building on the basics, learning the techniques, and following the requirements and conditions for writing successful grant proposals.

And there is no better place to start than with this course.  It doesn't supply all the answers, no one source does, but this approach to the subject of grant writing is clear, straightforward, and easy to understand. 

It doesn't matter whether you are looking at grant writing just as a means of helping your child's school, or looking at it as a part or full-time career.  You can and will be successful if you set your mind to it and invest a little of your time in carefully going through this course, researching sites suggested in it, and building from there.

Join us today, and let's learn how to write a successful grant proposal!  

Putting You on the Right Path to Reap the Benefits
 
There are literally hundreds of thousands of organizations looking for funding and others looking for good projects to fund, whether those projects belong to individuals, foundations, organizations, or governments. Grant and contracting announcements are released every day.

Matchmakers are needed to bring together both sides; i.e., the seekers and granters.

That is where you could come in! Particularly as there are not nearly that many good grant writers or matchmakers that can bring them together.

Before you can strike gold, however, you need to mine the basics of the process, whether you are producing grant applications, which are formal written requests for money, usually from a government agency or a corporation; or responding to requests for proposals (RFPs) or requests for qualifications (RFQs), the more free-flowing, informal grant appeals.
 
What or Who Is a Grant Writer?

The short answer is no one! The terms "grant writing" or "grant writer" are misnomers, as no one actually writes grants at all. 

People write grant proposals when they are seeking money from people or organizations. Those same people, foundations, or organizations receiving the proposals in turn write the agreements and checks to cover the amount the grant is for. That is when the actual writing comes in.

The grant writer label is widely recognized to describe the actual process of proposal writing, as well as depict the way people visualize the job. So, rather than split hairs, let us agree to accept the label of grant writer as such.

If you are to be successful in this field, you need to be aware that a grant writer does much more than simply write proposals seeking funding. He or she must be fully familiar with the philanthropic philosophy of the community served, including understanding how to search for the wide variety of grants available and how to conduct the correct selection process. In addition, he or she must be an imaginative problem-solver.
 
What Is a Grant Proposal?

Grant proposals are requests submitted to individuals, foundations, or the government for funding. They include a narrative, forms, and usually attachments to support the request. It is a responsibility of the grant writer to develop and compile all the necessary documentation for submission and to do so creatively.

Grants are gifts made by those individuals, foundations, or governments, and most often they are made to nonprofit organizations; i.e., those organizations designated 501(c)(3) by the Internal Revenue Service.

In this course, we deal also with the "cousins" of grants, which are contract bids (RFP responses) and cooperative agreements; all we have to say throughout applies equally to all facets of the process. So let us consider that grant writing applies across the board to all similar types of activity for ease of explanation.
 
It should be noted that foundations actually are prohibited from making grants to individuals. Therefore, if an individual desires funding, he or she needs to seek the services desired through a nonprofit organization, which in turn seeks the funding through grants.
 

The Language You Need to Know 

It is crucial that you can speak and understand the language of "Grant-ese." It is not as difficult as learning to speak Chinese, German, or French; but you need to appreciate how important it is that you are proficient in the language of grants if you are to be successful in this field.

Using either incorrect or confusing lingo, especially for high-level support requests, not only leads to frustration, confusion, and delays in getting a decision but usually, more often than not, to rejection. That is something you definitely do not want to encourage!

Rather than go into a long list of words and their meanings here, we will provide a glossary as an addendum to these lessons, as well as a list of some great referral material. It is important to stress, however, the necessity of not only speaking the language but doing so in such a manner that you inspire confidence in both clients and grant makers.

Learning the words and practicing them will greatly assist you when you are placing your ideas down on paper and organizing your thoughts together in a winning fashion. 
 
Establishing Your Grant Seekers: Who Are They?

The term "grant seekers" denotes not only those individuals or organizations seeking funds but also those organizations, corporations, and individuals looking for funds to give, sometimes to lift their profile in the community, sometimes for a tax benefit, or for a number of other reasons.

You could end up working for a school, hospital, police or fire department, charitable or religious institution, college or university, or even a museum or an artistic organization, such as a symphony orchestra or ballet company. Rest assured they are all always on the lookout for competent grant writers--that is, someone who can get them more money.
 
Your Market

We have covered some of those organizations that would make up your market, but keep in mind that the primary market of a grant writer is the nonprofit sector. Just some of the diverse categories are as follows:

  • Social service groups of all kinds
  • All schools
  • Clinics and hospitals
  • Some government units
  • Fire and police departments
  • Universities
  • Colleges
  • All arts and culture organizations
  • The wide range of public media groups
  • Essential Skills

    There are several crucial skills you absolutely need to be a successful grant writer. You not only need to do them efficiently but consistently and without fail.

    To start with, you need to have empathy for the persons who will be reading your grant proposals. In other words, you need to appreciate what they need to know and how to clearly explain it to them. Treat their time and your own with respect.

    Next, never miss a deadline. Keep in mind that sometimes, even if a grant proposal arrives as little as an hour or two late, it may miss being reviewed. Yes, it can be tough!

    Third, and although it may seem obvious, read and follow the instructions.

    Finally, become a good test-taker; that is, be someone who not only reads the questions clearly but analyzes them for clues to the best possible answer. In other words, go right to the core of the questions.
     
    The Processes

    You will soon realize that there are just two ways to approach the seeking of grant funding: (1) you search for matches between organization/foundation guidelines and your client organization's mission, and (2) you respond to a RFP (request for proposal).

    It does not matter whether you are writing with regard to an actual RFP or to guidelines, the grant proposal instructions must be followed carefully and precisely. 

    TIPYou must use the language and approach set out by your addressees.

    Be aware that changes to the intent of funding have been taking place. Whereas at one time funding was available mainly for capital projects, such as construction, renovation, etc., and original staffing costs and items necessary for special project implementation, grants rarely covered operational costs, such as utilities and ongoing staffing expenses. 

    Operating grants are now becoming increasingly common as organizations are wishing to ensure the continuance of successful programs, particularly those that have been deemed necessary to an organization and the community.

    The kinds of projects that almost always get funded are those that appear headed for certain success.
     
    A Little History

    Many view the United States as the most philanthropic nation in the world, and that is probably correct. Americans have every reason to be proud of their long-standing tradition of caring for those less fortunate and of sharing their blessings with others.

    These traditions date back to Native Americans and early religious leaders in particular, who both shared their bounty of harvests and knowledge with others through the centuries.

    In 1913, the federal government established the income tax program through which it collected money for redistribution throughout the United States, wherever it was most needed and useful. Today the government plays a very active role in determining the types of projects that need and receive public support.

    The grant-seeking process commences when the government agencies involved issue RFPs for this purpose.
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    Course Lessons

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    Lesson 1: Know Your Grant Basics

    Grant proposals are requests submitted to individuals, foundations, or the government for funding. 16 Total Points
    • Lesson 1 Video
    • Take Poll: Grant Writing Experience
    • Take Survey: Needs Assessment Survey (Start of Course)
    • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment: Why Grant Writing?
    • Complete: Lesson 1 Exam

    Lesson 2: Projects and Proposals that Will Be Successful and Why

    Successful grant writers pull together all data, the evidence supporting their case, to paint the picture they wish the grant funders to see. By doing so, they set the stage for their proposed project clearly and precisely. 16 Total Points
    • Lesson 2 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment: Defining Success
    • Complete: Lesson 2 Exam

    Lesson 3: Grant Writing Could Be the Answer

    The truth of the matter is that many of us have far more extensive experience in preparing grant proposals than we give ourselves credit for. Have you ever asked anyone for anything in writing, particularly money? 19 Total Points
    • Lesson 3 Video
    • Take Poll: Grant Writing Success
    • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment: What Makes a Good Grant Writer?
    • Complete: Lesson 3 Exam

    Lesson 4: Where Is the Money?

    The classic foundation you will most often encounter during your work as a grant writer is one that was set up many years previously by a single individual, which legally makes it a private foundation. 24 Total Points
    • Lesson 4 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment: Funding Your Organization
    • Complete: Lesson 4 Exam

    Lesson 5: Trends and Facts

    There are always facts you really should know but unfortunately do not. Even so, you can easily keep abreast of trends, and in this regard your best friend is without doubt the Internet. 18 Total Points
    • Lesson 5 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment: Identifying Trends
    • Complete: Lesson 5 Exam

    Lesson 6: Key and Working Components of Great Grant Proposals

    This lesson will certainly help to make things clearer. It's all about looking at some of the bigger pieces of the grant puzzle, polishing them up, and putting them in place. 19 Total Points
    • Lesson 6 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment: The Mission Statement
    • Complete: Lesson 6 Exam

    Lesson 7: Action Plans and Their Timelines

    Your action plan is the comprehensive diagram contained in your grant proposal and plays a large part in achieving your goal of a grant. 17 Total Points
    • Lesson 7 Video
    • Review Article: Anatomy of a Grant Proposal
    • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment: Writing an Action Plan
    • Complete: Lesson 7 Exam

    Lesson 8: Designing, Establishing, and Utilizing an Appropriate Evaluation Plan

    Proper evaluation plans are tightly integrated into the grant proposal and connect project objectives and goals to their relevant evaluation. They are usually one of the last parts of the grant proposal narrative. 18 Total Points
    • Lesson 8 Video
    • Review Article: Proposal Writing Hints
    • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment: Program Evaluation
    • Complete: Lesson 8 Exam

    Lesson 9: Preparing to Write

    The very first rule of any kind of writing is to know and understand your audience. 15 Total Points
    • Lesson 9 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 9 Exam

    Lesson 10: Words for the Wise

    'Words for the wise' as opposed to 'Words to the wise' relate to those extra words, phrases, techniques, and ideas cropping up that you realize can assist you in being a winning grant writer. 14 Total Points
    • Lesson 10 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 10 Exam

    Lesson 11: Reviewing Your Work in a Way That Underscores the Strengths and Reduces the Weaknesses

    A great strength is to see your weaknesses and work with them, acknowledge them, even highlight them at the right time, while at the same time showing how you are going to accommodate and allow for them, or alternatively how you intend to eliminate them! 17 Total Points
    • Lesson 11 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment: Develop a Timeline
    • Complete: Lesson 11 Exam

    Lesson 12: Budgets

    Your budget must support and be tailored to your project's objectives and goals. 17 Total Points
    • Lesson 12 Video
    • Review Article: Developing Your Budget
    • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment: Creating a Budget
    • Complete: Lesson 12 Exam

    Lesson 13: Your Packaging Is Crucial; 'Gift-Wrap' Your Proposal Accordingly

    Whether we agree with the concept of not, packaging and presentation is nearly always crucial. 15 Total Points
    • Lesson 13 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 13 Exam

    Lesson 14: Negotiating Grants.gov

    There are plenty of helping hands for you out there; many offline and online sources are a fantastic help with not only finding grants but in the actual writing process. 14 Total Points
    • Lesson 14 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 14 Exam

    Lesson 15: Miscellaneous Proposal Applications

    By far, the majority of grant proposals you will submit will be in the usual way. However, you need to be flexible; i.e., you need to at least be aware of the other types and methods of submission. 14 Total Points
    • Lesson 15 Video
    • Review Article: Restricted vs. Unrestricted Funds
    • Complete: Lesson 15 Assignment: Format Preference
    • Complete: Lesson 15 Exam

    Lesson 16: The Triumphs of Successful Reporting

    The demand for accountability of and easy access to information on grants programs has increased tremendously over the past few years, so there certainly needs to be a change in attitude with relation to the standard of reporting regarding grant results. 95 Total Points
    • Lesson 16 Video
    • Take Poll: Do You Feel Prepared?
    • Take Survey: Needs Assessment Survey (End of Course)
    • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
    • Complete: The Final Assignment
    • Complete: Lesson 16 Exam
    • Complete: The Final Exam
    348
    Total Course Points
     

    Learning Outcomes

    By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
    • Define grant proposal and describe the basic purpose of writing one.
    • Know which projects and proposals will be funded and why.
    • Know the best places to find money for grant projects.
    • Know the key working components of a grant proposal.
    • Describe what action plans are, why they are important, and how to establish their timelines.
    • Design, establish and utilize an appropriate evaluation plan.
    • Demonstrate how to write an appropriate budget for a grant proposal.
    • Create a cover letter and complete the application.
    • Know the types of reporting required when landing a grant, and
    • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.
     

    Additional Course Information

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    Course Title: How to Write a Grant Proposal
    Course Number: 7550155
    Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
    Category:
    Course Type: How To (Self-Paced, Online Class)
    CEU Value: 1.5 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
    CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
    Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
    Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
    Instructor: Dr. Deirdre Mithaug
    Syllabus: View Syllabus
    Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
    Course Fee: $50.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $75.00

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    Student Testimonials

    • "I found the instructor to be knowledgeable and encouraging. Excellent!" -- Heather K.
    • "This course was very helpful. I am ready to get started." -- Melrose W.
    • "I enjoyed the course and had a wonderful instructor." -- Faith R.
    • "I found it all very useful. I have not written a grant before, and I knew it was time consuming, but this course taught me I will really have to manage my time greatly. I think that one of the parts I liked was the resources that I did not have previously, I had now. " -- Peg J.
    • "The material and the links were great and very informative. The assignments were well designed and really helped me to learn as I worked on them." -- Nicole G.
    • "Every part was great. It was all very helpful. My instructor was very helpful." -- Sonia L.
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