Grant Writing Basics For Beginners
Duration: 50 minutes
Pricing: $19 monthly 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 doesnt 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.
Skillshares 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.
You can learn more about this grant writing class here.
American Rescue Plan Funding
As part of the American Rescue Plan Act, passed by Congress, Counties are preparing to review applications and distribute millions of dollars in funding to help with COVID19 economic recovery. If you are interested in applying for funding:
Berks County’s grant application is open until March 31, 2022 you can learn more at their website here.
Montgomery County’s application are open until April 30, 2022. Learn more on their website, here.
Grants : A Beginner’s Guide To Helping Your Department Get Grants
Grants are a great way for your department to receive funding beyond the limits of your operational budget. They can help bridge the gap between your departments resources and its needs. Grants are meant to be a solution to evolving community problems when budgets arent able to adjust quickly enough. Grants can help pay for communication equipment, software, or even provide funding for training.
Grants can be a boon for cash-strapped local governments agencies looking to expand or maintain their capabilities. The truth is, any department can benefit from a little grant writing help, from the smallest town government to the largest municipal agency.
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Outline A Project Budget
Of course, one of the most important grant proposal topics is budgeting. This is the moment when you go into detail about exactly how youll be using the resources from an operational standpoint.
Provide full justification for all expenses including a table of services and product offered can be used to clearly and accurately specify the services.
Remember that the project budget section is the true meat of your grant proposal.
Overcharging or having a high quote can lose you the grant and even be seen as profiteering. Underquoting might win you the business but you may not be able to deliver on your proposal which could adversely impact your standing with the grantee.
Many grantors underquote in the hope of hooking in the reader and then looking for additional funding at a later stage.
This is a dangerous game to play and could affect your individual or companys brand, community standing, or industry reputation.
- Pay attention to detail: Everything, and we mean everything needs to be covered. Travel costs, supplies, advertising, personnel dont leave anything out.
- Double-check: It can be easy to leave out a zero or move a decimal point and distort everything by accident. Be thorough!
- Round off your numbers: This is just for the readers sake. A lot of decimal points and uneven numbers will be harder to track.
Heres how a project budget would look for a fictional grant for a cross-country research study:
Enlist Content Proofreaders Early In The Process
Request that your colleagues or mentors review a first draft of your specific aims early in the process, advises NIH.
Consider asking your early proofreaders to focus on macro issues, such as the organization of narrative sections or the logical flow within your application narrative. Even if your proposal is not completely ready, you can still have your designated proofreaders review some sections of the proposal. An Office of Justice Programs resource concurs, stating that early proofreading will allow for sufficient time to deal with missing information, as well as other common issues.
Need statements, program narratives, and discussions of impact arent the only parts of a federal grant application that require the touch of a good writer. The budget narrative sometimes called the budget justification or budget detail can also benefit from a skilled wordsmith.
Here, though, the burden carried by the writer weighs heaviest in the areas of precision, thoroughness and organization and less so in the areas of color and creativity.
What follows are budget narrative writing tips that have been curated from a wide range of federal agency resources.
Lets say that your organization is applying for a federal grant that will support a wildlife reserve restoration project.
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Professional Certificate In Grant Writing
Duration: 10 weeks
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. Its 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.
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.
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Start With A Short Executive Summary
Moving onto grant writing: every winning grant needs to start with a brief executive summary.
Also known as a proposal summary, an executive summary is essentially a brief synopsis of the entire proposal. It introduces your business, market segment, proposal, project goals essentially, your grant request.
It should have sufficient detail and specifics get to the point quickly and be pragmatic and factual.
- Keep it up to two pages long: You need to provide just enough information that the grantee can read only this part and get a solid idea of who you are and what you need the money for.
- Include the resources: Mention the funds youre requesting and briefly explain your methodology when it comes to spending them.
- Introduce your organization: Although you will go into detail about this later, dont be afraid to tell the grantee about your history, mission, and objectives.
- Address the funder directly: The only place to do this is the cover letter. Now that weve started writing a grant application, things need to get more formal.
- Give out too much: Dont go too deep into the project description, you will have space for this later.
So, here are some questions that a good grant writer will answer in their executive summary:
1. What is your mission and history? What do you do?
2. What is your projects name and who is it supposed to help?
3. What problem are you solving and why should it matter?
5. Why should you get the funds? What are your competencies?
Whats The Difference Between A Grant Proposal And A Grant Letter
Its quite easy to confuse a grant proposal with a grant letter.
But a grant proposal contains all the sections we mentioned: the projects summary, a cover letter, problem statement, etc. so it can be pretty long.
Some companies or individual investors consider this document too long and prefer a grant letter, which is a shorter, much more streamlined document. A grant letter typically doesnt exceed 3-4 pages although it has a similar structure.
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How To Write A Federal Grant Proposal
When it comes to actually constructing a grant proposal, applicants will find that a bit of research and work is required well before they start typing. The first step is to thoroughly review the individual catalog program, or federal grant, that a prospective recipient is applying for to ensure a firm grasp on all specific criteria required. Programs generally have a contact person listed within the description and application, and a phone call or email to said person comes in handy to confirm the funding available, deadlines, how to submit the application / grant proposal , and any other specifics that will lay down the foundation to developing the proposal itself.
Bear in mind that the application process is unique for every grant, including varying application forms and pre-requisite requirements, so be sure and do your research on your specific grant of choice, and not the overall federal grant application process.
When developing a grant proposal, be sure that your interests, intentions and needs are in line with the grantor agency. An overview of the Objectives and Uses and Use Restrictions sections of the Catalog program will give applicants a clear idea of whether their idea can be considered for funding, and applicants can also examine related departments or areas for additional grants that may be an even better fit.
Once your grant proposal is completed, there are a few final steps to take to ensure everything is in order and ready for review.
The Evaluation Section: Tracking Success
This section covers process evaluation how will you track your programs progress?
It also includes the timeframe needed for evaluation and who will do the evaluation including the specific skills or products needed and the cost of the evaluation phase of the project.
This is one of the most important steps to writing a grant proposal, as all funders will look for evaluations.
Whether were talking about government agencies or private foundations, they all need to know if the program they invested in made a difference.
Evaluation can be quite expensive and need to have entry and exit criteria and specifically focused in-scope activities. All out-of-scope evaluation activities need to be specified as this phase can easily blow out budget-wise.
Once again, solid project management discipline and methodologies will keep a good focus on evaluation tasks and results.
- Obtain feedback: However you imagine your evaluation process, it needs to include some sort of feedback from the community taking part in the project.
- One of the most important variables here is whether youll be doing the evaluation with your staff or hire an external agency to do it independently.
To go back to our child literacy example, here is how an evaluation would look for that project:
After each session, we will ask participating teachers to write a qualitative evaluation in order to identify areas of improvement and generate feedback
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Write A Strong Cover Letter
Your cover letter is the perfect opportunity to capture the funders attention and get your foot in the door. Unlike the rest of your grant application, the letter can be less formal and address the reader more directly.
The key objective of your cover letter is to compel the reader to get to your proposal. Theyve likely received tens or even hundreds of grant applications and your letter should separate you from the crowd as much as possible.
Here are some dos and donts when it comes to cover letters:
- Keep it short: Three to four paragraphs max. Get to the point quickly and state your intentions right away without too much fluff.
- Say what you need: At the very beginning, mention how much money you need and what for. Don be afraid to be direct you deserve this grant so make sure the reader knows it.
- Avoid repeating yourself: This isnt the place to just recap what you said in the proposal. Feel free to go a little off-course and provide something of value.
- Make a connection: Show that you understand the funder and draw a straight line from their mission and funds to your proposed project.
- Get too emotional: You shouldnt write a heartfelt story about your mission or organization. Convey your message in a less formal manner but stay focused on your arguments.
- Mention your competition: No need to compare yourself with others. Just state your own desired outcome and try to make a good first impression without mentioning anyone else.
Dear Mr. Jones,
How Much Does It Cost To Take An Online Grant Writing Class
Online grant writing classes typically range from $0 to $150. Classes led by a live instructor are usually more expensive than self-paced courses. Some course providers permit free trials or block out certain features, like quizzes and graded assignments, for free versions.
A more formal certificate or university-sponsored program can cost thousands of dollars.
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Grant Writing For Non
Duration: 1 hour and 34 minutes
Pricing: $24.99, 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 writers 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 youre enrolled.
You can learn more about this grant writing class here.
Write A Direct Problem Statement
One of the most important parts of the grant proposal structure is the problem statement.
Also known as the needs statement or statement of need, this is the place where you explain why your community has a problem and how you can provide the solution.
You may need to do extensive research on the history of the underlying problem, previous solutions that were implemented and potentially failed, and explain why your solution will make a difference.
In a winning grant proposal, the problem statement will heavily rely on quantitative data and clearly display how your organization answers a need.
- Use comparable data: Rely on the results of other communities that already implemented your solution and got satisfactory outcomes.
- Highlight urgency: Underline that its essential this project is started now rather than later.
- Focus on the main problem: Try not to get sidetracked by other phenomena that are contributing to the key problem youre addressing.
- Make it about you: Its not your organization that needs the grant funding, its the community.
- Use circular reasoning: Dont formulate the problem as The city doesnt have a youth center > We can build a youth center. Why does the city need a youth center in the first place? That should be the thought behind your writing process.
Heres how a brief problem statement could look:
There is a need for education and professional services in: backed by expertise and a strong infrastructure.
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How To Get Started With Grant Writing Proposals
Grants are an excellent source of funds for police departments beyond what is available within the agencys operational budget. A grant can help bridge gaps between the departments available resources and its needs including funding for vehicles, equipment, training or additional personnel. Many police departments use grants to solve community problems and fund important projects. Grants are becoming more common in the field of law enforcement as the need for alternative funding becomes a necessity for agencies across the country.
Grant writing can be a complex task that requires extensive research, access to relevant information and a distinct vision for how funding could benefit the department and community. Additionally, specific grant details need to be included in a grant proposal before it is submitted for consideration. CPI OpenFox offers information sharing solutions to the law enforcement industry that can aid in the complicated task of grant writing. Learn more about the grant writing process for police departments and how OpenFox® Product Suite by CPI OpenFox can help agencies write grant-winning proposals.
Advanced Grant Proposal Writing
Duration: 6-12 weeks
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 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 612 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.
You can learn more about this course here.
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Us Department Of Justice
The Department of Justice enforces the law and defends the interest of the United States, ensuring public safety against threats foreign and domestic providing federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime seeking just punishment for those guilty of unlawful pursuits and ensuring fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.