Grant writing is better described as a craft rather than an art. It’s entirely results driven- no one flocks around a grant proposal marveling at its beauty or goggling at how much it is worth- all anyone really cares about is if it is successful. Did it raise money?
And that’s OK. But like any craft, there is a learning curve before you become a professional. No one is born a grant writer, and the only way to become a good one (and then hopefully a REALLY good one) is through training, whether you are talking hands on practice (ideally with a good mentor) or instruction. I, like many grant writers, learned by doing. My boss sort of threw me into a Request for Proposal (RFP) one day, and I came out the other side with a finished, complete proposal.
Not a good one, mind you. I had to write many more proposals to even have a serviceable one, and even to this day, I don’t believe I have written the perfect proposal yet. But I can hope.
But instructional support, learning from experts in the field, is a good way to develop this proficiency much faster. And online grant writing courses are a great way to quickly understand the best practices that go into successful grant writing. Particularly in our current era of social distancing, online grant writing courses are a great way to go. That’s why Grant Republic is currently developing our Federal Grant Writing course to help you tackle these challenging and lucrative source of funding for your agency. Find more information here.
We wanted to guide you toward other good options for online training readily available online. Our criteria are reputable companies that offer free or moderate cost options to help you improve your grant writing skills, and your chances of being funded. All of the options listed below are well known in the field or have strong university affiliations.
Nonprofitready offers free resources and support for more than 30,000 nonprofit professionals. It is operated by Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation, and provides multiple useful resources, including videos and online interactive guides to grant writing. Check out their Grantsmanship Essentials Pack for a good introduction.
Udemy courses tend to be basic, but the grantwriting courses cover key elements of successful grant writing without going into too much detail. This can be good for new grantwriters, and the costs are reasonable, ranging from $12.99 to $16.99. It includes Federal Grant Writing 101 by Dr. Bev Browning.
Candid has a series of free and relatively low cost trainings which provide useful basics and more advanced elements for grant writers. Offered regularly, these include such examples as the free Grant Writing 101 Series with Phoenix Public Library, Government Funding: Writing the Proposal ($25) and a Proposal Writing Boot Camp ($525).
The Grant Training Center has a series of moderately priced self-paced trainings on general proposal writing (specifics on things like Abstracts and Need Statements, Goals, Objectives and Activities, and Outcomes Evaluations and Budgets are $135 each).
The University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee School of Continuing Education offers an Introduction to Grant Writing course for $150 as part of their Introductory Nonprofit Certificate. It covers the six stages of grant writing, researching effective funding and other best practices.