Online Courses in Grant Writing
The descriptions below provide overviews for some of the most commonly available online grant writing courses.
- Basic Grant Writing Course: This step-by-step online course provides students with the basic skills needed to prepare a persuasive and professionally written grant proposal to benefit an organization, such as a non-profit school or religious institution. Students discover what makes a particular project attractive to a corporate or government funding group and how to create a compelling case. The course explores valuable ways to raise funds through carefully targeting, networking and developing partnerships with appropriate potential funding agencies.
- Effective Grant Writing Course: This grant-writing course takes students through the process of submitting a viable grant proposal to a potential donor, which requires careful research, preparation and skillful writing. The course also examines common errors to avoid that often lead to a worthy proposal being rejected. To be an effective grant writer, students are instructed to be fully aware of the culture and background of the cause or project for which they are requesting financial help.
- Advanced Grant Writing Course: Students in this course learn to delve deeper and gather germane information about their own organization's structure, administration and finances. The course explains how to use this information to create an effective cover letter and proposal narrative as well as provide the potential donor with useful background and financial needs information. Students also learn a variety of formatting techniques and buzzwords to include along with discovering which type of paper, font style and graphics work effectively.
- Research Grant Proposal Writing Course: Participants in this online course are guided through the basic steps of writing a successful research grant proposal through peer reviews and hands-on writing exercises. The course examines current trends and issues in the academic grant writing field as well as where to seek funding. Students benefit from direct access to experienced guest presenters, academicians and scientists from other educational institutions.
- Native American Grant Writing Course: This course is taught online specifically for tribal administrators, health and human services providers and educators interested in writing grant proposals that directly benefit Native American causes. Participants learn to employ library and online research avenues to develop objective action planning and community needs assessments to target private or public grant-making agencies.
- Grant Writing Consultant Course: For individuals who already possess a firm understanding of successful grant writing, this advanced online course explores the skills needed to be a professional in the grant-consulting industry. Students learn how to start a home-based business, find clients, set fees and decide what services to offer.
- Non-Profit Fundraising Essentials Course: This course covers all the fundraising basics - annual funds, special events, planned giving and so on. Students will view writing project examples, such as gift acknowledgement letters and proposals.
- Federal Proposals Course: In this course, students will focus on federal grants and how to apply for them. Topics include how to be competitive when seeking federal money, how to use the grants.gov website and federal vendors. The legislative intent and implications involved in receiving federal funds is considered, and students learn how to use that knowledge to make the document more persuasive.
- Needs Based Assessment and Research Course: This course will center on the importance of research with regard to grant writing. Course topics include data analysis, field studies and how to define the relationship between the potential grant and a problem it will address. This ultimately teaches students how to use research results as evidence in the argument that funds are needed.
Grant writing is a very competitive business, with motivations ranging from getting seed money for a start-up business to funding for non-profit causes or scientific research. Most online courses are offered as non-credit, stand-alone continuing education classes. However, some schools offer online grant writing courses as part of a certificate program.
A computer and internet access are standard requirements for participants, and these courses often require up-to-date web browsers and some popular web-based plug-ins, like Flash. Students will want to find out if their course is taught in real time, with online lectures and discussion among students and instructors, or if they can participate through independent study.
Online grant writing courses are available via individual classes or certificate programs. Students will study different levels and focuses of grant writing, such as Native American, non-profit and federal proposals.