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Step by Step: How to Write a Winning Grant Proposal

Master the fundamentals of grant writing through this highly interactive online course. Working with an expert grant writer/instructor, participants will probe and practice the basic steps of writing a successful grant proposal.

Through hands-on writing exercises and case study critiques, you will learn how to shape proposal concepts, needs statements, goals, objectives and strategies, program budgets, evaluations and more. Learn from nonprofit practitioners and other professionals around the U.S. and beyond as you dialogue collectively with your instructor on a password-protected course Website.   The curriculum for this course focuses on philanthropic foundation grants, not government or research grants.

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Section 0922
February 2 - March 15, 2023
Course Fee: $650
Instructor: Deborah Strauss
Registration Deadline: Thursday, January 26, 2023 at 11:59 am (CT)
Location: Online
View Course Syllabus

Course Details Heading link

Topics Covered

  • Grant Writing: Getting Started
  • Anatomy of a Grant Proposal
  • Writing the Proposal, Part 1: Needs Statement, Goals and Objectives
  • Writing the Proposal, Part 2: Drafting Strategies to Meet Objectives
  • Preparing the Budget and Documenting Sustainability
  • Evaluation, Supplementary Materials and Final Steps


Course Benefits

  • Understand the multi-faceted context in which a grant proposal is both generated and reviewed
  • Research and identify an appropriate funder for a given proposal
  • Develop a clear proposal outline and proposal in response to funder guidelines
  • Prepare the narrative portion of a grant proposal including: needs statement; goals and objectives; methods and design, timeline and plan for sustainability
  • Prepare a basic budget
  • Construct a basic evaluation component
  • Identify and prepare supplementary proposal materials


Required Text

Browning, B. A. (2008). Perfect Phrases for Writing Grant Proposals: Hundreds of ready-to-use phrases to present your organization, explain your cause, and get the funding you need. McGraw-Hill.

Special Features

  • Weekly readings and resources to inform your understanding of the grant writing process
  • Individual “studio” activities offering opportunities to cultivate practical skills
  • Original case studies and problem-based learning activities
  • In-depth weekly discussions on the real-life challenges and opportunities of grant writing
  • A small class size generally limited to 25 participants



This is an instructor-led course delivered entirely online. It is highly interactive and requires 8-10 hours per week of active participation on discussion boards and completion of assigned projects.

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