Writing Effective Grant Proposals

Writing Effective Grant Proposals

Prepare grant proposals that get results for your favorite organization or charity. This course will walk you through the essential steps of assembling, writing, submitting, and completing successful grant proposals for any worthy cause.
6 weeks / 24 Course Hrs
  • Details
  • Syllabus
  • Requirements
  • Instructor
  • Reviews


Preparing successful grant proposals to receive funding from corporations or foundations requires careful research, meticulous preparation, and graceful writing. Grant administrators will often say that many grant requestors have a limited understanding of the proposal writing process, and as a result their worthy causes lose out.

If you learn how to avoid the errors that lead to the rejection of your proposal, you will be better prepared to help the causes you most admire. This course will walk you through all of the essential steps--including an important discussion of what you must do when the grant arrives.

In this course, you will learn how to become fully familiar with the institution or project for which you are requesting support. You will get valuable guidance in preparing a background statement and a brief financial statement to support your request. You will also research some charitable foundation and corporate giving sources.

Then, you will learn how to put everything together, so you can assemble, write, and submit complete grant proposals to foundations, corporations, and wealthy individuals for any number of your pet projects.

Enrollment Options:
6 weeks Access Course Code: wgp
Start Dates*Oct 16 | Nov 13 | Dec 11 | Jan 15
*Choose start date in cart
3 Months Access Course Code: T9275
No Instructor, Start Anytime


There's nothing magical about preparing a grant request, but in this lesson, you will learn some easy and fun tricks of trade that will help you with all sorts of writing projects, even those beyond grant proposals. And you will learn special ways to practice these tricks.

Those of who work for causes they think believe in will care about this cause in a very special way, usually a rather subjective one. But grantors who deal with literally thousands of institutions and causes have a rather different way of thinking about them. In this lesson, you will put yourself in their shoes. And in the process, you will learn a great way to describe your own cause to anyone.

Now that you have tried on your grantor's shoes, it's time to talk about why those grantors look for certain kinds of information and documents. You will learn what these documents are, so you can dig them out and be ready to supply them when you prepare a grant request.

There are lots of interesting things to know about each individual nonprofit organization, but all nonprofits share one thing: They're not in it to for the money. Generally, you can measure a good business by its bottom line—whether it makes money or not. But how do you measure the effectiveness of a nonprofit that needs money? In this lesson, you will start to look into it.

The hunt for funding sources is the eternal game of hide and seek that grant writers have to consider. How do you find sources that might be appropriate for you? This lesson will point you toward the most effective research tools available.

Once you find some foundations that you think might be a good fit for your cause, how do you choose among a field that might include hundreds? In this lesson, you will learn different ways to sift through these foundations, and in the course of this process, you may unearth sources you haven't even considered.

You have looked at all the possible charitable foundations that fit your cause, but don't stop there. What about the corporate world? Corporations have foundations, but they also have other ways of giving. This lesson focuses on packaging your projects for corporations.

For those of you who are word people, you will learn another way to tell your story—let the numbers do the talking. People reviewing your proposals will attach great importance to numbers, so you can't get away with simply describing a project with words. In this lesson, you will learn about preparing numbers effectively. It's not hard to do, but it's essential to the success of your proposal.

By the time you reach this lesson, you will have all the pieces you need for your proposal. Now it's time to put them all together and add the finishing touches so you can finally put a complete proposal in the mail.

In the grant writing industry, you won't win them all. But when you do get a turndown, there are positive alternatives to doom and gloom. The suggestions in this lesson will help you deal with those inevitable turndowns.

Okay, just as you hoped—you did get a gift. There's an old saying in this business: Every gift paves the way to the next. This lesson will ensure you know just how to pave that road.

Now that you have all the elements you need for your proposal; can you also send it to an individual? Partially, yes. But you need to think about what would interest an individual and how you can best present your proposal to them; that's what this final lesson covers.


  • Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.


Hardware Requirements: 

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device.

Software Requirements: 

  • PC: Windows XP or later.
  • Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.


There are no prerequisites to take this course.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.


Jillian Poole Jillian Poole

Jillian Poole has more than five decades of experience in fundraising and development for educational institutions and non-profit, arts, and community organizations. She also taught a graduate course in arts management and fund raising at the American University for 16 years. Poole is the author of “Managing for Money: A Handbook for International Cultural Institutions,” which has been translated into six languages.


As a person that started a non-profit about a year and a half ago, this course was an amazing tool. I have to say that especially the supplemental materials were amazingly helpful. Thank you for all the time you put in doing this. It has been a great resource for me.

I came into this class having submitted many grant proposals that had been turned down. I wanted to learn why that had happened. I also wanted to learn a better way to write them. Jillian's class fulfilled my need very completly. Her writing style was very reader friendly. The information she communicated was easily understood. I was able to do her classroom assignments in a way that showed me the errors I had made in my grant applications. I submitted several questions to her during Lesson Discussion sessions. Her replies were prompt and meaningful, and very encouraging upon behalf of my efforts.

I enjoyed this class and felt it was useful to my career. I appreciate the instructor's wealth of knowledge and attentiveness.

I just wanted to say what a great tool this course has been. About a year and half ago I started my own non profit organization and this course has shown me some improvements I can make. It also has amazing resources that will really help us get the funding we need. Thank you for working so hard and doing such a great job.

I really enjoyed this class. The information learned during this class will be invaluable to our non-profit animal shelter. Thanks!

I thoroughly enjoyed this course and found it beneficial to my grant writing career. During upcoming grant proposals, I will refer to the material and references I gained from the course lessons. I want to thank you for sharing you knowledge, skills and experience as a grant writer with us throughout this course. I will pass the word onto my friends about this course!

I thought the class was exactly what I needed to get my start in Grant Writing. It was informative and complete, and I would highly recommend both this class and Jillian to anyone interested in taking a beginning Grant Writing Class. Thank you Jillian, you were terrific!

Jillian did a good job of sharing her experiences as a grant writer. I found the information given here VERY useful for an introductory course.

Jillian Poole gives very interesting and informative lessons with plenty of resources to help with individual research. In addition, she is a responsive instructor who writes in a friendly writer. I would recommend this course to those looking for a strong beginning, or those in need of some encouragement and confidence as a grant writer.

Jillian put together a first rate class. A great introduction for anyone interested in learning about the basics of grant writing along with some street-wise advice.