A to Z Grant Writing

A to Z Grant Writing

This course provides students with the hands-on experience and knowledge they need to successfully begin the planning process for projects in need of grant funding. An approach to grantseeking begins with thinking about why the funding is needed and involving the grant applicant's stakeholders in the planning process.

6 Weeks Access / 24 Course Hrs
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A to Z Grant Writing will take you through the planning process for documenting the need for funding in a Theory of Change Grant Project Planning Worksheet. Beginning with writing about what will be implemented (your vision for change and impact) when the project is funded, the worksheet begins to come to life. Exploring why funding is needed is the beginning of articulating the statement of need. You will learn how to document your projection of how, when funded, your project will initiate change. Once you've created the project's goals, the worksheet asks for inputs or resources (mirroring a logic model's format). Your thought processes and imagination will be tested in the implementation activities & timeline section. You'll also have a chance to develop outputs and outcomes for the planned project. Finally, you'll learn how to develop a project budget. Where does all of this lead? Every lesson is one step closer to having 100% of the information you'll need to write a highly competitive grant proposal. Additional features include six teachable moments videos and six choose your own adventure branching scenarios to fuel your creative thinking processes.


This first lesson will explore the roles of a grant writer. You will learn about the grant writing profession, what a grant writer does, and, most importantly, the work ethics of a grant writer. As an employee or consultant, realizing just how much a grant writer is expected to do will help you understand the grant profession and the multiple job titles of people who are assigned to write grant requests. By the end of the lesson, you will have had an extensive overview of the field of grant writing and the expected ethics of a grant writer.

What are the best websites for researching grant funding opportunities? So many are rip-off websites, how will you determine what is real and what is fake? In this lesson, you learn how to use different kinds of trusted online grant-research databases to locate funding opportunities for your organization and its projects. By the end of the lesson, you will have developed expert skills in entering on-target keyword search terms for finetuning your grant funding research.

If you know that your nonprofit or NGO needs additional funding, why do you need to understand the grant planning process? In this lesson, you'll learn how to expedite and navigate the grant planning process by using a Theory of Change Grant Project Planning Worksheet. Why can't you just get started by writing your grant proposal? This lesson will also provide rational justification on why the planning process for projects in need of grant funding is a critical step that cannot be bypassed. This pre-writing planning process also enables the grant writer to gather valuable ideas from the project's stakeholders. By the end of the lesson, you'll be eager to explore more information about conducting a Theory of Change Grant Project planning meeting.

What is peer review and why is it needed? Why do grant writers need a peer to review their work before hitting the submit button? How important is peer review? In this lesson, you'll learn the importance of providing and receiving feedback from peers. You'll also learn about the fundamentals of the peer- review process in the grant-writing industry. By the end of this lesson, you'll be better able to understand the benefits of peer review by experiencing it firsthand during this course's peer-to-peer review process.

How can you summarize any topic before you write the finite details about it? How does the executive summary fit into the Theory of Change Grant Project planning process? In this lesson, you'll learn the purpose of an executive summary in the Theory of Change Grant Project planning process. You'll also learn how to outline the information needed for the executive summary. By the end of this lesson, you'll be able to extract information for an executive summary during a Theory of Change Grant Project planning process.

Why do you have to prove that you need funding? Can't a potential funder just look at your financial statements and tell that your organization is operating on a shoestring? In this lesson, you'll learn that potential funders require extensive information about your target population, the people or animals or other types of projects in need of funding. You'll also see that funders require validated information to justify a grant request. By the end of this lesson, you'll be able to quickly drill down the research and statistics needed to present your statement-of-need narrative for potential funding sources.

How will grant funding change the dire circumstances for your target population? How will you explain the return on a funder's investment in quantitative terms to show how grant funding will impact your grant project's outcomes? In this lesson, you'll learn how grant-funded projects can initiate change. You will also learn how to delineate the benefits for your target population when the change unfolds within their circumstances. By the end of this lesson, you will be able to articulate return-on-investment outputs for funders.

When you try to write your goals, are you often confused as to how our daily to-do's (aka goals to complete) differ from the goals for a grant project? In this lesson, you will learn about the types of goals for a grant project. You will also learn the correct way to write non-measurable and measurable project goals to include in your final grant application. Using the Theory of Change Grant Project Planning Worksheet, you'll learn how to create project goals for funding requests. By the end of this lesson, you'll be able to create measurable project objectives for each goal.

Did you know that your solutions to solve the target population's needs must be evidence based? Did you know that potential funders rely on accurate, well-researched best-practice models to form the framework for all of the activities that you plan to carry out when your grant project is funded? In this lesson, you'll learn how to research evidence-based solutions and why potential funders require them. You'll also learn how to use the Internet to identify best-practice models in your project's subject area. By the end of this lesson, you'll be able to create activities and timelines for your grant-funded project's implementation plan.

How do you think a potential funder views your grant request when you have nothing to leverage against the grant project's budget request? In this lesson, you will learn how to identify the internal resources available for grant projects. You'll also learn how to identify the external resources for your grant project. By the end of this lesson, with the help of your stakeholders, you'll be able to create a comprehensive list of internal and external resources during a Theory of Change Grant Project planning meeting.

Why does every funder's guidelines for submitting a grant request include a section on your funding outcomes and how you will evaluate the grant-funded project? How can you predict outcomes before the funding is awarded? In this lesson, you'll learn how to fully describe the outcomes for your grant project during the Theory of Change Grant Project planning process. You'll also learn how your project's stakeholders can help you outline the changes that will happen for the target population as a direct effect of the project's funding. By the end of this lesson, you'll be able to create an evaluation plan that describes your grant-funded project's projected success.

Do you get nervous when you have to guess how much funding is needed to support the implementation of a grant project? Is juggling numbers your least favorite task? In this lesson, you'll learn how to outline your project's budget expenses by using every narrative section that you've already written in your Theory of Change Grant Project Planning Worksheet. You'll also learn how to justify each line-item expense for your grant project. By the end of this lesson, you'll be able to quickly identify the difference between soft and hard cash leveraging funds and to develop a comprehensive grant project budget summary and a detailed narrative document.



There are no prerequisites to take this course.


Hardware Requirements:

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

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 10 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Microsoft Word or equivalent word processor (not included in enrollment).
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

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


Dr. Beverly A. Browning

Dr. Beverly A. Browning is a grant writing consultant and visionary who uses thought leadership to work with nonprofit organizations struggling with the woes of revenue stream imbalances. She has been researching grant funding, grantmaking trends, and board-related barriers to nonprofit capacity building for over 40 years. Together she and her team have helped her clients win over $750 million in grant awards.

Dr. Browning is the founder and director of the Grant Writing Training Foundation and Bev Browning, LLC. She is the author of 44 grant writing publications, including six editions of Grant Writing for Dummies and the 6th edition of Nonprofit Kit for Dummies (to be published in 2021).

Dr. Browning holds graduate and post-graduate degrees in organizational development, public administration, and business administration. She is also a Certified Strategic Planning Facilitator (CSPF), has a McNellis Compression Planning Institute Facilitation Training distinction, and is an Approved Trainer for the Grant Professionals Association (GPA), the Certified Fund Raising Executive International (CFRE, and the Grant Professionals Certification Institute (GPCI).


I want to thank you for such an informative and convenient course! I've learned so much and have recently accepted a postion working with a local non-profit group as a grant writer. We have many programs on the burner, so my work is cut out for me. Again, thank you!

This was one of the best courses I have ever taken. Your vast experience and attention to detail, along with your obvious passion for what you do, shows in all of the lessons. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and learning about grant writing. I plan to take more grant writing courses and possibly change careers into this field. Thank you!

This class has been very helpful. I have greater confidence in the approach to grant writing, and to potential funders. Thank you for your time, effort, extensive information and resource material. Thanks also for showing the order for presenting all of these elements. This class was well worth my time and finances.

I finished my final exam and I'm excited as I look back at everything I've learned in such a short time. With every lesson I experienced a renewed sense of admiration for the way you have put this course together. It is extremely informative yet simple for anyone to understand. Your examples are relevant and very helpful--along with the valuable advice and tips you offered. The organization methods with pictures (binders, file cabinet, folders) were so practical. I have learned so much from this course!!

Each lesson amazes me at how much research and work goes into grant writing. Thank you for all your extremely well-organized training and your willingness to share your vast knowledge.

Thank you for offering this course, and sharing your knowledge of grant writing! I found the course interesting and engaging. I will be utilizing the material provided in the course as a "grant writing reference manual"...The course is very learner-friendly...When I began this course, I felt like I had no idea where to start when approaching a grant/good match potential funder, or what the field was really about. A to Z grant writing has put a lot of those elements into perspective for me.

Thank you so much for the wonderful information, guidance, tips and resources. This was an awesome class! The course exceeded my expectations and I feel the information you provided was extraordinary. I will be passing my lesson's learned and suggestions to my director. I am sure we will be able to implement many of the guidelines you provided to improve our methods for applying and receiving grants for our non-profit organization. Thanks so much. I really enjoyed the class.

I have two college degrees and love workshops and other continuing education opportunities. This is my first online course. You have made a believer out of me for sure! Thank you for a well-organized, highly informative, and surprisingly personal experience.

Thank you for putting together an awesome, educational program for fledgling grant writers...It will greatly improve the quality of our local library and will help me polish my job and networking skills...Thanks again!!!

I couldn't help but thank you for the time-saving methods that you are teaching us. Initially, I thought that this grant writing thing would be unattainable, but you give us so much of yourself and what you have used to be successful that it makes me feel that I can do this and do it well myself. I am taking further courses and I can only hope that all of the instructors will be as transparent and helpful as you have been. Thank you!

Self-Guided Course Code: T8492
Instructor-Moderated Course Code: gw1