A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Lesson 01 - Welcome to the World of Grant Writing!
Have you wondered what a grant writer does, what kinds of organizations and causes seek grants, and what types of grants are available? In this lesson, you'll find the answers to your questions, as well as tips for getting into the grant writing field and for finding funders.
Lesson 02 - The Research Information Sheet (RIS)
Many people are often surprised at how much research needs to go into finding a potential funder who is a good match for your program efforts! Finding funders takes a lot of time, effort, and planning, and this lesson will walk you through the information you need to gather and organize. You will gain an invaluable tool here—the Research Information Sheet (RIS)—which will help you keep your research focused and on track.
Lesson 03 - Funder Application Guidelines
In today's lesson, you'll meet three real-world foundation and corporate funders: the Surdna Foundation, Wells Fargo, and the Ben & Jerry's Foundation. We'll walk through the application guidelines for each of them, which will help you get a feel for what to look for in a good match potential funder, how funders present their mission and goals, and what they expect in a complete proposal package. Remember, the more application guidelines you read and study, the better you'll be able to create a successful proposal package.
Lesson 04 - Getting Organized
Now that you have a feel for what kinds of information to gather in your search for good match potential funders, you need to know how to effectively organize it. We'll begin with a big-picture overview of the grant writing process, so you'll know where your research fits in each step of the way. Then you'll get some proven techniques and tools for organizing an efficient and smooth-running development department. A grant writing campaign means submitting an ongoing calendar of proposals to a wide variety of potential funders, and an organized office is the only way to accomplish this goal!
Lesson 05 - Networking and Positive Communication
Developing community relationships is crucial to finding support for any worthy cause. So today we'll look at some creative how-tos of networking with community members, VIPs, and corporate, foundation, and government representatives to help you find contacts and support in your community. Then we'll lay the groundwork for making that crucial initial contact with a potential funder. This might be a bit nerve-racking at first, but with the proper preparation, it can be extremely rewarding.
Lesson 06 - Teamwork, Collaboration, and Site Visits
Research, relationship-building, phone contacts, organizing—does it all rest on the shoulders of one grant writer? Happily, the answer is no! Today you'll meet the development team members who implement the grant writing campaign and get some ideas for how to put a team of your own together. You'll also get acquainted with the collaborative partners who work side by side with you and your organization, and you'll discover how to put together a successful site visit.
Lesson 07 - Letters and the Courage to Ask
It's so important to know how to present yourself, your organization, and your proposed program effectively. So in this lesson, we'll explore the elements of two all-important letters: the letter of inquiry and the letter of request. Most funders will want either one or both of these letters, so knowing how to write them is essential. You'll also learn how to ask for the right grant amount and how to overcome any fears you may have about asking for support.
Lesson 08 - The Gold Medal Proposal Package: Part 1
You'd be amazed at how many organizations go about their grant writing campaigns backwards! To spare you a great amount of extra work, stress, and unnecessary discouragement, we'll walk through a vital technique: the Rollover Concept. We'll also begin a detailed exploration of the elements of a Gold Medal Proposal Package, including your organization's history and background, mission statement, goals, major accomplishments, and many other documents and materials that potential funders require.
Lesson 09 - The Gold Medal Proposal Package: Part 2
Picking up where we left off in Lesson 8, today you'll see how to write your need statement, proposed program paragraphs, measurable objectives, timeline, and evaluation plan. You'll also get a good idea of what kinds of financial documents and materials funders expect in complete proposal packages, including your organization projected income and expense budget, audited financial statement, proposed program budget and request, and future funding paragraphs.
Lesson 10 - Feedback and Final Reports
What happens to your proposal after you apply for a grant? If you've ever wondered about this, today you'll discover all the hoops it goes through once it reaches the program officer's desk. If your application should be declined, you'll see how to turn that into an opportunity for future success. And if your proposal should be accepted, you'll learn about the essential thank-you letter, how to put together the final report, and how to acknowledge and provide benefits to the funders supporting your program efforts. You'll also understand how crucial it is to diversify your funding base!
Lesson 11 - Business, Individual, and Government Proposals
Today you'll learn about the A to Z of creating business (for-profit) and individual artist proposal packages. You'll also get some important tips and techniques for putting together proposals for government funding sources, which, as you can imagine, will be more complicated and much lengthier than proposals to foundations, corporations, or individual donors.
Lesson 12 - Proposal Presentation and Board Motivation
In our last lesson together, you'll learn about the importance of presentation when it comes to your proposal package. And you'll also gain some insights into what your board of directors can do for you regarding fund raising, as well as get some ideas about how to get them motivated to do it!