Grant Writing

Grant Writing

  1. Read the resources as indicated on the Learning Resources page.
    Post an introduction in the Café.
    Begin to check your knowledge with the Pre-Quiz.
    Compose your initial response to Discussion.
  2. Each year, billions of dollars are disbursed by public and private funders to financially support a myriad of projects, including research endeavors, community-focused programs, global activities, personal and professional development and support opportunities, organizational missions, planning needs, start-up assistance, and much more.

While the benefits of receiving a grant can be highly advantageous to the grantee and its stakeholders, the grant-seeking effort that precedes this outcome can be a bewildering and complex process. The pursuit of a grant requires research, determination, attention to detail, knowledge of funders and what they are looking for, collaboration, writing skills, and passion.

Grantsmanship is a fitting term for the full breadth of a process that includes proficiency in identifying needs, conducting prospect research to identify funders, proposal writing, cultivating relationships, and ensuring accountability for grant-funded projects.

Grant seeking begins with the identification of a need or problem. Whether the need is for a complex research grant, a local community project, an individual professional growth opportunity, or an initiative aimed at social change, any project designed to solve or address that need must be backed by evidence-based data to support its viability.

After you have a project idea in mind, the next step is to search for the right Request for Proposal (RFP). The RFP is an invitation by funders for grant seekers to apply for funding. What should you look for in a prospective funder? What do you think funders look for in a grant/grantee? How can relationship building clarify and enhance the perception of one to another? Consider the development of your relationship with funders from beginning to end. Locating the right RFP is a critical step in the grant-seeking process. There are many different funding sources available, and an application made to an ill-matched funder will waste time that might otherwise have been spent on a successful outcome. An application made to an appropriate match hopefully will allow you to partner with a funder that shares your goals. Even if you were prompted to seek a grant after hearing about a specific RFP, it is still a good idea to check out other options to ensure that you are pursuing the best opportunity possible.

Seeking a grant, particularly in today’s technology-driven and competitive economic environment, is an ever-changing and detailed process. Requirements for grant proposals differ widely from funder to funder. Public applications differ from private applications, and each carries its own challenges. Cultivating positive and collaborative relationships, particularly in non-face-to-face scenarios, takes on even greater relevance than what might have been the case years ago, and attention must be paid to how these relationships are conducted and nurtured. And, of course, at the heart of the endeavor is the project itself. What will a grant allow the grant seeker to accomplish? How will this benefit an individual, organization, community, or population? What social change might be achieved through this project? These are but some of the issues you will need to answer as you develop a grant proposal in this course.

In this module, you begin the grant-writing process by sharing with your colleagues your own experiences. To ensure that development of your own grantsmanship skills are off to a good start, you will also take a quiz on terminology and concepts. You will develop and evaluate project ideas that address a specific problem or need while considering evidence-based practices that support this project’s intent. Finally, with your project in mind, you will apply search tools to identify appropriate RFPs and finalize your RFP selection.

learning objectives this semester
Learning Objectives
Students will:
Analyze grant-writing experiences
Analyze appropriate funding sources/RFPs
Analyze RFPs for project applicability
Analyze the importance of developing relationships between funders and grantees
Analyze key elements of the funder-grantee relationship
Evaluate key considerations in collaborating with a grant partner

learning resources
Learning Resources
Required Readings
Gitlin, L.N., Kolanowski, A., & Lyons, K.J. (2021). Successful grant writing: Strategies for health and human service professionals (5th ed). Springer Publishing Company.

Chapter 1, “Why Write a Grant?” (pp. 4–27)
Chapter 2, “Becoming Familiar With Funding Sources” (pp. 31–50)
Chapter 3, “Developing Your Ideas for Funding” (pp. 54–65)
Chapter 4, “Infrastructure to Support Grantsmanship” (pp. 69–68)
Community Tool Box. (n.d.). Writing a grant application for funding. Retrieved December 17, 2017, from http://ctb.ku.edu/en/writing-grant-application

Flavin, R. (2014). Tips for writing a winning grant proposal. Tech Directions, 74(1), 18–19.

Jaykus, L. A. (2017). Keys to successful grant writing. Journal of Food Science, 82(7), 1511–1512.

Keys to Successful Grant Writing by Jaykus, L., in Journal of Food Science, Vol. 82/Issue 7. Copyright 2017 by John Wiley & Sons – Journals. Reprinted by permission of John Wiley & Sons – Journals via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Monsanto Fund. (n.d.). Best practices in grant writing. Retrieved from https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5717a5b162cd94792b6e1be3/t/57715f49440243cc24451285/1467047753984/Grant-Writing-Tips.pdf

Violante, S. (2017). Exploring the grant writing process. Registered Dental Hygienist, 37(9), 36–38, 88.

Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.

Visodos, R.J., & Evans, S. (2016). Need funding? Get started! Tips for successful grant writing. Techniques, 15-18.

Document: Process Development Template (Word document)

Note: This is only a worksheet to help you develop your project idea. Please note that it is not the final project template and should not be used for your Final Project assignments.

Document: Final Project Guidelines (Word document)

Document: Final Project Submission Directions (Word document)

Required Media
Laureate Education (Producer). (2015). Grant writing—What foundations look for [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 16 minutes.

Accessible player
Credit: Provided courtesy of the Laureate International Network of Universities.

G Vision Consulting. (2014, February 17). Day 1: What is a grant? Who is eligible to apply? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDs8IEVz9_4

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 8 minutes.

G Vision Consulting. (2014, February 19). Day 3: 4 types of funders [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv7eGfP96bg

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 9 minutes.

G Vision Consulting. (2014, February 20). Day 4: What is an RFP? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwCsX0tBQVk

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 13 minutes.

Optional Resources
Foundation Center. (n.d.). Knowledge base. Retrieved December 17, 2017, from http://grantspace.org/tools/knowledge-base/Funding-Research/Definitions-and-Clarification/glossaries

G Vision Consulting. (2014, February 18). Day 2: What is a 501 c3? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCemsQ26a28

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 8 minutes.

Grants.gov. (n.d.). Grant terminology. Retrieved December 17, 2017, from https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/learn-grants/grant-terminology.html

Vandenbroek, A. (2010). Grant writing without blowing a gasket. Library Media Connection, 28(6), 28–30.

Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.

Discussion 1: Project Ideas
A grant can be a powerful tool for achieving what might otherwise be impossible, or at least very difficult, to accomplish. What are some project ideas you have in mind for addressing a specific problem or need? If you were to apply for a grant, what would you pursue? What might your organization pursue?

With project ideas in mind, read the literature and familiarize yourself with evidence-based practices associated with the problems you are seeking to address. Determine what is currently being done to solve or mitigate these problems. This step is extremely important in determining how or if to proceed with your own project idea.

For this Discussion, critically think through your project ideas and concepts, as well as the literature, and select one to further develop for your grant proposal. Use the Process Development Template, located in this week’s Learning Resources, to organize your ideas regarding the purpose of the project and the research you have conducted.

Note: Use the Process Development Template as an iterative and cumulative worksheet for keeping notes and ideas about the different elements that will be addressed in your grant proposal. While this document will not be submitted for grading, it will inform assignments that are submitted. You are encouraged to use this template as both a guide for, and record of, the work you are doing.

For your first Discussion, review this module’s Learning Resources.

By Day 3 of Week 1
Post your response to the Discussion area in the Blackboard classroom.

Part A:

Describe your previous grant-writing experiences and explain what are, in your opinion, the most challenging aspects of grant writing. If you have not had previous grant-writing experience, what are some challenges you might anticipate and why? Describe the work you are currently involved in for which you might pursue funding.

Part B:

Post your project idea, explaining the needs it will meet. Explain why this might be attractive to potential funders, and distinguish it from others that have addressed the same problem.

this is part one discussion