Training for Grant Writers

by Neva Fenno, M.S.Ed., MLIS

steno and pen
steno and pen

This article is part of a series of articles about grant writing for teachers and school personnel. I've been outlining steps to take in the process, and provided you with some templates for your narratives, and a budget planning Excel document that will help you make sure you cover all the financial bases. This blog is part of a super Grants Database, you can search for appropriate resources.

If you have been selected to be "the school grant writer", it's probably because you raised your hand in a faculty meeting when the subject of fund raising came up. You have a reputation for being organized, detail oriented, and timeline friendly. These are all great traits, but the process of getting a grant can sometimes be a “be careful what you wish for” situation. Working through the writing process will take weeks, perhaps months if you are doing it right.

Sounds daunting, but once you have a few grant applications (successful ones) under your belt, subsequent applications will become easier. You have an opportunity to become a hero in your school, and if you are really good at it, develop a career in grantsmanship.

Assuming you are in this now for the long haul, it may have occurred to you that there might be some formal training available that can help you become an effective grant writer. I've outlined a few of the possibilities (free and not so free) for formal training in this blog.

  • Full-fledged master's degree program in grants management:

Concordia - online and distance education solution.

  • Grant Writing USA, organized workshops throughout the country, a formulaic approach to learning how to write and manage grants (not for everyone, but useful nonetheless.)
  • Foundation Center - one of the oldest and most established organizations for grant writing professionals - worth a look-see. If nothing else, network with other professionals.
  • YouTube presentation - are you visual? YouTube has many videos on the process of writing a grant. We link to one here (disclosure - this video was selected randomly with no allegiance to any commercial products it may highlight.)
  • A librarian's approach, always a good place to start.
  • Slideshare presentation - if you aren't familiar with Slideshare, take a look at the resources available on this site.
  • LinkedIn - Grant professional’s corner - meet and network with fellow grant writers, they are always available to help you through sticky parts of the process.

So many resources and great training opportunities, so little time. All you have to do is Google (or Bing, or Yahoo) "grant writing training". You will be astonished at what pops up.

Let me know what you think about formal training! Maybe you are more organic and learn best by doing - let me know your training selections.