A successful grantseeking program can provide your nonprofit with vital financial resources so you can enhance your capacity and fulfill your mission. Consistently writing winning grant proposals, however, can feel like a daunting task that leaves many nonprofits stressed, confused, and overwhelmed.
If your organization struggles with the grant application process, spends too much time writing proposals that do not get funded, or simply desires to take your proposals to the next level, GrantStation’s online course Turbocharge Your Grantwriting Skills is right for you.
Throughout this course, GrantStation President Alice Ruhnke will guide you through the entire grant proposal process step-by-step. You’ll learn how to craft an organizational background, compelling statement of need, process and outcome evaluation, approach, and budget with detailed videos, downloads, examples, and other resources.
You’ll be introduced to a proposal writing framework that can be used repeatedly and will help save you time, write better proposals, and get funded more frequently.
During this course you’ll have access to:
- seven complete units with five hours of short, detailed video lessons breaking down every section you’ll find in a typical grant proposal;
- downloads, examples, and other resources you can use to streamline your proposal writing process based on best practices; and,
- facilitated small-group sessions where you can ask questions, work with other nonprofit professionals, and reinforce what you’ve learned. (Collaborative learning track only)
This course is perfect for those who are relatively new to the field of grantwriting and are looking to develop foundational skills as well as intermediate-level grantwriters who have seen success in the past but want to level up their skills and consistently implement best practices.
No matter your current level, you’ll walk away from this course ready to implement a proven framework for grantwriting success so you can help your organization create a lasting positive impact in your community.
Review the learning full course details and FAQs below.
The complete course is broken down into seven units and includes 73 lessons and 5 hours of video. Each unit focuses on a different part of a full grant proposal with detailed videos, examples, and action items.
Unit 1: Setting the Stage: Proposal Writing Basics (10 lessons/39 minutes)
The first unit in the course covers grantwriting essentials to help you get prepared to write winning proposals. You’ll learn:
- why you should always set up a proposal writing schedule and how to do so;
- the essential documents to prepare prior to getting started;
- how to “audit” your organization’s strengths;
- how the most effective grantwriters follow the 80/20 rule; and,
- a repeatable planning framework you can use to streamline your grantwriting process.
Unit 2: Building Credibility With Your Organizational Background (6 lessons/19 minutes)
The second part of the course will examine how to write a background section that builds trust in your organization. You’ll learn:
- the purpose of your background section;
- typical components that most funders want;
- writing tips to engage grant reviewers from the outset; and,
- why your background section is the perfect time to “brag” about your organization.
Unit 3: Writing a Compelling Statement of Need (14 lessons/57 minutes)
During unit three, you’ll discover how you can incorporate data and stories to show funders the importance of the work you do. You’ll learn:
- the purpose of a needs statement;
- two common mistakes you need to avoid;
- how to ensure you’re not part of the problem to be solved in the minds of grant reviewers;
- the two parts that make up a great needs section;
- the type of data you should include;
- potential data sources that can help establish a need; and,
- how to weave in stories in order to make your needs section more interesting.
Unit 4: Creating Process and Outcome Evaluations (17 lessons/1 hour 18 minutes)
The fourth unit in the course will explore one of the most important elements of a well-written proposal: your outcome and process evaluation. This section is so important because funders want to support organizations that get results, which means you need to communicate the desired impact of your programs in a way that inspires donors. You’ll learn:
- the difference between outcomes and indicators and how to clearly define each;
- how to answer a funder’s “So what?” question so they know the positive effects of your programs and projects; and,
- how to develop measurement tools that show the impact your programs have for participants, even if the impact feels difficult to measure.
Unit 5: Designing an Approach That Gets Noticed (10 units/33 minutes)
Your approach connects with nearly every aspect of your proposal. It should be a bridge between the need you’ve identified and the changes you want to see in participants. Additionally, it must align with your budget. Unit 5 will explore how to write this type of cohesive approach. You’ll learn:
- the purpose of your approach section;
- how to communicate your timeline clearly;
- the importance of considering evidence-based practices in program design;
- how the right partners and staff members can build credibility for your work; and,
- how to identify ideal partners for your programs and projects.
Unit 6: Building Budgets That Make Sense (9 units/35 minutes)
Unit 6 will explore a part of proposals that many writers find challenging: budgets. An effective budget should clearly align with your approach and demonstrate community support. Throughout this unit you’ll learn:
- how to find matching funds for you program;
- how to use in-kind donations to demonstrate community support;
- tips for creating a budget narrative that aligns with the numbers you present; and,
- how to address sustainability questions.
Unit 7: Putting It All Together (7 units/22 minutes)
The final unit in the course will explore how you can use the work you’ve done in a variety of ways. You’ll learn:
- how each part of the planning framework connects;
- tips for common issues such as page limits and online applications; and,
- how you can use the planning framework when creating letters of inquiry and logic models.
Is a GrantStation membership required?
No, a GrantStation Membership is not required to access this course. However, if you’re not a Member we encourage you to explore Membership options here as this course will help you streamline your grantwriting, which means you can submit more applications.
I’ve never written a grant before. Is this course right for me?
This is a great course for novice grantwriters as it will take you through the common elements that you’re likely to encounter when writing a full grant proposal. You’ll see how different sections fit together and that while grantmakers use different terminology, they’re often asking for the same thing. This will help you get started with best practices.
I’m an experienced grantwriter. Is this course right for me?
While this course provides foundational grantwriting skills, it also introduces a repeatable framework that experienced grantwriters can use to improve their skills. If you find grantwriting tedious, submit too many applications that get rejected, or are just looking for ways to streamline your process, this course can help. It utilizes a proven framework that GrantStation President Alice Ruhnke has used to win over $45 million.
How long does the course take to complete? Is there a specific schedule or timeline to follow?
After registering, you’ll receive instant access to the full course so you can begin right away. The course includes over 4 hours of video lessons which you can take at your own pace. Your access to the course does not expire, so you can revisit lessons as many times as you’d like.
Can I receive a certificate?
Yes, all students will receive a Certificate of Completion after they’ve completed the course. The course is also CFRE certified.
What happens after I complete my purchase?
You’ll receive instant access to the full course via email. You can also access the course in your GrantStation dashboard. Within 1 business day you’ll receive a welcome email with additional details on how to make the most of the course.
Who should I contact if I have different questions?
Please reach out to David Gates, GrantStation’s Director of Online Education, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Alice Ruhnke is the President of GrantStation. Having raised over $45 million from federal, state, and private grantmakers, she knows what it takes to get funded. As a former nonprofit program coordinator and director, and the Founder of The Grant Advantage, Alice has a deep understanding of the challenges that nonprofits face. Over the last 20 years she's worked in the trenches with hundreds of nonprofit organizations to improve their capacity to raise funds. Alice is an author and educator with a passion to share her expertise. Her insightful trainings on grant proposal writing and development, community change models, service projects, and measuring outcomes have helped over 4,000 individuals positively impact their communities.