Step by Step: How to Write a Winning Grant Proposal

Previous Course Title: Mastering Grant Writing

Master the fundamentals of grant writing through this highly interactive online course. Working with an expert grant writer/instructor, participants will probe and practice the basic steps of writing a successful grant proposal.

Through hands-on writing exercises and case study critiques, you will learn how to shape proposal concepts, needs statements, goals, objectives and strategies, program budgets, evaluations and more. Learn from nonprofit practitioners and other professionals around the U.S. and beyond as you dialogue collectively with your instructor on a password-protected course Website.   The curriculum for this course focuses on philanthropic foundation grants, not government or research grants.

Topics Covered

  • Grant Writing: Getting Started
  • Anatomy of a Grant Proposal
  • Writing the Proposal, Part 1: Needs Statement, Goals and Objectives
  • Writing the Proposal, Part 2: Drafting Strategies to Meet Objectives
  • Preparing the Budget and Documenting Sustainability
  • Evaluation, Supplementary Materials and Final Steps

Course Benefits

Upon completion of readings and assigned learning activities, students will be able to:

  • Understand the multi-faceted context in which a grant proposal is both generated and reviewed
  • Research and identify an appropriate funder for a given proposal
  • Develop a clear proposal outline and proposal in response to funder guidelines
  • Prepare the narrative portion of a grant proposal including: needs statement; goals and objectives; methods and design, timeline and plan for sustainability
  • Prepare a basic budget
  • Construct a basic evaluation component
  • Identify and prepare supplementary proposal materials

Required Text

While most readings will be provided on the course website, students are required to purchase the following book:

Browning, B. A. (2008). Perfect Phrases for Writing Grant Proposals: Hundreds of ready-to-use phrases to present your organization, explain your cause, and get the funding you need. McGraw-Hill.

Special Features

  • Weekly readings and resources to inform your understanding of the grant writing process
  • Individual “studio” activities offering opportunities to cultivate practical skills
  • Original case studies and problem-based learning activities
  • In-depth weekly discussions on the real-life challenges and opportunities of grant writing
  • A small class size generally limited to 25 participants


This is an instructor-led course delivered entirely online. It is highly interactive and requires active participation on discussion boards and completion of assigned projects. There are no real-time class meetings. Students work at times that are convenient for them within the weekly schedule of activities. We estimate spending an average of 8 – 10 hours per week on each Certificate in Nonprofit Management course. The time commitment will vary depending the individual’s input, needs, and personal study habits. For this reason, we highly recommend students participate in no more than two CNM courses at a time.

Note: This is a tech-enhanced course that requires access to Blackboard, a course management system used by UIC. In order to complete registration, you must submit proof of identity to secure your unique NetID (username).

Contact Hours: 48

Section 0918
September 13 – October 24, 2018
Course Fee: $650
Instructor: Deborah (Debby) Strauss
Registration Deadline: Monday, September 10, 2018 at 11:59pm
Location: Online

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