Writing a grant can be very technical. For a grant proposal to make sense to the reader the grant writer needs to develop a logical proposal that will justify their request.

The proposal must be well planned out as well as organized to make the impression that funding the proposal will be a good decision. A lot of people make mistakes when writing grants because they lack the skills necessary to make a good proposal, such proposals usually fail because they do not make sense at all and lack a rational justification.

By definition, grant writing is the process of writing a proposal for financial support often provided by a foundation, government department, or corporation. To understand what a grant writing proposal is all about, you must first familiarise yourself with the basic concepts typical of winning grant proposals.

The first step in writing a grant proposal is identifying the problem. This part of the grant proposal is also referred to as “The need statement”, it is the part where most beginners make the most mistakes.

In the section, you attempt to state the reason for making the grant request. Next, you explain how the project intends to fix the problem by setting objectives that will help serve as markers. These objectives also help tell what the project will achieve and the time is taken to achieve them.

The next thing you want to talk about in the grant application is the steps you will take in order to reach those objectives. You should aim at describing how the objectives will help solve the problems outlined in the need statement.

This section will help tell the funder, how you intend to reach the objectives earlier stated. You should also state the methods you intend to use to measure your project successes. This is particularly important because funders need to know that the money spent will be beneficial to the project.

Apparently, the benefits of writing a grant are the economic benefits. They can range from hundreds of dollars to thousands depending on the funding institution or agency.

This is the most important reason your grant application has to be remarkable. Grant writing is a skill that has to be acquired, and as you begin to learn about grant writing you become more familiar with techniques that will improve the chances of getting a grant.

With millions of non-profit organizations and many other institutions depending on grants the demand for grant writers has improved significantly over the years.

They are faster, effective, and often come with the added advantage of earning a grant writing certificate upon completing the course. So if you want to launch your career or boost your skills in grant writing, below are some of the best online courses available for you.


1. Grant Proposal – Coursera

Grant Proposal – Coursera

Coursera is one of the world-leading online learning. It offers many courses in different fields of study. Coursera is definitely the right choice for you. With the partnership with over 200 universities, it aims at bringing education to the doorstep of everyone irrespective of their geographical location.

The courses offered by Coursera are flexible allowing you to learn at your own pace. To make things better you also get a professional certificate, master track certificate, or diploma at the end of the course. Coursera has over 70 million people learning on their platform, it stands out in the online learning community.

Your instructors for this course will be Elena Bozanova and Varvara Sosedova. Elena is the director of the Language Training and Testing Centre at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. She earned her Ph.D. in education in 2013 from the Moscow Institute of Foreign Language.

She’s the author and co-author of 17 books and is the current chair at the English philology department at the Russian state social University. Varvara Sosedova received her graduate degree from Moscow Linguistics University in 2010 and her Ph.D. is in philology that she earned in 2015 from the Pedagogy University of Moscow city. She has some publications based on her Ph.D. in the field of Linguistic and Cultural Science.

What to expect?

This focuses on guiding you on proposal development so that the reviewer of your grant application can better evaluate the plan and benefits of your proposal. In this course, you will be taught the unique method of converting your ideas into text.

You will also be taught how to respond to negative feedback from reviewers so you can resubmit better proposals. It also focuses on providing you with relevant grant management tools. This course takes approximately 13 hours to complete and provides a very flexible schedule.

What you will learn?

The course is divided into four modules. In the first model, you will learn how to create a rationale for your project, you will also learn how to effectively find funders.

In this course, you will be taught how to identify your proposal’s strong and weak points. The second module aims at helping you learn effective tools that will make your work organized and presentable.

Another important skill you will gain from this lecture is project cost estimation as well as justifying your budget. In the third module, you will learn the writing skills required for proposal development. In this module, you will also learn the art of persuasive writing and formatting techniques. As a bonus, you will learn how to prepare a short oral presentation just in case a funder requires you to meet.

The final module will teach you how to examine your proposal before submission and also teach you how to handle feedback, as well as how to revise your proposal for resubmission.

Finally, you will get relevant information on project closing and processing. After completing the course you also get a printable certificate.

Related reading: Coursera Review


Instructors: Elena Bazanova and Vavara Sosedova

Level: Intermediate

User Review: 4.6 

Video Lectures: 33

Price: US$49


2. Grant Writing for Nonprofits & Freelance Writers – Udemy

Grant Writing for Nonprofits & Freelance Writers – Udemy

Udemy is an online learning platform that has gained some recognition over the years, it is one of the best online platforms that offer learning resources and instructions for people anywhere in the world. With over 57,000 instructors, and 130,000 courses available Udemy is your go-to point to learn—even at the comfort of your home.

You will be learning with Tim Whitney who will be your instructor for this course. Tim is a non-profit and public policy strategist and design practitioner.

He worked at the Intersection of Social Services, he also worked at drug treatment and criminal justice policy bringing his total work experience to over 17 years. He pays particular attention to assisting organizations that do redemption work (organizations that try to restore hope and help brokenness).

This course is for non-profit organizations, especially for small and new non-profit organizations. It is also for freelance writers who want to add grant writing skills to their belt.

What to expect?

At the end of this course, you will have powerful tools in your arsenal that will make you competitive in the grant writing business. You will be using real examples throughout the course, each lesson will contain transcripts that will help form your proposal boilerplate (the about us statement). In this course, you will also be provided with key strategies and tips for seeking foundations and government grants. Some of these tips include.

  • Getting relevant data on grants at the local and federal level.
  • Identifying five key local foundations. 

Next, you will learn key strategies to help craft a solid application like budget, letter of intent, and meeting up with the funders’ expectations. In each session, two documents will be available for download.

  • The PDF of the slides in the lecture reaching out in a handout format and
  • A word document

What you will learn?

This course contains five sections. The first section is an introductory video lecture. The second section goes into detail, teaching you how to think like the funder so your grant proposal is more persuasive.

The third section of this course introduces the term boilerplate. Basically, this section contains the main ideas of the course, it introduces you to the basic concept of grant writing. The fourth section of this course will guide you on how to seek both foundation and government grants. The final section of this course gives you more details on developing relationships, and building the letter of intent, in this section you’ll also be taught the final aspect of completing an application, creating a budget, and what to do after submitting your proposal.

Related Reading: Udemy Review


Instructor: Tim Whitney

Level: Intermediate

User Review: 4.6 

Video Lectures: 17

Price: US$11.99 

3. Grant writing and Crowd Funding for Public Libraries – edX

Grant writing and Crowd Funding for Public Libraries – edX

edX is definitely a great choice if you want to learn grant writing. With over 20 million learners currently on this platform, it is exceptional when it comes to skill learning. Founded by Harvard and MIT, edX offers many job-relevant courses in almost every field. The courses are affordable, concise and well-organized.

Your instructor for this course is Kristin Fontichiaro. Kristin is a clinical associate professor at the University of Michigan (School of Information). She is the author of over 20 books. She is a renowned speaker both at the National and International level. She focuses on matters like professional practice, data, digital literacy, information, and data literacy.

What to expect?

This course is part of the public library management professional certificate program that explores the techniques used in developing successful grant proposals.

It also explores strategies used in engaging communities in a crowdfunding campaign. In this course, you will get to design a grant proposal for a local or federal level funding source.

The course would last for a total of 4 weeks, you will be required to dedicate at least 2-3 hours to the course every week.

You will learn how to read and comprehend grant applications, to get a better idea of what grant funding organizations look for in a grant proposal. You will also learn how to develop effective strategies to create strong proposals.

What you will learn?

This course is divided into five sections. The first section is an introductory lecture that tells you what grant writing is all about. The second section involves reviewing the grant requirements, as well as sponsors. In the third section, you will be given information on team-building and having a vision.

The next section is assembling the proposal, while the final section talks exclusively about crowdsourcing. At the end of this course, you also get a certificate that contains the institution’s logo confirming your achievement, this will go a long way in increasing your job prospects.

Related Reading: edX Review


Instructor: Kristen Fontichiaro

Level: Introductory

User Review: N/A

Video Lectures: N/A 

Price: FREE for enrolling but get a verified certificate for US$49

4. Successful Grant writing for Beginners – Udemy

Successful Grant writing for Beginners – Udemy

This course is offered by Udemy. It is a beginner’s guide into the realm of grant writing. This course is for you if you are an entry-level fundraising staff in an organization.

This course is also for non-profit volunteers who want to learn about grant writing and for founders. So if you are new to grant writing and can’t seem to find your way or know where to begin this course is for you.

You will be learning with Tracy Vanderneck. She has over 20 years of experience in the field of sales management, business development, and fundraising. She cares and focuses on helping non-profits achieve their goal. She will be there to guide you step-by-step in this course and show you strategies that will help you develop an effective grant proposal.

What to expect?

In this course, you will get relevant information on grant research database tools. You will also learn how to identify ground possibilities for your organization. You will learn how to write winning grants and support your documentation. You will also be taught what to do after winning the grant, and how to respond if your proposal is rejected. This course contains a 1-hour on-demand video with four downloadable resources.

What you will learn?

This course is divided into three major sections: an introductory section, a section that talks about researching, and a third section that talks about applying for grants. In the introductory section, you will be given instructions to follow that will guide you throughout the course.

The second section is divided into 6 parts, where you learn about finding sources based on attributes of the organization, how to prioritize by creating a list of possibilities, grant tracking tools, grantor’s details. At the end of the section, you get a short quiz that will test what you have learned.

In the third section, you will be given information concerning the technical aspects of grant application including application guidelines, letter of intent, prioritizing, meeting the application requirement, formatting and final submission. After that, you will be guided on proposal writing to win the grant.


Instructor: Tracy Vanderneck

Level: Beginner

User Review: 4.4

Video Lectures: 20

Price: US$11.99

5. Grant Writing For Education – LinkedIn Learning

Grant Writing For Education – LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning has earned the reputation of being one of the best online learning platforms available for professionals around the globe. This course is for you if you already understand the basics of grant writing but want to take it to the next level.

You will be learning with Karl Karp. He will guide you throughout the course explaining each step in simple terms to facilitate a better understanding.

What to expect?

In this course you will learn how to write a grant proposal, and also the process involved in funding, applying, and winning grants. You will also learn the common grant-writing mistakes.

You will be provided with worksheets and documents of winning grants so you can learn from them. This course offers a flexible schedule that contains a one project file with four chapter quizzes.

What you will learn?

In the first section of this course, you will define your project and also learn to find funding agencies and collaborators. In the second section, you will understand the key aspects of the RFP (request-for-proposal). The third section focuses on breaking down the key concept for a great grant proposal. The final section aims at addressing the common mistakes made when grant writing. After completing this course you get a printable PDF certificate.

Related Reading: LinkedIn Learning Review


Instructor: Karl Karp

Level: Intermediate

User Review: N/A

Video Lectures: 22

Price: US$35

6. Fundamentals of Written Proposals – Pluralsight

Fundamentals of Written Proposals – Pluralsight

Pluralsight is a leading online platform that provides lectures and resources for people all over the world. It has over 1500 expert authors and over 1704 employees. This is definitely the best place to start learning the craft of grant writing.

Your instructor for this course is Alan Ackmann, he teaches both technical writing and business at the Writing Rhetoric and Discourse Department at The University of Chicago, Illinois.

What to expect?

In this course, you will be taught how to create, build, and write a business proposal. Some of the modules in this course will teach you the role and importance of proposals in the professional culture.

It also focuses on common techniques and strategies used in persuasive writing. The total duration of this course is approximately 2 hours.

What you will learn?

This course is divided into five sections. In the first section, you will learn the basics of proposal writing and also the different types of proposals and in the second section, you will learn how to understand the context and strategy of your proposal.

The test section contains the main proposal, in this section, you will learn how to develop the main idea of your proposal.

The fourth section focuses on the secondary aspect of your proposal the fifth and final section talks more about developing the external aspects of the proposal.

Related Reading: Pluralsight Review


Instructor: Alan Ackmann

Level: Beginner

User Review: 4.0

Video Lectures: 32

Price: N/A

7. Advanced Grant Writing – Ed2go

Advanced Grant Writing – Ed2go

In this course, you will be guided by an experienced grant writer who will teach you the techniques used in writing a winning proposal.

In this course you’ll be learning with Beverly Browning, she has over 40 years of experience as a grant writing consultant. She is the author of over 40 publications and also the director of the Grant Writing Training Foundation (a non-profit organization).

What to expect?

This course offers a flexible online program that takes 6-12 weeks to complete with a total of 24 hours of coursework.

What you will learn?

  • In this course, you will learn the different types of formats used in a grant proposal.
  • You will also learn how to source funding agencies that will match both your needs and their interests
  • You will learn to plan for spending grant funds in the most thoughtful ways.
  • You will also learn standard definitions you need to be familiar with, especially when planning your budget.
  • You will learn relevant formatting techniques and words to use in your proposal.
  • Finally, you will learn the relevant steps to take if you get the grant or if your proposal is rejected.

All of the grant writing courses mentioned above are offered by highly reputable online platforms. Now your job is to find the one that suits your budget and find it easier to accomplish within the timeframe you have allocated to learn the grant writing skill.


Instructor: Beaverly Browning

Level: Advanced

User Review: 4.5 

Video Lectures: 5 video sessions

Price: The instructor-led course goes for US$129 and the self-paced course goes for US$115

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Rebekah Pierce

Rebekah Pierce is a writer with a B.A. in English from St. Lawrence University and a Master’s in Special Education from SUNY Plattsburgh. She has worked both as a college admissions counselor as well as a high school English teacher and has also written extensively on topics related to educational technology and the college selection process.

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