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Division of Continuing Education

Technical Writing

Learn how to develop successful grant proposals that present persuasive reasoning for awarding a grant to your organization.

Our Course Offerings

Grant Writing

Learn how to develop successful grant proposals that present persuasive reasoning for awarding a grant to your organization.

Grant writing techniques and processes are in a transitional stage. Grant writers need to stay on top of the latest trends that include more online grant applications, requirements for better-designed evaluations, and new social policies that determine grant opportunities. This certificate program provides an intensive opportunity to acquire the knowledge and practice the skills necessary to succeed in today’s competitive grant writing environment. Instructed by an accomplished grant writer, you’ll identify and analyze funding resources, design and manage programs, conduct research, and more!


Content Structure

  • Face-to-face, hands-on workshop
  • 30 hours
  • Writing prompts
  • Individual and group exercises

Program Benefits

  • Improved use of staff time in the grant writing process
  • Produce high-quality grant proposals
  • More grant monies awarded
  • Improved writing skills

Who Should Attend

  • Staff and officials new to grant writing who require a basic understanding of the process
  • Individuals currently working on a grant-writing project and facing specific grant-writing problems and issues
  • Successful practitioners in the field who are seeking specialized information and advanced insight into grant project development
  • Prerequisites

    A laptop computer and familiarity with the personal computer environment are required as prerequisites for this program.

  • Module 1

    Grant Circle stepsOverview

    • Personality Style
    • Grant Trends
    • Abstract Development
    • Proposal Preplanning
    • Funding Sources
    • Foundations
    • Government Grants
    • Grant Writing Systems
    • Elements of a Proposal
    • Collaboration Models
    • Needs Assessment Resources
  • Module 2


    • Writing Prompts
    • Writing Instruction
    • Proposal Review
    • Scoring
    • Persuasive Arguments
    • Individual Writing
  • Module 3

    Writing Continued

    • Organizational Capability Writing Prompts
    • Biography Writing Prompts
    • Program Description Writing Prompts
    • Budget Construction
    • Tools/Techniques for Writing and Presenting
    • Copy Editing and Proofreading Techniques
  • Module 4


    • Basic Research Techniques
    • Copyright and Ethics
    • Site Reviews
    • Government and Foundation Grants
    • Competitors
    • Collaborators
    • Newsletters
    • Grant Monitoring System
  • Module 5


    • Personal Mission Statement
    • Consulting Practice
    • Board Development
    • Strategic Planning
    • Special Events
    • Volunteer Management
    • Grants Management
    • Fundraising
    • Organizational Development Plan for Small Nonprofit
    • Annual Fundraising Plan for Established Nonprofit
    • Consulting Proposal

Grant Writing Instructor

Jack Smith Headshot

Jack Smith

Jack Smith is a nationally-recognized grant writing trainer. Since 1987, his consulting practice has directly contracted training consulting services with more than 200 different organizations and he has taught more than 1,500 grant writing classes in his career. He has taught grant-writing skills for the state governments of Connecticut, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Georgia, and Vermont, and for agencies and clients of the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Cherokee Nation.

He is also a member of the adjunct faculty of the professional development programs at the Austin Center for Community Based and Nonprofit Organizations, University of Maine, Western Carolina University, and the University of Georgia. In 2012 and 2013, he taught advanced grant writing classes in Ethiopia and South Africa for the African Society for Laboratory Medicine and the U.S. CDC. In 1986, the U.S. Department of Energy presented its Award for Energy Innovation to Mr. Smith’s National Self-Help Weatherization Program Model. He has served as the Development Director for Portland, Maine's largest social service agency, and been on the board of more than a dozen nonprofit agencies including the Portland Public Library. Jack earned a master of public administration degree from the University of Maine.


“Excellent instructor! Very knowledgeable, helpful, and can share experiences. Would recommend Jack as a consultant, trainer, and instructor!” — Janice Gendreau, 2019 graduate

“Very informative and useful info. I gained much insight that will be useful going forward. Jack was very organized in his presentation of the material! I will recommend this class to others.” — Susan Stewart, 2019 graduate

“Very informative, thorough, and never boring! FUN! I feel well-prepared to tackle grants.” — Kristi Stratton, 2019 graduate

“I have a clear understanding of the process and deliverables. The best part of the class is that I came with no project in particular and I leave with a two-year fully-funded project that will benefit the Ish Brandt Beautification Committee of the City of Neptune Beach, FL. Thank you so much!” — Magelda Arnold, 2019 graduate

“This course is for anyone in the field of grant proposal writing or project management. I learned so much I can apply to my current work as well as an action plan for my future projects.”

— Johanna Bienvenue, 2019 graduate

“I came with one purpose in mind and left with ideas that I hadn’t considered!” — Krista Branham, 2019 graduate

“I learned about the grant writing process as well as business and consultant work. These skills will be useful for immediate and future use. Thank you for a great course!” — Dana Deal, 2019 graduate

“Instructor was instantly relevant, relatable, and provided excellent instruction. The material was well-organized and contained more than the course advertised. Great class. Great experience. Great value for the money.” — Mark Elkins, 2019 graduate

“Great course! Exceeded my expectations and covered much more than just the grant writing function.” — William B. Ramirez, 2019 graduate

“This course was well worth the money. Jack did an excellent job of including all levels of experience.” — Anonymous, 2019 graduate

Technical Writing


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