The Best Grant Writing Courses in 2024

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Published:

May 27, 2022

Last Updated:

January 24, 2024

When it comes to grant writing, you may be a good writer, or even a great writer, but everyone can improve their skills at any time in their career. That’s why we’ve developed our go-to list of the best grant writing courses available in 2024.

We’ve broken down our list into three class categories: classes for beginners, classes for advanced grant writers, and classes for learning how to tackle proposals to the federal government for funding.

Let’s dig in.

10 best lessons from 10 rant writing experts

What is a Grant Writing Course?

A grant writing course is a class you can take to learn how to become a better writer of winning grant proposals.

Many people with degrees in journalism, English, or marketing communications find themselves becoming grant writers. Others are introduced to the field by other work with nonprofit organizations.

However, grant writing requires more than just knowing how to write. There are certain concepts specific to grants that are necessary to understand—it’s much more than simply following a template. For instance, are you familiar with:

  • Logic models?
  • SMART objectives?
  • Outputs vs. outcomes?
  • Weaving high-value data into your need or problem statement?
  • Telling a story that demonstrates the human impact your organization is making?

If not, the appropriate grant writing course is a great place to get up to speed and otherwise fine-tune your existing skills, whether you’re a newbie to the grants world or a seasoned veteran.

How Can You Benefit from a Grant Writing Course?

There are so many ways a grant writing course can benefit you (and your organization or your clients!) Here’s a list of things you can learn:

  • How to research the best grant opportunities
  • How to enhance your ability to write the most effective proposals possible
  • How to understand what funders look for 
  • How to improve your skills in data collection
  • How to write more compelling cover letters
  • How to create effective executive summaries
  • How to deliver effective problem statements and explain how your project is a solid solution
  • How to propose an evaluation strategy
  • How to create SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound) objectives
  • How to create and when to use a logic model
  • How to write an understandable budget narrative
  • How to manage each grant efficiently and on a deadline

There are dozens of different grant writing courses that can help you hone various skills and improve your grant writing abilities. For more classes, check out our list of expert-led grant writing classes.

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How Much Do Grant Writing Classes Typically Cost (Online vs. In-Person)?

The cost of grant writing classes varies, whether offered online or in-person.

On the low end, it’s possible to find free grant writing classes and webinars. Other grant writing classes can sometimes be as inexpensive as $15-$20 on places like Udemy and generally provide helpful insight and resources.

The most involved and highest-end classes, such as an online course from places like the Lilly School of Philanthropy at IUPUI or the University of Notre Dame, could cost you upwards of a few thousand in total.

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Are Grant Writing Courses Worth the Money?

With so many grant writing resources out there, you may find yourself wondering whether enrolling in a grant writing course is worth the money. 

In general, the return on investment for enrolling in a grant writing course often depends on a student’s individual situation. 

For example, for individuals with only cursory experience or knowledge of grants and grant processes, a grant writing course can be a significant skill building opportunity.

If you already work for a nonprofit, a grant writing course can help you become a stronger, more impactful staff member at your organization. And if you’re working on becoming a grant writing consultant, completing a grant writing course can lend you credibility and even help you land your very first grant-writing gig! 

Don’t forget—winning grants is not a simple feat. Even the most experienced grant writers can hone their skills with the right grant writing course. You could improve your ability to develop a budget narrative, leverage storytelling techniques, or even to identify funding opportunities that are best aligned with your nonprofit’s mission and goals. 

While grant writing courses contribute to stronger talent at nonprofits, they can also be key resources that allow individuals to achieve their personal and/or professional goals. 

According to reports, the average national salary for grant writers currently sits at $65,000 annually with some of the highest earners making upwards of $88,000 annually. 

Additionally, the skills learned in a grants writing course can help people develop all around strong professional skills, making them competitive candidates for promotion or for landing other higher level nonprofit positions such as Program Directors, Executive Directors, or Development Directors.

Fortunately, there are lots of grant writing courses available for every experience level and price range. Many nonprofits may even pay for you to take a course—talk to your current employer and see if they are willing to support your professional development goals in this way.  

How We Evaluated the Best Grant Writing Courses

To create this comprehensive list of the best grant writing courses, we used five evaluation criteria: price, reputation of the instructor, content, accessibility, and whether taking the course results in continuing education credit.

Price

Not everyone has an employer that can pay for part or all of a grant writing course. Many smaller nonprofits have super-tight budgets, and self-employed grant writers often can’t shell out big bucks for continuing education. So, when developing our list we looked at value as a top priority.

Reputation of the Instructor

There are some big, recognizable names in the grant writing universe, just as there are in other fundraising fields, such as planned giving or major gifts. We evaluated the instructor’s reputation and credibility, based on reviews and peer feedback.

Content

While reviewing each course, we evaluated the content presented, as well as any take-away perks like a syllabus, extra study helps or guides, and other resources provided.

Accessibility

We also considered how easy it is to access the course. In other words, is the course offered in-person, is it online, is it accessible by mobile, and how much time do students have to invest to complete it.

Continuing Education Credit

For grant writers who have some type of certificate like the CFRE, or the GPC from the Grant Professionals Certification Institute, continuing education is necessary to

maintain or renew certification. In our list, we made note of which courses provided eligible credit.

The Best Grant Writing Courses in 2024

Drum roll, please.

Here is our curated list of the best grant writing courses currently available divided into the best grant courses for beginners, the best for experienced writers, and the best courses for learning how to successfully prepare a government grant.

Best Classes for Beginners

Fundamentals of Grant Writing by the University of Georgia

Fundamentals of Grant Writing by the University of Georgia

Led by renowned grant writer and trainer Dr. Bev Browning, this six-week long, 24 course-hour online class from the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education and Hotel in partnership with Ed2Go, is an excellent choice for beginning grant writers.

You’ll become comfortable with all the ins and outs of the proposal process, and also get tips and tricks to take your skills to the next level.

This comprehensive class includes the following lessons:

  • Grant Funding Research
  • The Grant Writing Planning Process
  • Peer Review and Constructive Feedback
  • Executive Summary
  • Statement of Need for Funding
  • Benefit to the Target Population
  • Project Goals and Measurable Objectives
  • Evidence-Based Solutions to Address the Need
  • Resources
  • Funding Outcomes and Evaluation
  • Developing a Project Budget

Price: $159

CEUs: 2.4

Grant Writing for Nonprofits by Tim Whitney

Grant Writing for Nonprofits by Tim Whitney

This budget-friendly online course is very basic and designed for beginners. Taught by grant writing expert and attorney Tim Whitney, the course is rated at 4.7 out of 5 stars on Udemy and has been taken by more than 9,000 students.

The class promises to teach you:

  • How to identify the most relevant funders to your organization
  • How to draft a solid boilerplate
  • How to align the funder’s priorities with your organizational mission
  • How to craft a budget

The complete class takes 1.5 hours to complete. Perks include 35 downloadable resources, as well as a certificate of completion.

Price: $29.99

CEUs: None

Grant Writing Basics for Beginners by Skillshare

Grant Writing Basics for Beginners by Skillshare

This very basic online course is designed for fledgling writers who have yet to tackle writing their first proposal. It’s taught by Instrumentl partner Teresa Huff, a successful grant writing consultant and trainer. The course offers 50 minutes of instruction with 10 lessons including:

  • Common questions about grant writing
  • What Is a grant?
  • Grant readiness
  • The top ten myths about grants
  • Where to find grants
  • Sections of a grant
  • Developing your grant project
  • Application submission and awards
  • Think like a reviewer
  • Conclusion and course project

Downloadable content is also available. The course has been taken by nearly 2,000 students, and 99% rated it as either meeting or exceeding their expectations.

Teresa also offers other free grant writing webinars on Skillshare.

Price: Free

CEUs: None

All About Grant Writing

All About Grant Writing

This self-paced online course was developed by GPA Approved Trainer, GPC, and former foundation director, Margit Brazda Poirier of Grants4Good.

The course is supported by regular live Q&A sessions with Margit, a community of current and past students, and lots of downloadable templates to help you complete grant applications. All About Grant Writing online has everything you need to exceed your grant funding goals with an easy-to-follow method in 8 modules (10 hours of instruction). It is designed so that when you finish the course, you've completed the grant application!

The course includes:

  • How to pick the perfect project for funding, gather your materials, and your team
  • Learn how to think like a Funder (and win more grants), and the proven system to structure your grant seeking for the next 10 years
  • How to find the perfect funders and avoid those who aren't
  • A 7-day plan to develop your needs statement, organization qualifications, outcomes & goals, work plan, evaluation plan, collaborations and partnerships, sustainability plan and more
  • Discover the steps to developing a perfect project budget for foundation and government grant applications
  • What to do after the grant application is submitted
  • A long-term grant strategy so you NEVER run out of money
  • How to further your own development, network with others, and get certified in the grants profession.

This self-paced online course is yours for life. Once you register, you get immediate access to all the instruction videos, slides, templates and live sessions with Margit.

Price: $397 - $997

CEU: 10 CFRE

Grant Writing: From Start to Funded by Learngrantwriting.org

Grant Writing: From Start to Funded by Learngrantwriting.org

Author of Amazon best-seller How to Write a Grant: Become a Grant Writing Unicorn, Meredith Noble offers a flagship course that is an excellent entry into becoming a successful grant writer. Topics covered over five modules include:

  • Developing a project planning toolkit
  • Building a power prospectus
  • Logic models and valuation
  • Creative ways to get funded
  • Deep dive into grant funding research
  • A step-by-step approach to writing winning proposals
  • Career paths, including the grant writing unicorn method

You’ll be able to download 15 different templates, and Meredith also posts bonus trainings quarterly.

Price: $750 payable over three months

CEUs: None

Certificate in Grantwriting by Spark the Fire

Certificate in Grantwriting by Spark the Fire

Allison Jones, expert grant writer, instructor and Instrumentl partner, offers a full course in grant writing, resulting in professional certification. Her flagship course, the Certificate in Grant Writing, uses a blended learning approach—a self-paced, online, on-demand course, as well as a series of eight live video conferences to build your network and provide deep discussion. Topics include:

  • Where and how to find funding opportunities
  • Deep dive into proposal writing
  • Advanced logic models and evaluation
  • How to build relationships with funders
  • Ethics
  • Grant management and reporting

The class’s final project is a finalized grant proposal completed by each learner. The eight-week course has garnered rave reviews by former students and only takes about two hours per week for the learning component, with an additional hour for each video conference.

Once completed, each student is awarded a certification through Spark the Fire Grantwriting Classes. Allison is one of only twenty-five approved trainers in the country for GPCI and is an approved trainer of the GPA and CFRE. Certificate in Grantwriting is approved for 24 CEU’s through GPA and CFRE for initial certification and recertification.

Price: $899

CEUs: 24 CFRE and GPC

Grant Courses for Experienced Writers

You’re an experienced proposal writer, but you want to become better. Maybe you feel like you’re losing your edge, or your win rate has dropped. Time for a tune-up!

Check out our picks for the best grant courses for experienced grant writers.

Advanced Grant Proposal Writing by Ed2go

Grant Courses for Experienced Writers

Taught by Dr. Bev Browning, author of “Grant Writing for Dummies”, this advanced course is comprehensive and for experienced grant writers only.

This highly rated 24 course-hour online class includes the following lessons:

  • Types of proposal formats
  • Matching funders with projects
  • Writing the history and major accomplishments section
  • Writing the current projects and activities section
  • Writing the target population served section
  • Writing the partnerships section
  • Writing the needs statement section
  • Writing the program design section
  • Writing the evaluation section
  • Develop the budget section
  • Apply finishing touches and follow-up tasks

Students can take the instructor-led class (recommended) or do a self-paced version over a maximum period of three months.

Price: $149

CEUs: 2.4

Professional Certificate in Grant Writing by San Diego State University

Professional Certificate in Grant Writing by San Diego State University

Instructor Jay Katz, president of Grants West, is a very well-known expert in the grant writing world. The course is offered by San Diego State University’s Global Campus. A certificate is earned after 10 weeks of all online instruction.

To earn the certificate, two full courses are completed: Introduction to Grants and Funding Research, and Grant Proposal Development. While the first course in the sequence is for those with no or little prior grant writing experience, the second course provides the tools to further develop grant writing skills. If you happen to be an SDSU Alumni Lifetime Member, you can receive 20% off registration for this program.

Price: $898

CEUs: Yes–amount unknown

DePaul University Grant Writing Certificate

DePaul University Grant Writing Certificate

Located in Chicago, Illinois, DePaul University offers a comprehensive 10-week grant writing certificate course. The class is taught in person with some online availability as part of the University’s continuum of Continuing and Professional Education program. 

The course is designed for nonprofit employees and grant writers seeking skill enhancement, with a focus on supporting people who are looking to secure funding. 

Not only does the course dive deep into each aspect of the proposal process, but it also provides students with important strategies, including how to determine if a project is fundable and how to utilize online platforms to find RFPs and other grant opportunities.

Topics covered include: 

  • Understanding philanthropy, 
  • Outlining and writing full proposals 
  • Evaluation
  • Crafting persuasive case statements 
  • Budgets and donor cultivation/stewardship
  • Prospect research  

Price: $1,295

CEUs: Unknown

Advanced Grant Writing Course by The Nonprofit Times

Advanced Grant Writing Course by The Nonprofit Times

This course from the respected publication, The Nonprofit Times, in collaboration with MindEdgis priced moderately and is designed specifically for experienced proposal writers. The class is taught by Cynthia Holt, sole proprietor of Holt Community Consulting based in Madison, Wisc.

Want to learn about logic models? Need to develop SMART objectives? The course covers these topics, as well as differentiating between formative and summative evaluations, line-item budget development, and more.

The course takes approximately six hours to complete and is mobile-friendly. Perks include flash cards and games, as well as an “Ask an Expert” feature, allowing students to submit questions regarding course content.

Price: $159

CEUs: 6 CFRE, 0.6 IACET

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Advanced Grant Writing 

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Advanced Grant Writing 

While this in depth grant writing workshop welcomes grant writers of all levels, the content is designed for sharpening writing skills and encouraging strategic thinking that will result in securing new revenue and developing successful proposals. 

The course is taught online and led by Jeremy T. Miner, M.A., an experienced consultant with years of experience as a reviewer for federal and state grant programs, and a grant administrator in the public and private sectors.  

The advanced grant writing workshop focuses on the core elements of grant proposals, as well as learning to identify RFPs, how to anticipate problem areas and reviewer critiques, and how to interpret reviewer feedback. The University of Wisconsin also offers a Professional Grant Writing Certificate, which can be obtained after completing the Advanced Grant Writing course along with a course for beginners. 

Topics included in the course cover:

  • A 3-step RFP analysis 
  • Writing a captivating opening summary 
  • How to interpret reviewers’ comments 
  • How to identify critical elements of the grant review process 

Price: $215 for a single course, $399 for the certificate program

CEUs: Yes, 0.6

Grant Courses about Federal Grants

Writing a proposal to a federal agency can be daunting to say the least. Here are our top choices for the best online grant courses dealing with complex federal proposals.

Competing for Federal Grants by The Grantsmanship Center

Competing for Federal Grants by The Grantsmanship Center

This week-long intensive training is designed for experienced grant writers who need to learn how to write competitive grants to the federal government. There are two trainers, Christine K. Black and AJ King, who rotate between sessions (the course is offered twice a year and is taught live). Both are experienced in the federal grants process, having written successful proposals to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of State, and more.

You’ll learn about navigating through the federal proposal process, how to develop a proposal work plan, and how to submit a competitive proposal. Besides the training, graduates have the opportunity to submit a proposal to the trainer and get tips about how to improve it.

The highly interactive class familiarizes students with the following:

  • Federal funding overview
  • Finding opportunities
  • Interpreting guidelines
  • Effective arguments
  • Teams draft concept papers
  • Teams review concept papers

Included in the price of the course is an eBook of resources, sample proposals, copies of the concept papers reviewed, and a certificate of completion.

Price: $1,395

CEUs: CFRE 33

Grant Management Bootcamp by D.H. Leonard Consulting and MyFedTrainer.com

Grant Management Bootcamp by D.H. Leonard Consulting and MyFedTrainer.com

Offered several times a year via live webcast, this course lasts four half-days and helps students get up-to-speed on federal grant readiness and research. The boot camp is taught by recognized teacher Diane Leonard, principal of DH Leonard Consulting.

Topics include:

  • Federal grant readiness, including the grant life cycle, internal capacity, and assessing your organization’s grant readiness
  • Federal grant research and pre-planning
  • Selecting collaborative partners
  • Developing a needs statement
  • Crafting logic models and SMART objectives
  • Developing your work plan and evaluation criteria
  • Growing your staffing plan and organizational capacity
  • Budgets, assurances, and attachments, including eligible direct expenses, indirect cost rates and more
  • Mock review & submission

Obviously, this course isn’t for newbies to the grant writing world. Besides 12 contact hours of training, perks include live interaction with the instructor, access to the online Grant Writing Boot Camp Resource Center which offers guides, templates and more, as well as access to the webcast recordings for a full year. Students also receive a full year of e-mentoring and a certificate of completion.

Price: $795, or $495 for early birds

CEUs: GPCI 12

Management Concepts: Federal Grants Update and Refresher 

Management Concepts: Federal Grants Update and Refresher 

Federal grants are notoriously complex—with requirements and directions that can be difficult to understand and stay ahead of. This online course presented by Management Concepts helps individuals improve their federal grant writing skills while providing key legislative and regulatory updates that are crucial for federal grant recipients to know. 

The course takes students through the pre-award, award, and post-award phases to help prepare them for every step in the federal grant process. 

This course should not be attempted by people who are new to federal grants. Classes are designed to walk students through changes and differences related to federal grantmaking and assume basic knowledge and familiarity with Uniform Guidance. 

This is an ideal opportunity for grants professionals who have been applying for and managing federal grants for some time and are hoping to sharpen their skills and knowledge. 

Topics covered include:

  • Law, regulations, and processes that support federal assistance 
  • Federal budget process 
  • Federal application process 
  • Awarding federal assistance 
  • Negotiation 
  • Implementation
  • Final reporting 

Price: $809

CEUs: Yes, NASBA 0.6

Grants.gov Video Series

Grants.gov Video Series

Grant writing courses can be a great asset to nonprofit professionals, but the cost of attending and completing these programs can be steep. 

For nonprofit professionals who are just beginning to gain familiarity with the federal and public grants making processes, Grant.gov offers a comprehensive video series. 

The video series covers how to find federal grants, how to apply for federal grants, how to create accounts with various key platforms, and what to expect and how to adhere to requirements following the submission of an application or approval of an award. 

The series is available on Youtube for free. However, for individuals who are looking to receive in-depth or strategic training on federal grants, it might be more appropriate to look elsewhere. 

Price: Free

CEUs: No

Is a Grant Writing Certification Necessary or Even Helpful?

Grant writing courses can be incredibly beneficial for individuals who are looking to improve their professional skills and achieve professional success in the nonprofit sector. 

Some institutions and courses give students the opportunity to obtain a Professional Grant Writing Certificate, which can be leveraged to obtain a promotion or even negotiate for higher pay. Having a certificate listed on your resume can also show an employer that you are familiar with the key competencies associated with a grant writing position. 

However, certifications are costly. As noted above, the 10-week course and certificate program offered by DePaul University costs over $1,200 to enroll. That is a very high cost, especially for nonprofit professionals who are notoriously paid far less than their private sector counterparts. 

At the end of the day, deciding whether to pursue a grant writing certificate comes down to the individual. If you are hoping to break into the nonprofit sector as a grant writer but you have no prior nonprofit experience, perhaps a grant certificate is the right decision. 

However, for individuals who have been working in grants or the nonprofit sector for sometime, it may be better to simply rely on your experiences and expertise. 

Keep in mind that experience beyond a Bachelor’s degree is typically not required for most grant writing positions. Having professional experience writing grants or being involved in the grants process or fundraising in some way may even carry more weight than a certification with some employers. 

If you already have a job at a nonprofit organization, consider speaking with your supervisor or HR representative to determine if obtaining a grants writing certificate is right for you. They may even be able to point you in the direction of courses or other professional development opportunities that will serve you best!

Grant Courses for Everyone from Instrumentl

Instrumentl resources

If you’ve been missing out on Instrumental’s library of great grant courses, it’s not too late to catch up on some of them. We feature grant writing classes from top grant experts covering a variety of topics such as:

All of these webinars are free on Instrumentl’s grant writing classes page. Bookmark this page because we have a new workshop available nearly every week. Each of our courses is an hour long, with ample time for questions and answers at the end. And did we mention they’re all free?

Wrapping Up: The Best Grant Writing Courses

Wrapping up grant writing courses

So, there you have it–the best grant writing courses. Some are free, some are for beginners, and some are for more experienced folks, but we think all of them can help you beef up your grant writing skills.

Did you know Instrumentl can help you find up to 78% more funding opportunities? That’s right. Our matching algorithms allow you to spend more time writing winning proposals than researching funding opportunities.

Plus, we also provide grant management tools to make you work smarter and faster. Take advantage of Instrumentl’s free 14-day trial and experience first-hand all of the features that make Instrumentl one of the very best grant search and management tools available.

Instrumentl team

Instrumentl team

Instrumentl is the all-in-one grant management tool for nonprofits and consultants who want to find and win more grants without the stress of juggling grant work through disparate tools and sticky notes.

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