If you work at a non-profit, a university, a government agency, or a private business, you have likely been involved in some aspect of the grant proposal process and know about the challenges and frustrations that come along with it. Our non-profit partners are probably especially well-versed in the trials and tribulations of grant writing. Wouldn’t it be great if there were some sort of class that addressed these issues

Luckily, there is! My colleague in RESI, Rebecca Ebersole, and I attended the Grant Writing USA Grant Writing Workshop in Washington, D.C. this past Tuesday and Wednesday. We set out thinking that we might brush up on our grant writing skills and learn a few new tips, but we came away with so much more.

GWUSA_logo-TB-002_smallI am just starting down the path of grant writing and have limited experience writing grant proposals, so I was very interested in learning more about the process, what to include, and how to wow funders with our proposals. Our instructor, who had several years of experience writing grants for all different types of organizations, covered each part of the grant proposal and offered some tips and tricks for how to make your proposal stand out. Each participant received a workbook detailing the different parts, as well as a disc containing even more information such as resources and proposal samples.

In addition to learning the basic steps to preparing a grant proposal, the instructor gave us many, many online resources to help us along the way. These range from databases containing funding opportunities, to resources that can help in budget preparation, to online communities where you can chat with other grants professionals about their experiences.

All of this added up to a very productive two-day workshop. I think Rebecca and I both learned so much about the grants process for both public and private funders. I’m back in the office and ready to help our partners secure grants for their great projects.