With education and skill development moving into the online space, finding a comprehensive grant writing certification is easier than ever. There are tons of online accrediting organizations that offer grant writing classes.
Luckily, there is no shortage of effective and info-rich online courses. In this article, we’ll go through a list of the top ten grant writing certifications of 2021, as well as their pricing.
Let’s get started.
Top 10 Grant Writing Certification Courses in 2021
Here are the best grant writing certification programs for 2021.
1. University of Georgia – Fundamentals of Grant Writing
Duration: 24 hours
The University of Georgia – Fundamentals of Grant Writing certification covers all the essential concepts that any professional grant writer should be familiar with.
It teaches students some effective grant writing concepts, as well as covers areas of research, presentations, and networking. Additionally, it focuses on how to locate potential funding sources that match your organization well.
These are all key competencies in the grant writing business.
Because the course touches on additional (more advanced) areas of grant writing, it’s also beneficial for people who already have jobs as grant writers.
Taught by Linda Vallejo (a certified grant writer with over 30 years of experience), this course has a total of 12 lessons. You can choose between one of the two versions this course offers – one is instructor-led, while in the other lets you learn at your own pace.
For more information and to enroll, check out Fundamentals of Grant Writing by the University of Georgia.
2. Udemy – Grant Writing for Nonprofits and Freelance Writers
Duration: 1 hour, 34 minutes
This grant writing certification is targeted toward beginners looking to enter the world of grant writing as freelancers, or under nonprofit organizations.
It focuses on improving their research, and technical-writing skills before applying for government grants.
The course is taught by Tim Whitney, who has secured many multi-million dollar grants. In this course, he gives 17 lectures, which add up to an hour and 34 minutes of learning.
It provides students with real-life examples, strategies for composing successful grant proposals, and the kind of language to use while writing to different entities.
It also teaches the non-technical aspects of being a grant-writer such as building relationships and how to think like funders.
While the course retails for $24.99, Udemy often runs discounts on all its courses. This course may be on offer for as low as $11.99, depending on the promotional offer.
An added bonus of this certificate program is that once you are enrolled, you are provided with free lifetime access to the resources. Having resources to look back on whenever you’re in doubt is always a thoughtful consideration by any course instructor.
For more information and to enroll, check out Grant Writing for Nonprofits and Freelancers by Udemy.
Duration: 50 minutes
Price: Free 14-day trial/$19 monthly fee
This course is the perfect option for beginners who have no prior experience in grant writing.
It comprises of 10 classes, for a total of 50 minutes. This is the perfect length and pacing for a beginner’s course.
This program provides answers to general questions and concerns a new writer may have. However, it doesn’t get into the details of drafting proposals.
The course is taught by professional grant writer, Teresa Huff, who has 20 years of experience in the industry. She starts by walking the students through how to get started with writing, shares some common industry knowledge, and provides tips on how to think like a grant writer.
It’s important to note that the course focuses on grants for schools and nonprofits only.
Skillshare’s grant writing certification may be free if you sign up for the trial version of your Skillshare membership. After the trial, you will be charged $19 per month.
For more information and to enroll, check out Grant Writing Basics for Beginners by Skillshare.
4. Thompson Rivers University – Professional and Academic Proposal Writing
Duration: 30 weeks
Price: $875 - $1584 (CAD)
This grant writing certification is a great all-around program for beginners and intermediate writers.
It is useful for several entities across the grant writing spectrum, including education, government, health, art, and the nonprofit sector.
The course teaches students skills such as developing a grant proposal, how to define the prime purpose of funding, coming up with efficient budget strategies, and knowing how to tie loose ends after funds have been awarded.
This course is priced from $695 to $1258. This is inclusive of reading material and the shipping cost of delivering the contents to you.
The writing course takes students through the procedures and guidelines of writing successful grant applications, such as creating effective introductory sections and the letter of intent (LOI).
Despite going over a lot of the fundamentals, the course doesn’t really touch on interpersonal skills. This makes the course ideal if you are completely new to the discipline and want to learn the foundational principles of writing grants.
For more information and to enroll, check out Professional and Academic Proposal Writing by Thompson Rivers University.
5. WVDO Certificate in Grant Writing
Duration: Nine weeks
This grant writing certification looks to impart practical writing skills to craft effective grant proposal applications.
This course has no prerequisites and people with no experience can enroll for it. This makes it ideal for anyone moving to grant writing from any other writing discipline.
In terms of industry, this course helps you build experience writing for nonprofits. This can also benefit intermediate-level grant-writers.
Upon completion, students will be equipped with a letter of intent which would be ready to submit directly. Plus, they will receive materials that they can refer to, from which they can draw proposals.
Each enrollment round takes a maximum of 15 participants. This shows the amount of focus and individual attention that each attendee receives.
Having adapted to the Covid-19 situation, the classes are held once a week for three hours via Zoom.
In case a student can’t afford the full tuition fee, they can request financial assistance.
Applying for this certification requires you to submit your updated resume, a statement which displays your writing and communication skills, as well as the reason why you’re interested in this certification.
For more information and to enroll, check out Certificate in Grant Writing by WVDO.
Duration: 6 weeks/24 hours
The A to Z Grant Writing certification is ideal for helping students develop a framework on how to craft a ‘Gold Medal Proposal Package’, as the description puts it.
It teaches you everything you need to write a grant that will attract attention from potential funders, getting you closer to winning grants for causes you are passionate about.
This course is not limited to a specific industry in the grant writing realm. It works for the education and nonprofit management sectors, as well as religious institutions.
Furthermore, this is an instructor-led course led by Linda Vallejo, who has 30 years of experience as a grant-writer across many industries.
Apart from teaching you the technical skills involved in writing grants, it also introduces you to work that’s important away from the desk. These include organization, collaboration, presentations, and confidence.
These are skills that beginners may sometimes lack.
For more information and to enroll, check out A to Z Grant Writing by the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
7. Arizona State University
Duration: 7 weeks, 12-15 hours/week
Price: $1050, $1175
Arizona State University offers two grant writing certifications. One is for beginners, the other for mid-level writers. Students can take the latter after completing the first and getting some hands-on experience.
‘Grant Development: State and Foundation Proposals’
This course goes over strategic planning and the necessary elements that students need to keep in mind when drafting proposals. The highly interactive course is priced at $1050, and is 7 weeks long.
Although it’s ideal for people who are new to applying for grants, ASU describes this course as ‘fast-paces and intensive’.
This course does not have an instructor and is described as self-directed. Individuals are expected to actively participate and engage with the material, while the knowledge specialist is present to provide feedback throughout the course.
ASU has a second course for more advanced grant-writers.
‘Advanced Grant Development: Federal Proposals’
This course is geared more towards individuals with more experience in grant writing. It grooms writers to be able to write competitive federal grant proposals, as well.
Participants work in smaller groups with the knowledge specialist and have the added benefit of getting their proposals professionally reviewed before they are submitted for federal grants.
Since this is a more advanced course, it requires prior experience in writing state and foundations grants. However, the course accepts college-level courses focusing on this as work experience.
The tuition for this grant writing certification stands at $1175, but if taken after the beginner grant writing course, you are offered a 25% discount.
For more information and to enroll, check out Grant Development and Proposal Writing Certificates by Arizona State University.
Duration: 10 weeks
San Diego State University recognizes the vast number of nonprofits and charity causes that require grants to help their causes.
This recognition has led them to create their own grant writing certification. Students are required to complete two courses to attain this certificate:
- Introduction to grants and Funding Research
- Grant Proposal Development
The initial course is structured to accommodate new grant writers and freelance writers. It helps with the ABCs of grant writing.
The second course is for students with some experience, who are seeking an opportunity to further practice their skills.
Furthermore, this course is specific to the nonprofit sector, involving areas such as clinics, environmental organizations, local schools, and food banks. It’s not suitable for those looking to develop their portfolio as writers for businesses or research.
For more information and to enroll, check out Professional Certificate in Grant Writing by San Diego State University.
9. ed2go – Advanced Grant Proposal Writing
Duration: 24 hours
This course is meant for more advanced writers who hold some prior experience. It explores formatting and structure more closely than other grant writing certifications.
Besides building the base of your grant writing knowledge, this course shows you how to move forward once grants have been awarded.
Additionally, students learn how to create non-technical, practical skills.
The course offers two modes of teaching.
The instructor-led variant takes 6-12 weeks to complete, while the self-study version allows you to go at your own pace.
The course instructor, Dr Beverly Browning, holds a whopping 40 years of experience as a grant writer.
For more information, check out Advanced Grant Proposal Writing by ed2go.
10. University of South Carolina
Duration: 5 in-class sessions (7 hours each)/10 online sessions (3 hours each)
The University of South Carolina (USC) provides one of the most extensive and elaborate grant writing certifications. It prepares professionals for aspects critical to the grant writing discipline.
The course is basically a formal training program. It starts with an introductory course to the discipline, followed by a needs-based assessment.
Following the intro course, there’s a section on Program Development and Evaluation. This focuses on strategic models and tools that go into writing a successful grant proposal.
Furthermore, the final section of the curriculum teaches the actual grant writing process.
It provides students with outlines, hands-on training, as well as the opportunity to have your work reviewed by peers and professionals.
The online sessions are instructor-led, with no self-paced version yet.
For more information and to enroll, check out Grant Writing by the University of South Carolina.
Online Grant Writing Certification FAQs
What is grant writing?
Grant writing is the act of writing proposals on behalf of an organization. These proposals are written to apply for grants and to secure funding from government agencies or private sponsors. A grant writer is most commonly found in industries such as nonprofit organizations. They are also indispensable in areas like businesses, research, and education. In essence, it’s a form of goal-oriented technical writing.
Do I need to be certified to work as a grant writer?
The short answer – no. Being a grant writer does not require a specific degree or certification. However, degrees and certifications do help grant writers achieve quicker and easier career progress. Grant writing certifications inform recruiters and clients of your credibility, overall skill level, and how dedicated you are to the cause. However, it is not a requirement.
How do I choose a grant writing certificate?
In order to choose the ideal grant writing certification, you need to have a career map in mind. Once you have that, pick a course that delivers knowledge and skills ideal for that. It’s also important to pick a certification program that falls in line with which professional sector you want to work for (nonprofits, education, healthcare).