Writing Library Grant Applications: Secrets for Competitive Success
Fee: $100 for those in the California library community and Infopeople Partners, $175 for all others.
(An Infopeople Online Learning Course)
September 29, 2009 – November 23, 2009
**Demonstrated results! Numerous students who wrote and submitted grants during previous sessions have received grant awards!**
- Do you need outside funding to implement a new program or service?
- Do you think you have a great idea for a grant project but don't know where to start?
- Would you like to know about "library-friendly" funding sources other than the California State Library/LSTA?
- Would you like the opportunity to practice writing a grant proposal in a safe environment with one-on-one coaching?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then this course is for you!
Successful grant writing is neither one of the magical arts nor an "insider" job. Grant writing is a set of skills that can be learned, and then improved upon with practice. In these difficult economic times, winning grant awards may be the only way your library can introduce new services and programs. At the same time, competition for grant funding is fiercer than ever. This Infopeople online learning course is designed to help you gain a competitive edge in the grant application process - and has a track record of getting results for those who take the course as a practicum. This intensive 8-week course will give you a thorough understanding of the process of writing a grant application. Students who opt to take the course as a practicum will receive individual assistance and feedback as they "actually do it" - write a real-life grant application.
Course Description: In this eight-week online course, you will explore all dimensions of the world of grantsmanship. You will look at a wide variety of funding sources, with particular focus on those that are "library-friendly." You will deconstruct a typical grant application and learn how to develop every component that a funding source might require. The instructor will provide samples of a variety of successful (i.e., funded) grant applications; planning templates; checklists and forms; and dozens of practical tips and tricks for grant success, based on over 30 years of experience. Coursework includes readings, exercises, and online forums. The course will include several online meetings with funders and experienced grant writers. For students who want hands-on experience in grant writing, the instructor will provide one-on-one assistance and feedback, both during the eight weeks of the course and whenever a grant submittal is planned.
Preliminary Course Outline: Using your web browser and your Internet connection, you will log in to the Infopeople online learning site and complete the following learning modules:
- Week 1: Overview of Project Planning and Grant Writing
- Library-friendly funding sources
- General guidelines
- Grant formats, traditional and online
- Getting started
- Week 2: Building a Solid Foundation
- Identifying the need
- Documenting the need
- Involving your client group
- Establishing community partnerships
- Week 3: Building on the Foundation
- Relationship of project to library mission and goals
- Project goals and objectives
- Writing measurable objectives
- How much change is realistic?
- What happens if you don't meet your objectives?
- Week 4: Describing Your Program
- The key to success: a clear plan of action
- Developing your project timeline
- Personnel requirements
- Week 5: Will Your Program Make a Difference?
- Keeping records
- Evaluation models and terminology
- Creating an evaluation plan
- Outcome measures
- Week 6: Getting to the Bottom Line
- Budget basics
- How to estimate costs
- In-kind and matching fund requirements
- Indirect costs
- Negotiating with the funder
- Week 7: Putting It All Together
- Writing the project summary
- Writing the cover letter
- Submission, traditional and online
- Week 8: After Submission – What Do You Do?
- If you're funded – beyond celebration
- Handling rejection
- The basics of managing a funded project
- Implementing the plan of action
- Managing the budget
- Preparing for the next phase
Notes from the Instructor: You can take this course at either of two levels of intensity and effort. At the basic level, you will gain an in-depth knowledge of how to write a grant application, whether you plan to do so immediately or not. If you choose to take the course as a practicum, you will gain experience in actually writing a grant application. To take the course as a practicum, you must select a project and identify a funding source. You can earn a certificate of completion at either level – in order to receive a certificate of completion at the basic level, you must complete all of the weekly assignments. To earn a certificate of completion at the practicum level, you must either complete all of the weekly assignments or write a complete grant application.
Pre-workshop assignment: You will be asked to complete a pre-course online survey, at which time you will be asked to indicate if you plan to take the course as a practicum. If you do, you will have an individual consultation with the instructor to discuss/select a project idea prior to the course start date.
Time required: To complete this course at the basic level, you can expect to spend 3 to 3½ hours per week. You can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night. However, it is recommended that you complete each week's assignments within that week to stay in sync with other learners. It is impossible to estimate the time required if you take the course as a practicum, as it will depend on the nature of your project and the complexity of the application for your selected funding source.
Who Should Take This Course: This course is appropriate for anyone who is interested in learning how to write grants for libraries. This includes all levels of library staff, as well as trustees and volunteers.
Online Learning Details and System Requirements may be found at
Course Start: This 8-week-long online learning course starts on September 29, 2009.
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