Professional Development Programs

Certificate Program in Grant Writing



This Certificate Program in Grant Writing provides an intensive opportunity to acquire the knowledge and practice the skills necessary to succeed in today's competitive grant writing environment.

Successful grant writing is critical to the survival of many nonprofits; for some lucky others, it is frosting on the cake. In order to attract the interest of funders, organizations must demonstrate substantive programming, good supporting data and financial viability, and they must package this complex information in a clear and convincing style. Research to find a likely funding source and then developing a proposal that will both meet unique guidelines and rise above the competition are also crucial to success.

Nonprofit organizations must either grow their own in-house expertise or hire consultants to help them through the often confusing grant application process. If you work for a nonprofit or serve as a volunteer board member, the grant writing expertise you contribute will be a highly valued commodity.

Instructor Jack Smith is an accomplished grant writer with an easygoing style who packs each day with a vast amount of content and expertise. In addition, you'll receive an extensive package of materials to use both during the week and for future grant writing projects.


Program Requirements:

This certificate program is composed of four required courses and can be completed in two ways:

  • Full Program Package
    Four courses held over 5 consecutive days  
  • Individual Course Package
    Registration within each course over a period of time

Individuals may participate in the program by enrolling and participating in all five required courses within one week’s offering or enrolling in individual courses over time.

For those interested in just one or two of the courses, please note, you are welcome to enroll in a course and do not have to commit to the full certificate program (pre-requisites apply). Individuals who have already taken one or more of these courses with us can apply those courses toward the full certificate.

Full Program Package - Five consecutive days:

Required: (30 total hours)

  • Certificate in Grant Writing (full program)

This full program includes the below four courses:

  • Introduction to Grant Writing (1 day)
  • Hands-on Grant Writing (2 days)
  • Grand Research:Targeting Funds for Nonprofits online (1 day)
  • Coordinating Grant Research with Development (1 day)

Required Materials: A laptop computer is required for 3 days of the program and familiarity with the personal computer environment is highly recommended as a prerequisite for this program. Please bring a grant proposal idea with you to use in class.

Individual Course Package: Participating in the program one course at a time.

Required Courses: (30 total hours)

  • Introduction to Grant Writing (6 hours)

This course above is required for participation in the additional three courses:

  • Hands-on Grant Writing Workshop (12 hours)
  • Grant Research: Targeting Funds for Nonprofits Online (6 hours)
  • Coordinating Grant Writing with Development (6 hours)



This certificate program is offered during both the fall and spring semesters. The full program is 5 consecutive days. Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm.

For those interested in participating in individual courses only, please click on the course titles below.

To stay up-to-date on course offerings, sign up for our Professional & Continuing Education Newsletter.



The complete certificate program is $750 (saves you $50) which includes lunch on the last day of the program.  The individual course fees are below.

Introduction to Grant Writing- $165
Hands-On Grant Writing-$290
Grant Research: Targeting Funds for Nonprofits Online- $165
Coordinating Grant Writing with Development Activities- $180

  • Refund policy:
    • 100% refund if you withdraw from a class five or more business days before the class starts.
    • A course voucher for 50% of the course fee if you withdraw four or fewer business days from the start date.
    • There are no refunds once a class begins.
  • Gi BillGI Bill Benefits: This program is currently approved for use of GI Bill Benefits. To use your U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits, please contact USM Veterans Services at / 207-780-4826 after you have registered for the certificate program. You can register online, over the phone, or in person.

    Learn more about our other approved veteran certificate programs.


Contact Hours/CEUs:

30 contact hours/3.0 CEUs


Receive Your Certificate:

For those participating in the full program- If you have met all certificate requirements, you will receive your certificate on the last day of class.

For those participating in individual courses- After you have met all certificate program requirements, complete certificate completion form, and we will award your certificate.



Jack SmithJack Smith, M.P.A., is a nationally recognized grant writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. Since 1987, his consulting practice has provided grant-writing services to more than 150 organizations, including the Huntington's Disease Society of America, Catholic Charities of Greater Atlanta, Y-Clubs of Georgia, Century Pacific Housing, and the Maine Center for Community Dental Health. He has taught grant-writing skills for the state governments of Connecticut, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Vermont and for agencies and clients of the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Cherokee Nation. Each year, more than 1,000 participants attend one of his full-day classes. He serves as adjunct instructor at the University of Georgia, Emory University, Duke University, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Management Institute. Read more about Jack's recent trip to Africa here!

View more instructor biographies.


Instructor Tips:


Student Profiles:  

Jim Douglass - Partnership Director, Healthy Oxford Hills
Jim Douglas has devoted his entire career to human services, and here was a fine opportunity to build community – his interest and passion – in a new arena: public health. So he became partnership director for Healthy Oxford Hills, one of the 27 Healthy Maine Partnerships, and a project of Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway. With a helping hand from USM, he’s doing just fine. Read More.

Angelica Caterino - Development Coordinator, Food Works at Two Rivers Center
Angelica Caterino is a go-getter. She went from Montpelier (Vermont) to Portland for a week’s training in grant writing, returned home and immediately got a job as development director for a nonprofit housed in a historic old house. “I am the development coordinator – the sole fundraising staff – and in this job I get to be involved with so many of the things I love: food, people, the local economy, preservation, and the history of the place I live. It’s wonderful!” Read More.


Customized Training:

Learn how your organization can take advantage of this program at a reduced cost.