Professional Development Programs

Certificate Program in Grant Writing

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It is free and easy to enroll. No application is needed.

The 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. Also crucial to success is research to find a likely funding source and then developing a proposal that will both meet unique guidelines and rise above the competition.

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.

The goals of the program include helping individuals:

  • Produce high-quality grant proposals
  • Identify funding sources
  • Manage staff time in grant writing process
  • Improve persuasive writing and presentation skills
  • Increase knowledge of development field

USM PDP student

Program Requirements

This 30-hour program consists of five consecutive days of training which include the following modules:
Please bring a computer to class

Day 1 – Introduction to Grant Writing – overview of process, sources, and systems

Days 2 and 3 – Hands–on Grant Writing

Day 4 – Grant Research: Targeting Funds for Nonprofits Online

Day 5 – Coordinating Grant Writing with Development


webinarWatch a Grant Writing Program Overview with Instructor Jack Smith


Jack Smith, M.P.A., has taught over 1,500 grant writing programs in his career. Conference presentation audiences have included state and municipal employees, nonprofit staff and board members, consumer groups, social workers, teachers, counselors and school administrators.  

He currently teaches grant writing certificate programs at the University of Southern Maine, Emory University, University of Georgia and Austin Center for Nonprofit Studies. Read more about Jack Smith on our Instructor Bio page.













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