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“This changed the way I will approach grant writing -- all for the better!”-- April 2018, Cleveland, Proposal Writing Boot Camp participant
“The instructors were passionate about their work. They were experienced in what they were teaching and it didn't feel like they were just teaching from a textbook...Additionally, all of our instructors were very patient and understanding. The atmosphere of the room was very much a ‘there's no such thing as a dumb question’ vibe. Again, loved the boot camp and our instructors!” -- September 2018, San Francisco, Proposal Writing Boot Camp participant
“I was having so much trouble writing a need statement prior to the class. Next, for applications—both long and short—I struggled with knowing what grantors were looking for in each section. The class really helped me understand the angle. Finally, I knew relationships with Funders were important but I didn’t know how to begin building them, and the class provided tangible suggestions.” -- May 2018, New York, Proposal Writing Boot Camp participant
“I was not familiar with the LOI, so it was a useful exercise to write my own. The Peer Review also challenged me to look through the eyes of a funder, and get ideas for my own LOI. I also know when the time comes for me to write a proposal, I will know where to get the best resources!” -- June 2018, Washington D.C., Proposal Writing Boot Camp participant
About the Proposal Writing Boot Camp
This three-day project-based immersion course focuses on the essential knowledge and skills fundraisers need to develop effective foundation proposals. Participants will become familiar with the key components of a competitive grant proposal to a foundation and learn best practices for developing a well-organized budget and a targeted list of foundation funding prospects. Participants will be encouraged to approach their proposal from the funder's perspective and to think critically about what makes a compelling pitch.
To accommodate diversity in learning styles, the three days are grounded in project-based learning and include individual writing time, small group discussions and activities, peer review, and lectures.
Day 1: Participants learn the structure of a grant proposal, develop a need statement, and get an overview of using the logic model framework to craft a project description and evaluation plan. An introduction to and review of the letter of inquiry format concludes the day.
Day 2: Participants continue to gain familiarity and practice with the components of a full proposal and letter of inquiry. They draft and submit a 1-page letter of inquiry for day three’s peer-review exercise, learn how to prioritize fundraising for their organization, and receive intense training on developing a project budget.
Day 3: Participants kick off the day learning how to research, approach, and cultivate relationships with funders. In the afternoon, participants engage in expert and peer review of their submitted letter of inquiry. The three days conclude with summary exercises and evaluation.
Preparing for the Course:
We encourage you to prepare for class by identifying a project you would like to fund. The workshop will include opportunities to draft a logic model and letter of inquiry that you can use to pursue funding for this project.
You will learn how to:
- Develop selected elements of a proposal and letter of inquiry, and to improve online applications
- Use a logic model framework to craft key elements of a proposal
- Craft a budget that conveys an accurate picture of your project’s needs and value
- Explain what grantmakers look for in a proposal and how they approach the proposal review process
- Analyze and evaluate prospects using Foundation Directory Online Professional to determine a potential funding fit.
- Individuals who want a thorough and practical introduction to the grant proposal writing experience
- Nonprofit professionals who have 1-3 years fundraising experience and want to hone their foundation proposal writing skills
- Individuals who want to shift to a career in fundraising or as a grant writer
- Consultants who want to expand their services to include proposal development
- Individuals who have government proposal development experience and want to add foundation fundraising to their organizational funding mix
18 CFRE points
All participants receive:
- A comprehensive workbook and templates for all sections of the proposal
- A booklet of sample letters of inquiry and sample proposals for use as models
- 2 weeks of complimentary access to Foundation Directory Online Professional (a $100 value!)
- A certificate of attendance/CFRE documentation
Questions about this course?