Foundations, nonprofits, schools, and other agencies often rely on grants for funding their programs. Grant writers can help secure this funding. While there’s no specific degree, training, or certification required to become a professional grant writer, taking an online class can better prepare you to write grants that successfully get funded. As a bonus, grant writing careers are on the rise right now; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, technical writing careers (which includes grant writing), are expected to grow 7% from 2019–2029.
We researched over 20 online grant writing classes and examined course syllabi, costs, length, student reviews, and instructor reputations. These are our top picks.
The 6 Best Online Grant Writing Classes of 2021
- Best Overall: Fundamentals of Grant Writing From the University of Georgia
- Best for Beginners: Grant Writing Basics for Beginners by Skillshare
- Best Advanced Class: Advanced Grant Proposal Writing by ed2go
- Best for Government Agencies: Federal Grant Writing 101 by Udemy
- Best for Foundations and Nonprofits: Grant Writing for Nonprofits and Freelance Writers by Udemy
- Best Free Class: 7 Steps to Write a Winning Grant by LearnGrantWriting.org
Best Overall: Fundamentals of Grant Writing From the University of Georgia
The University of Georgia’s Center for Continuing Education offers an online course in grant writing, Fundamentals of Grant Writing. Led by a veteran grant writer, this course covers the grant writing process in detail and in its entirety: from researching to presenting and fundraising. We chose this course as the best overall option because its material is comprehensive yet accessible for all experience levels.
The course contains a total of 12 lessons: starting with research, continuing with networking, writing, and ending with presenting. Each lesson is taught by Linda Vallejo, who has over 30 years of experience as a professional grant writer and grant-writing instructor. The course runs on both Windows and Mac computers and requires access to Microsoft Word and Adobe Reader. Past students have praised the course for being easy to understand as well as helping them build confidence in their grant writing skillsets and advance their careers.
Interested students can enroll through the University of Georgia’s website for an instructor-led version or the self-paced version of the course. Both are priced at $159. The instructor-led version gives you six weeks of access to the course material, whereas the self-paced version gives you three months of access.
Best for Beginners: Grant Writing Basics for Beginners by Skillshare
If you’re completely new to grant writing, Grant Writing Basics is a great option. Instructor Teresa Huff answers burning questions like, “Where do I start?” or “How do I get a donor’s attention?” and more while you play the modules at your own pace. We chose this course as the best option for beginners because it focuses more on the initial phases of grant writing for those who are brand new to the field, rather than the nitty-gritty details of writing a grant proposal.
As a professional grant writer for over 20 years, course instructor Teresa Huff has secured grants worth millions of dollars throughout her career. The course contains 10 lectures that take a total of 50 minutes to watch, making it one of the shortest courses on this list. The first module covers the most frequently asked questions when getting started with grant writing, followed by grant myth-busting, what to include in a grant proposal, and ends with advice on how to think like a grant reviewer.
Past students say the course was engaging, helpful, and exceeded their expectations. It’s important to note, however, that this course mainly focuses on the grant process for schools and nonprofits, so if you need a course for another industry, you should consider another option.
To take the course, you’ll need to sign up for a Skillshare membership. Skillshare offers a free 14-day trial, but once that expires, you’ll be charged $99 for an annual membership or $19 per month for a monthly membership. If you decide to purchase a membership to Skillshare, you can also take Teresa’s advanced grant writing classes on the platform.
The course can be watched on any desktop computer or through Skillshare’s iOS or Android mobile app.
Best Advanced Class: Advanced Grant Proposal Writing by ed2go
Even experienced grant writers can still benefit from taking a course, specifically the Advanced Grant Proposal Writing offering on ed2go. We picked this course as the best advanced option because it takes a much deeper dive into formatting and writing than other courses, and more experienced grant writers have found it helpful.
Dr. Beverly Browning, the course instructor, is a grant-writing consultant and brings 40 years of experience to the table. The course has 12 lessons that cover proper formatting and writing for corporations, foundations, and government grants, making it suitable for people in any industry. Since it’s designed for advanced writers, an introductory course or relevant work experience are recommended prerequisites.
Previous students have praised the course for its detail and ability to inspire new ideas, even to experienced grant writers.
Ed2go offers a self-paced and instructor-led version of the course. The self-paced option and the instructor-led versions cost $159. The course takes six to 12 weeks to complete, depending on which option you choose and comes with a total of 24 hours of instruction time. With the self-paced option, you get access to the course materials for three months.
The course can be taken on a Windows or Mac computer with Adobe Reader installed.
Best for Government Agencies: Federal Grant Writing 101 by Udemy
While some of the basic principles of grant writing apply to any type of grant, not all industries and sectors have the same requirements or style. If you’re looking for a class that specifically focuses on federal grant writing, Udemy offers Federal Grant Writing 101, which we chose as the best option for government agencies because it specifically focuses on what you need to write a successful federal government grant and is led by one of the best grant writing instructors in the industry.
This course is taught by Dr. Beverly Browning, an expert grant writer who also teaches the Advanced Grant Proposal Writing class mentioned on this list. Federal Grant Writing 101 contains 12 sections with a total of 48 lectures, for an hour and 41 minutes of material. The first section covers how to register on grants.gov, followed by how to conduct research, write a statement of need, filling out the required forms, and submitting your proposal.
Students have left reviews stating they enjoyed Dr. Browning’s teachings and found the accompanying downloadable resources particularly useful.
The course is regularly priced at $44.99 but is only $13.99 at the time of writing and includes lifetime access to the lectures, 35 downloadable resources (which include examples of grant proposals that successfully received funding), and a certificate of completion.
The course can be accessed on desktop or mobile through the Udemy app.
Best for Foundations and Nonprofits: Grant Writing for Nonprofits and Freelance Writers by Udemy
Grant Writing for Nonprofits and Freelance Writers was created to help nonprofits improve their research, writing, and application processes for foundation and government grants. We chose this course as the winner for the best course for nonprofits because the course material is specifically crafted for those who work for small or new nonprofits, and beginners and intermediate grant writers alike have found it helpful.
The course is taught by Tim Whitney, who has successfully obtained multi-million-dollar grants using his unique, blended background in marketing and policy development. There are a total of five sections and 17 lectures that make up an hour and 34 minutes of instruction time. The lectures walk you through how to find foundation and government grants, assemble a thoughtful and strategic boilerplate, as well as key strategies for completing a grant application. Real-life examples are used throughout the lectures to give you a clear understanding of what kind of language works and what doesn’t.
Course reviews say that the material was easy to follow and both new grant writers and those with some experience were able to benefit from the information presented.
The course retails for $24.99 but as of this writing is being offered at a reduced price of $15.99. It comes with lifetime access to the material, 35 downloadable resources, and a certificate upon completion.
Best Free Class: 7 Steps to Write a Winning Grant by LearnGrantWriting.org
If you’re looking to learn about grant writing from a seasoned expert but don’t want to put down your credit card information, Meredith Noble, who has secured over $45 million in grants and is the bestselling author of How to Write a Grant: Become a Grant Writing Unicorn, created a course with you in mind. We picked this class as the best free option because it’s easy to access, packed with helpful tips for grant writers of all levels, and provides a comment section to ask questions under each lesson.
The free course contains seven pre-recorded video lessons that explain how to set up your grant proposal for success, develop your budget, what attachments you need, as well as how to write your narrative and persuade your reader. The course is highly accessible; you don’t need to create an account to access the course on your browser, so you can start learning ASAP. Each lesson provides a comment section below it, where students can ask questions about the lesson and receive a response from the course instructor.
Upon completion of the free course, you can choose to purchase Meredith’s more advanced course, Grant Writing from Start to Funded, for a one-time payment of $369 or in three monthly installments of $129.
What Is an Online Grant Writing Class?
An online grant writing class teaches you how to prepare for, write, and submit a grant proposal to get funded. Classes may cover how to conduct initial research, building a strong funder network, how to write the major sections of a grant, and conclude with how to submit and present your proposal.
How Long Are Online Grant Writing Classes?
Courses can be as short as 50 minutes to as long as several weeks. A course may be completed more quickly if it’s self-paced or more slowly if taught by a live online instructor.
Why Take an Online Grant Writing Class?
Anyone new to grant writing, whether they need to write grants at their full-time jobs or if they’re looking to start freelancing, would benefit from a course. If you anticipate changing careers to an industry that requires grant writing, such as nonprofits or government, you may want to familiarize yourself with the grant process by taking an online class.
Experienced professional grant writers most likely don’t need to take a class, but a more advanced class could give a fresh perspective or spark new ideas.
How Much Does It Cost to Take an Online Grant Writing Class?
Online grant writing classes typically range from $0 to $150. Classes led by a live instructor are usually more expensive than self-paced courses. Some course providers permit free trials or block out certain features, like quizzes and graded assignments, for free versions.
A more formal certificate or university-sponsored program can cost thousands of dollars.
How We Chose the Best Online Grant Writing Classes
We examined 21 different online grant writing classes before finalizing this list. To find the best classes, we looked at course material and length, instructor quality, student feedback, and costs. We felt these were the most important qualities to pay attention to when finding the best online grant writing classes.
All of the courses on this list have a thorough and comprehensive curriculum, are accessible on a variety of platforms, have solid reputations, and can be completed in a reasonable amount of time. They are also available to people in almost every industry and can fit almost any budget.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Occupational Outlook Handbook: Technical Writers." Accessed November 27, 2020.