Spring Seminar: Grant Writing

Grant writing is a useful skill for students from all majors. 

Not-for-profit organizations need to cultivate a diversified funding base in order to remain viable.  Developing a fundraising strategy is critically important but challenging for organizations that do not have access to paid or volunteer development professionals. In this class, students will learn about the various ways not-for-profits raise funds and friends.

Each student will be paired with a local organization and write a mini grant and a major grant. Students will prepare a REAL grant application so that we can raise REAL money for our partners. Each year we request over $100,000 for our non-profit partners and secure between $25,000-30,000. 

For IWU students, this course is cross-listed under sociology and political science but it does NOT count toward the major requirements. There are no prerequisites for the class. Our partner organizations and other community members are also invited to participate (for free but not for credit).

Every week, students and partners will focus on a component of the grant process including researching opportunities, describing community need, reflecting on best practices, and designing a program and budget.  In addition to the grant writing exercises, students will meet development staff from IWU, local fundraising professionals, and representatives of the local community foundation.  Students will learn from experts in the field about how to navigate the funding challenges facing all not-for-profits.  

Goals of this Course:

§  Demonstrate an understanding of fundraising strategies

§  Create a grant proposal(s) for a local community organization

§  Increase the capacity of local not-for-profit organizations to raise grant funds

§  Practice good action research methods

§  Develop critical thinking and writing skills

§  Build social capital – personally and professionally

§  Bridge the campus and the community through effective and meaningful partnerships