Grant-Writing Workshop

Description: Want to learn how to write a grant and help Hampshire at the same time? If you are concerned about the financial state of Hampshire College and enjoy writing, this course is for you. Knowing how to write grants is a very practical skill and is highly applicable in the real world. We will learn from instructors and experienced grant-writers how to research and write grants; each student will choose a grant, write for it, and have it reviewed by peers and professionals. This is a course for students who are serious about and committed to learning the subject. This course will meet regularly and all students will be expected to draft a grant proposal. It can appear on your transcripts, if so you desire.

Facilitator Biography: We’re all interested in learning how to write grants, and love Hampshire. Learn more about us on our Hampedia pages.

Below are the beginnings of the notes and information we are gathering for this EPEC course. Feel free to add to it.


How to Sign Up

In order to sign up for an EPEC Course, you need to email the course facilitator(s). If you’re on the list and show up to class, you’re in.

Course Expectations

We will be meeting approximately 2 hours per day, every day (except the weekened), throughout the entire January Break. All students will be expected to attend all classes, unless excused in advance.

WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS: During this course, you will prepare several documents and submit them for peer review. Depending on your level of commitment, written assignments may include the following:

  • Identification and analysis of potential funders and their “fit” for the project.
  • Draft sections of the grant application for review.
  • Letter of Inquiry.

SMALL GROUP PARTICIPATION: Each student will work with a small reading group of students. Throughout the course, you will participate in review of sections of your classmates’ applications, and they will review sections of your application. Active and thoughtful participation in review of your classmates’ work is required for this class and will be taken into account in your final evaluation. In the last week of class, you will read and rate full proposals.


We are in the process of working with professional grant writers and grant reviewers, as well as faculty and staff with experience in grantwriting. As we have not yet scheduled exact times for them to come in and speak/work with us, they are not yet listed on the syllabus.


Wednesday, January 6th

Syllabus review, class expectations, and review of projects. Overview of the grant-seeking and grant-making process. What are the components of a grant proposal?

  • Assignment: Readings from Robert Riddles. In addition, students are considered to connect with other faculty/staff to mentor them, for their final project.

Thursday, January 7th

Review of successful proposals, grant planning, proposal structure and information needed, data sources.

Creating timeline for personal project. Goals, objectives and timelines. Specifying outcomes. Successful grant-writing involves solid advance planning and preparation. It takes time to coordinate your planning and research, organize, write and package your proposal, submit your proposal to the funder, and follow-up.

  • <a href=”Robert Riddles”>Robert Riddles</a>, from <a href=”Institutional Advancement”>Institutional Advancement</a>, to introduce the grant proposal writing system
  • Assignment: Visit some of the websites <a href=”Tina Barsby”>Tina Barsby</a> recommended and prepare some questions: <a href=”Tina Barsby’s Grantwriting Resources”>Tina Barsby’s Grantwriting Resources</a>

Friday, January 8

Researching in preparation for writing a grant. Refining the project idea, outlining the proposal elements, developing the logic model. Preparation is vital to the grant-writing process. Solid planning and research will simplify the writing stage.

“There are always two kinds of homework that an applicant must do before writing a proposal: homework about the project and homework about the foundation to which the proposal will be submitted. The homework about the project is quite important: Has anyone else tried something similar? Is so, what were the results? Are there any potential partners for this work? Are they interested in becoming partners? What other funders might support the project? All this information is necessary in order to place the request into a context. The homework regarding the foundation is … not trivial. Is the foundation interested in this topic? Has it funded similar projects in the past? Might the proposed project be improved by lessons from those past efforts? It is discouraging to receive proposals that make empty claims about their ‘uniqueness’ yet were clearly written as generic requests sent on spec to many possible funders. A good proposal describes the context of the idea and directly relates that idea and its context to the foundation’s programming interests.” – Joel J. Orosz. Senior Program of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Insiders Guide to Grantmaking: How Foundations Find, Fund, and Manage Effective Programs, 2000

  • <a href=”Tina Barsby”>Tina Barsby</a>, from <a href=”CLPP”>CLPP</a>, will come in and present on this topic
  • Assignment: write short description of your project. Identify funding source, reasoning for choosing this source. Possible additional information: notes from meeting with mentor, foundation research.


Monday, January 11th

Introduction to overall proposal structure (Jess).

Copy and paste this link in for an overall grant writing timeline:

Further exploration of proposal structure. Applying research to structure, definition of project.

Draft timeline for your project, creating personal deadlines for sections of grant/research work.

Assignment: Send in finalized timeline Monday night. Preliminary outline of grant.

Tuesday, January 12th

Foundation research. Introduction to different kinds of granting foundations: how they operate, how tend to get and allocate money, who they tend to be (Claire). Budget and budget justification, and identifying the organization’s capacity and qualification.

“I would suggest that the very first step and one that is most important prior to writing anything is doing research on the foundation you wish to approach. The buzzword is homework. Do it well and thoroughly. It is more efficient and in the end more beneficial to send appropriate requests to fewer organizations than to send a shower of appeals in the hopes that one may land in the right place. While you may not receive an approval or even a hearing on the first attempt, if the appeal has been well thought out and is indeed within the guidelines of the foundation, the impression left is a positive one and the next time you try, you may be more successful.” – Ilene Mack, Senior Program Officer at the William Randolph Hearst Foundation (Foundation Center web site)

  • Assignment: Possibly foundation research and budget. From this point on, you will be following your personal timeline of deadlines, depending on your project. You will be expected to draft the grant in parts, in order to engage in peer review throughout the process.

Wednesday, January 13th

Successful writing skills for grants: organize your proposal, pay attention to detail and specifications, use concise, persuasive writing, and request reasonable funding. Clearly understand the grantmaker’s guidelines before you write your proposal. Make sure the grantmaker’s goals and objectives match your grantseeking purposes.

  • Assignment: Read a successful grant (assigned by facilitators).

Thursday, January 14th

Identifying evaluation strategies and tools. Discussion of successful grant, what makes it successful?

Peer review session. All groups/individuals should have a personal deadline before this date.

Friday, January 15th

Introduction to grants individuals can receive; arts/research grants (Ananda).

  • Guest, Mike Swardlow

Monday, January 18th

Draft of final project DUE at 4pm. Will be shared with mentors, if applicable, and peers.

Assignment: Read draft proposals/research projects.

Tuesday, January 19th

Review and critique class proposals. Tricks of the trade – fine-tuning your application and approach.

Talk: Individual grantmaking (Ananda).

Resources for Individuals Seeking Grants

  • Recommended book for individuals in the arts: Guide to Getting Arts Grants, by Ellen LIberatori
  • Should you get sponsorship/affiliation?
  • Affiliation Continuum:
  • Individual FAQ:
  • Seeking funding for…

Proposal Writing

  • How to write a proposal, as an individual:

Assignment: Rewrite drafts. Due by Saturday at 4pm.

Wednesday, January 20th

Presentation to “board” of funders.

  • Guests: Kenneth Rosenthal, member of Hampshire College Board of Trustees, and Robert Riddles from IA

What happens after you send the proposal in? Foundation relations.

  • Guest: Louise Bloomfield, on her work as a grant reviewer

Thursday, January 21

  • Guest, Bob Crego. Tasty dinner! Final class.



  • The Foundation Center’s Guide to Winning Proposals, Sarah Collins, ed., The Foundation Center, New York, NY, 2005 ISBN 1- 931-92347-7
  • Getting Funded: The Complete Guide to Writing Grant Proposals, Mary Hall and Susan Howlett, 4th edition, Portland State University Extended Studies Continuing Education Press, Portland, OR, 2003. ISBN 0-87678-071-0
  • Storytelling for Grantseekers, Cheryl Clarke, Jossey-Bass, Hoboken, NJ, 2001. ISBN 0787956309
  • Mikelonis, V. M., Betsinger, S. T., & Kampf, C. (2004). Grant Seeking in an Electronic Age. NY: Allyn & Bacon
  • How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing.

APA Books. 2007

  • On Writing Well. William Zinsser. Harper Collins. (most recent edition).


  • “Define the Project” section in National Leadership Grant Planning Tutorial:

  • Example grants:
    • University of Washington Libraries. Community Museum Project: A Library-Museum Cultural Collaboration:
    • Eastern Iowa Community College. Connected by a River: Creating Community-based Learning Spaces:
    • Libby School District #4 (MT). Restoring the Past, Capturing the Present, Preserving the Future:
  • Grantwriting Process:
  • great collection of tips on writing grants
  • Collection of resources for finding grants/learning how to write them:
  • detailed information for each step of the process

Some links from <a href=”Charlene D’Avanzo”>Charlene D’Avanzo</a>:


Thanks To

Inspiration for this syllabus:

  • McGee, Sylvie. “GRANTWRITING ESSENTIALS.” Evergreen College. 2009.
  • Newland, Christopher. “Grant Writing (PSYC 6960).” Auburn University. 2007.

  • ”Non-Profit Guides.”

Possible Grant-Writing Projects

  • explore/disseminate information about how Hampshire and Lemelson can get students interested in design, technology engineering
  • write a grant proposal for Seattle smART, for the Downside-Up Circus
  • to the EPA requesting funds for further scientific research on the Asiatic clam and its ecological implications for Lake Tahoe
  • Flywheel Community Arts in Easthampton

Possible Research Projects

  • Work with professor <a href=”Jana Silver”>Jana Silver</a> to write grant related to arts education
  • Queer Community Alliance/Center for Feminisms
  • Hungarian phonology
  • Hampshire’s Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Community Engaged Learning

Possible Guests

  • Louise Bloomfield, reviews grants with Bloomfield Family Foundation, willing to come in and talk. Claire will also be allowed to sit in when they review grants, and take notes on that process.
    • Willing to come in and give class- can speak to the qualities of good grants
  • <a href=”Myrna Breitbart”>Myrna Breitbart</a>, Hampshire professor
  • <a href=”Lee Spector”>Lee Spector</a>, Hampshire professor
  • <a href=”Robert Riddles”>Robert Riddles</a>, from <a href=”Institutional Advancement”>Institutional Advancement</a>
  • <a href=”Yaniris Fernandez”>Yaniris Fernandez</a>
  • <a href=”Tina Barsby”>Tina Barsby</a>, development officer for CLPP, will give a lecture on researching grants
  • Local grantwriters and reviewers