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Nonprofit Management Institute

Grant Development and Proposal Writing Certificates

Certificate details

FAQs: Grant Development and Proposal Writing Certificates


Once you have completed your grant proposal, you will have an in-depth knowledge of every aspect of your organizations program in which you are trying to obtain funding. This application/proposal can act as a template for future grant opportunities and serve to help your organization become more prepared when seeking funding instead of reactive. You will learn how to manage grants, and increase your overall confidence to secure grant funding.

The Grant Development: State and Foundation Proposals certificate focuses on the state proposal writing process and the Advanced Grant Development: Federal Proposals certificate focuses on the Federal proposal writing process.

No. If you are not affiliated with any particular organization, you can write a grant for an organization for which you may volunteer or one in which you are a board member. You do not have to work for an organization.

The grant for which you are writing is a very small grant to a small state or foundation for funding and you can be seeking dollars as a board member or volunteer for any particular organization. It is helpful to have an idea in mind but not necessary.

Yes. Participants of this certificate are able to choose which type of organization or community need to write for. This means the participant must have already identified a nonprofit or a community need they want to write a proposal for BEFORE THE CLASS STARTS.

Things to consider when choosing a nonprofit to write a Grant Proposal for (this applies to those choosing to write a Grant for a community need):

  • Be able to retrieve detailed information from that nonprofit, such as the nonprofit’s budget or 990 forms.
  • Personal knowledge from a previous volunteer or employment situation with a nonprofit, you can generate a budget based on the needs and areas you perceived while working there.

No, it is not open enrollment. You cannot start and complete it at any time. It is facilitated by a knowledge specialist with assignments and due dates for classroom assignments.

No. You do not need to complete an application to enroll as a student for ASU. You can simply register for either certificate via registration links posted on the NMI website.

Once you take these courses, you will be able to utilize the services of the ASU Career Services to seek employment. The Nonprofit Management Institute (NMI) cannot guarantee that you will find a job, but if you pass these courses you will have the skills to write state and federal grants as these certificates are very rigorous and very comprehensive.

We also encourage you to use the ASU Lodestar Center's Nonprofit Job Board.


This course uses the Arizona Common Grant Application as a template to write a grant proposal. During the courses, participants will write their own grant proposal according to the AZ Common Grant Application.

Each week of the course participants will write a portion of the proposal application. Participants are required to grasp each portion of the proposal application in order to move on to the next portion of the grant and to receive the certificate.

NMI caps the enrollment at 30. We do have a waitlist after that, if an opening becomes available you will be notified. NMI offers this certificate twice a year. If you miss the registration deadline, you may register for the next available date.

There are no set dates and times that you are expected to be online for the certificate. You can take the course at your own pace, however there are assignments with due dates each week and discussion questions that are due on certain days each week. The course is facilitated by a knowledge specialist; however, you are not expected to be online at any particular time. It is designed for working adults so if you want to go online in the middle of the night and do your assignments and discussion questions – that is fine with us!  

*Exception – All grants certificates have an optional orientation session the Thursday or Friday before class starts via Zoom meeting. This a set time and date that will be emailed to you once you register for the class. This is optional; however, attendance is highly encouraged. We will cover all Q & A content and more. Participants will be able to ask questions at the end. If participants are not able to attend, the Zoom meeting will be recorded and upload to the course on the first day.

Depending on your background, you should expect approximately 12-15 hours per week of coursework.

The certificates will take place via the ASU Canvas Learning Management System.

Participants will receive a invitation to join the course a few days prior to the start date via Canvas Learning Management System.

  • This is not a lecture class.
  • Only you can master the material by actively participating. 
  • Plan ahead, observe deadlines, ask questions of others, provide answers to others. 
  • There is a knowledge specialist who is facilitating the course and providing feedback throughout the entire process.
  • Required content includes readings, videos, writing, discussion questions, assignments, and reflection.
  • Don’t fall behind!
  • Step-by-step process each week adds new sections onto your proposal and new knowledge to your understanding of grant seeking and proposal writing.

Yes. All due dates are firm. There will be no opportunity for late submissions.

In the grant world, all prior registrations, applications and required documents must be submitted on or before the due dates for the proposal to be considered for funding. Do NOT be late or carry anything over from week to week.

This is not an information-gathering course – you will be required to show competency in each portion of the grant proposal you are writing and ultimately write a complete grant proposal.

Each week you will write a different portion of the grant application that builds off the previous portion. It is critical that each of those portions is mastered before you move on to the next.  

The knowledge specialist will give you feedback on each portion and you are required to incorporate that feedback in order to move on to the next section of the grant. The grant proposal will not make sense if the first part of the grant is not mastered, and so on.


Grant Development - State and Foundation Proposal Certificate: 

The following textbook is required for this certificate program:

  • Smith, Nancy Burke & Works, E. Gabriel (2012). The Complete Book of Grant Writing: Learn To Write Grants Like A Professional. Sourcebooks, Inc. Naperville, IL. ISBN-13: 978-1-4022-67291

Advanced Grant Development – Federal Proposal Certificate:

The following two textbooks are required for this certificate program:

  • Smith, Nancy Burke & Works, E. Gabriel (2012). The Complete Book of Grant Writing: Learn To Write Grants Like A Professional. Sourcebooks, Inc. Naperville, IL. ISBN-13: 978-1-4022-67291
  • Kester, Cheryl L., Cassidy, Karen L. (2015). In The Trenches: Writing To Win Federal Grants. Charity Channel Press. Nashville, TN. Printed book: ISBN: 978-1-938077-61-6

No. All NMI courses and certificates are considered professional development education. However, content and subject matter is comparable to an advanced college-level course.


The Lodestar Center – NMI does not offer payment plans.

NMI does not accept financial aid as payment.

Yes! Participants who successfully complete Grant Development: State and Foundation Proposals will receive a discount of 25% towards the next immediate Advanced Grant Development: Federal Proposal Certificate. Discount will be provided in the form of a discount code after the first certificate is paid in full and completed.

NMI always offers early birds discounts two weeks prior to the course start date! Please register as early as possible to take advantage of those discounts!

  • $1,050 (Early Bird $999) for Grant Development: State and Foundation Proposals
  • $1,175 (Early Bird $1,050) for Advanced Grant Development: Federal Proposals

No. Discount codes are only provided once the participant has paid in full and completed (or are well on their way to completing) the first class.

Code becomes available towards the end of the first class, by this time you will an understanding of your skills and abilities to confidently move on the Advanced class. This is a rigorous class and we must guarantee you are fully prepared before registration and before receiving discounts.

*Please note that all participants in the Grant Development: State and Foundation Proposals will have a reserved spot for them in the next upcoming Advanced class if they choose to move on.

Yes, choose the “check” option during the payment page. Payment Instructions are on every invoice.

Yes, all major credit cards are accepted.

No, please fully read our cancellation policy before registering for this certificate. All participants must agree to the cancellation policy during registration.

Yes. Participants must master the skills of state and foundation proposal writing before registering for the Advanced Grant Development – Federal Proposal Certificate.

*Exception: If the participant already has advanced writing skills they may register for the Advanced Grant Development: Federal Proposals certificate without completing the first certificate. The following counts as acceptable experience:

  • taking a previous college level course or professional development course focusing on writing state and foundation grant proposals
  • having prior experience with a nonprofit organization writing grant proposals for state and foundation grants is also acceptable