(Online) Grant Writing Essentials

New! If your employer is a compact member of the Harold Alfond Center for the Advancement of Maine’s Workforce, you may be eligible to take this program at a reduced cost. Click here to learn more.

Black woman rejoicing at a laptop

Program Description

You have a lot on your plate. Between annual appeals, communications, virtual event planning and fundraising, you’re overwhelmed. And now you’ve been tasked with writing a grant and you don’t know where to start. Our online grant writing program can help!

This interactive online professional development program will teach you the basics of seeing a grant through a full cyclefrom inception to completion. You’ll learn how to get your organization ready to apply for grants, where to find funders and funding opportunities, how to write the components of a grant and how to submit a successful application that has all the information funders want to see.

Using case studies, this program will focus on real-world grant applications. Comprehensive checklists and worksheets will guide you through every step of planning, researching, applying to and managing a grantwithout missing a thing! You’ll also develop language specific to your organization that answers common grant questions.

The only thing you won’t learn in this program is how to celebrate securing a grant proposal. We figure you’ve got that one covered. 🙂


Dates & Times

July–August 2023 Session
Mondays, 9:00 a.m.–noon ET
July 17, 24, 31, August 7 & 14, 2023



Pre-class work will be sent a week before the start of the program.

We encourage you to sign up for the interest list to find out when future trainings are announced. Please note: we do not utilize a wait list for this program.


This dynamic program will be offered synchronously via Zoom—you’ll need access to a stable internet connection. There will be assignments between classes (as well as time during sessions to work on your proposals). Breakout sessions with other participants as well as one on one time with the instructor are built into the program.

The Hutchinson Center has a limited number of computers (and plenty of Wi-Fi to go around). If you’d like to participate virtually via the Hutchinson Center, please request support via the form here.


Program Benefits                                           

This online grant writing certificate program is intensive, active and results-driven. You will learn how to:                                                             

  • Identify funding sources
  • Write and present persuasive grants that inspire funders
  • Produce high-quality grant proposals
  • Increase your knowledge of the development field
  • Manage a grant
  • Nurture a relationship with funders

By the end of the program, you will have developed text specific to your organization that can be used in any grant application, a list of resources and concrete next steps to move forward in the grant process, and 1:1 guidance from the instructor on the grant topics most relevant to you.

In addition, you’ll get an invitation to a private Facebook group, where fellow alums of the grant writing program can support each other, share opportunities and resources, network, etc.


flow chart explaining the grants process

Topics Covered


  • Grant myths, misconceptions and pitfalls (and how to avoid them)
  • Components of a grant
  • Understanding the different kinds of grants and funders
  • RFPs
  • Your responsibilities as a grant writer



  • Looking critically at your capacity
  • The “grant-ready” checklist
  • Determining your funding priorities
  • Developing your ideas
  • Using online resources to find opportunities
  • Profiles of grantmakers
  • Vetting funding opportunities as a team
  • Developing relationships with funders



  • Developing your proposal
  • Gathering data and documentation
  • Components of the narrative
  • How to organize information
  • Writing style
  • Creating a budget
  • Attachments



  • Application follow up
  • Managing a grant
  • Completing reports
  • Nurturing relationships
  • Difficult situations in grant writing



  • 1:1 feedback with program instructor
  • Sharing your common application questions for feedback


Who Should Enroll

This program is designed to benefit people across the grant-writing spectrum, including those new to the genre, those in the midst of writing grants and successful grant writers who are looking to refine their skills and gain new insights, particularly: 

  • Administrators
  • Art organizations
  • Aspiring freelance grant writers
  • Board members
  • Educators
  • Executive Directors
  • Nonprofit workers
  • Researchers

This program is 100% online and can be taken from anywhere! The course is offered synchronously, on Eastern Time.

All of our professional development and continuing education programs are open to the public. You do not need to be a UMaine student, staff member or faculty in order to participate.

Not sure if this program is right for you? Contact us at um.fhc.pd@maine.edu or 207.338.8002 and we can help you figure it out.



Elizabeth Haffey headshotElizabeth Haffey is a Maine-based professional grant writer. Through her business, E. Haffey Grant Consulting, she helps clients develop and write proposals, researches opportunities, and trains staff and volunteers to apply for grants. Haffey received her Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from George Washington University and is currently working on her Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Southern Maine.


Program Fee


Click here for more information about paying for your professional development, including information about need-based scholarships, group discounts and tips on how to get your employer on board.

Current UMaine students are eligible for a 20% discount. Use code STUDENT20 at checkout.


Class Capacity

14 participants


Continuing Education Units and Micro-Credentials

  • 30 contact hours / 3 CEUs
  • Certificate for completing the entirety of this program
  • Shareable Grant Writing Level 1 & Level 2 micro-credential badge

If you’d like to receive CEUs for participating in this course, please note this in your registration via our online store.

Those who go on to write and submit grants may be eligible for a Grant Writing Level 3 badge.

Learn more about badges and micro-credentials here.

Grant Writing Level 1 Badge

Grant Writing Level 2 BadgeGrant Writing Level 3 Badge



For More Information/Accommodations

For more information or to request an accommodation contact um.fhc.pd@maine.edu; 207.338.8002.

Hear From Grant Writing Participants

Meet Rose Barboza of Black Owned Maine, Professional Development Participant, Activist, Entrepreneur and Mother

Interview with Christopher Tremblay, Grant Writing Program Participant

"This was an invaluable course for me, and it enabled me to add essential skills to my writing tool-kit that will allow me to grow as both a tutor/educator and a writer." past participant