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Grant Writing Certificate Program

Grant Writing Workshop

Fall 2020 Dates TBD
9 am - 4 pm
Registration fee: $449
WCU Biltmore Park, Asheville


Please Note: Participants will receive a link to a Zoom session for our virtual offerings a few days prior to the training. You will need to download Zoom onto your Laptop or PC prior to the training. You will also need a reliable internet connection, and a camera and audio on your laptop or PC. It is not recommended to use a Smartphone for the training.


Grant writing techniques and processes are in a transitional stage. Grant writers need to stay on top of the latest trends that include more online grant applications, requirements for better designed evaluations, and new social policies that determine grant opportunities.

In this 4-day certificate program, nationally recognized trainer Jack Smith will review the many different categories of grants, and teach time-saving techniques and shortcuts in the grant writing and process including the writing abstract. This class will help participants increase their chances of winning competitive grants through a better understanding of the entire grant writing process - from planning to writing. Participants will learn to identify their strengths as grant writers, and acquire the skills required to “think” like a professional in the development and marketing fields.

" This is such a good class! Jack is a great instructor and his jokes are pretty good too."

"Jack is very intelligent and a kind instructor, I am going to share this information with many of my contacts."

"I enjoyed the classes very much. It exceeded my expectations, the material will forever be useful to me."

Grant Writing 

Writing a grant can be a frustrating and overwhelming experience. Using common grant development formats, this workshop will proceed step-by-step through the development of a proposal with emphasis on the following: identifying and evaluating the most appropriate funding sources, researching a problem, and supplying the documentation and statistics necessary for supporting a grant proposal. This workshop will give you the confidence and know-how to develop a successful grant proposal.

Writing and Abstract and Panel Presentation 

One of the most important factors for a successful grant or contract award is a carefully crafted abstract.  The abstract guides the development of a full proposal. A clear and concise abstract will aid with program collaboration, grant proposal development, marketing and program administration. Through a series of writing prompts, this hands-on workshop will help you write a 6 – 8 sentence abstract that will clearly describe your proposed program or project.  Through a peer-review exercise, other workshop participants will provide honest and unbiased feedback on your written abstract. 

A panel discussion will take place in the afternoon on the second day including representatives from several local foundations and organizations discussing grant opportunities and the funding process for these projects.

Budgeting 101 for Grant Proposals 

On the 4th day, participants will learn about the aspects of the proposal budgeting process including indirect costs, allowable vs. non-allowable costs, in-kind donations, government vs. non-government grants, and time reporting and reporting scenarios.

At the conclusion of the certificate program, participants will be able to:

  • Produce high quality grant proposals
  • Win competitive grant awards
  • Identify and analyze funding resources
  • Design and manage programs
  • Conduct research on the internet
  • Improve their writing skills
  • Convey the fund development process as it relates to serving on boards
  • Identify and apply for grants being offered through WCU foundations
  • Outline the foundations funding process
  • Calculate indirect costs and understand allowable vs. non-allowable costs and other funding sources

Benefits of attending:

  • Improved and better use of staff time in the grant writing process
  • More grant monies awarded
  • Better managed organizations because grants are business plans
  • Organizational and project survival and growth
  • Enhanced professional image

Training Audience

This class is designed to meet the needs of three different categories of participants including staff and officials who are completely new to grant writing and need a basic understanding of the process; those who are currently working on a grant-writing project and are facing specific grant writing problems and issues; or successful practitioners in the field who are seeking specialized information and advanced insights into grant project development.


Jack Smith is a nationally-recognized grant writing trainer. Since 1987, his consulting practice has directly contracted training consulting services with more than 200 different organizations and he has taught more than 1,500 grant writing classes in his career. He has taught grant-writing skills for the state governments of Connecticut, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Georgia, and Vermont, and for agencies and clients of the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S Department of Energy, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Cherokee Nation. He is also a member of the adjunct faculty of the professional development programs at Emory University, the Austin Center for Community Based and Nonprofit Organizations, University of Southern Maine, and the University of Georgia where he teaches grant writing certificate programs. In 2012 and 2013, he taught advanced grant writing classes in Ethiopia and South Africa for the African Society for Laboratory Medicine and the U.S. CDC. In 1986, the U.S. Department of Energy presented its Award for Energy Innovation to Mr. Smith’s National Self-Help Weatherization Program Model. He has served as the Development Director for Portland, Maine's largest social service agency, and been on the board of more than a dozen nonprofit agencies including the Portland Public Library. Jack earned a master of public administration degree from the University of Maine.

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