INFO 282-19
Grant Writing
Spring 2021 Syllabus

Stephanie K. Gerding
Virtual office hours: Telephone and online advising by appointment

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning January 26, 2022, at 6 am PT unless you are taking an intensive or a one-unit or two-unit class that starts on a different day. In that case, the class will open on the first day that the class meets. 

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

This is a hands-on introductory course in grant writing for all library types. Skills developed are applicable to other organizations, such as nonprofits, as well. During this course, you will discover the confidence, knowledge, and skills to be successful at grant work. This course will cover all aspects of grant work, including understanding the process, planning, developing grant project ideas, finding the best funding sources and grant opportunities, and writing winning grant proposals. You will apply the concepts learned to discover grant opportunities, design a grant project, and create a grant proposal. Students will select and work with a real library or other organization, assess the client's community needs and future service and partnership development, determine funding and management priorities, create an organizational profile that outlines the organization's mission and plans, research and share grant success stories, complete a grant project plan, research current and potential funders, and develop an actual grant or proposal with implementation and evaluation strategies. Students will become familiar with various types of funding resources for libraries and grant project development. 

Course Requirements


Each two-week module will include written and discussion board assignments on topics related to grant writing. Most of the research will be conducted through online resources and working with a library or other organization of the student’s choice. These organizations may include nonprofits, information agencies, schools, and even the student's own workplace. Students need to identify a library or organization of their choice, a key contact, and begin research and meeting with the "client" at the beginning of the course. The assignments follow the grant process cycle and students will be completing portions of their grant proposal throughout the course. The final project assignment is writing a complete grant proposal for which the client organization could apply. Students will also compile a client grant portfolio of their work to submit to the client library/organization.

The student will be evaluated on the content of their ongoing grant proposal development, documentation to accompany the proposal, and related supporting materials, as well as ongoing communication and participation, analysis, and collegial support, demonstrated through the discussion forums.

Course Calendar




Instructional Content



Plan for Success

Week 1


Welcome and Introduction


Lecture Screencast:

Overview of Grant Process
Textbook: Chapter 1: Understanding the Grant Process

Discussion: Introduction Forum

Assignment: Strategic Plans


Week 2

2/2- 2/8

Plan for Success

Textbook: Chapter 2: Planning for Success

Assignment: Selection of Client and Organizational Profile


Assess Needs and Priorities

Week 3

2/9 - 2/15

Successful Grant Projects

Textbook: Part 2 Library Success Stories

Lecture Screencast: Success Stories

Discussion: Grant Success Stories


Week 4

2/16 - 2/22
Know Your Client: Assess Needs and Priorities

Lecture Screencast: Needs Assessments

Assignment: Needs Assessment & Client Funding Priorities


Design Winning Grant Projects

Week 5

2/23- 3/1

Plan the Grant Project 
CLO#4 CLO#5 and CLO#6

Lecture Screencast: Design Winning Grant Projects
Textbook: Chapter 3 Discovering and Designing the Grant Project

Assignment: Project Planning Worksheet


Week 6

3/2 - 3/8

Explore Partnerships

Screencasts: Partners and Collaborations

Discussion: Partnerships


Research Funders & Grant Opps

Week 7

3/9 - 3/15

Research Funders and Grant Opportunities


Lecture Screencast: Research Funders and Grant Opportunities Textbook: Chapter 4 Finding Library Funders

Assignment: Researching Grant Sources


Week 8

3/16 -3/22

Select the Right Grant Opportunity

Textbook: Chapter 5 Researching and Selecting the Right Grant Opportunity

Discussion: Sharing Grant Sources


Begin Grant Proposal

Week 9

3/23- 3/29

Begin the Winning Proposal


Lecture Screencast: Create the Winning Proposal

Textbook: Chapter 6 Creating and Submitting the Winning Proposal and Forms

Discussion: Grant Selection and Proposal Deconstruction


Week 10

3/30 - 4/5

Design Evaluation Plans 

Lecture Screencast: Evaluation and Logic Models

Assignment: Logic Model and Evaluation Plan


Grant Proposal

Week 11

4/6 - 4/12

Write the Grant Proposal
CLO#5 and CLO#6

Lecture Screencast: Tips for Success

Discussion: Share Three Tweets or Three Trivia Q&As


Week 12

4/13 - 4/19

Submit the Proposal
CLO#4 and CLO#7

Textbook: Grant Submission Checklist

Assignment: Final Project Grant Proposal Submission


Implement, Evaluate, Manage

Week 13

4/20 - 4/26

Implement and Manage the Grant Project

Lecture Screencast: Implement, Evaluate, and Manage the Grant Project

Assignment: Final Project Online Presentations



Week 14

4/27 - 5/3

Evaluate the Grant Process

Textbook: Chapter 7 Getting Funded and Implementing the Project

Assignment: Peer Review-Grant Proposal Feedback

Reflect, Review, Continue

Week 15

5/4 -5/10

Reflect, Review and Continue the Process

Textbook: Chapter 8 Reviewing and Continuing the Process

Discusson: Client Portfolio


Week 16
5/11 - 5/16

Final Wrap Up

Final WrapUP

Zoom: Optional Library Grants Trivia Game


All Modules are approximately 2 weeks long. There are 8 modules, and each has at least one written assignment, a discussion forum, a screencast lecture, and a textbook or other readings. Each written assignment is worth 7 points, each module discussion posting is worth 2 points. Students are required to include an original posting in the discussion and respond to a minimum of two other students. All assignments and discussion board posts are due at 11:59 p.m., the conclusion of each module (Wednesdays). At least one optional Zoom meeting will be held after students have been polled for best dates. Assignments may be resubmitted for a higher grade.

Students will complete all eight readings and screencast lectures, participate in eight discussion forums, and complete eight assignments, including submission of the final project, a grant proposal for their client. Dates and assignments are subject to change with fair notice.


Point Value

Due Dates

8 Discussion Posts
(2 points each)

16 points Total

Tuesday of approximately every other week: 2/1, 2/15, 3/8, 3/22, 3/29, 4/12, 4/26, 5/10

8 Written Assignments
(7 points each)

56 points Total

Tuesday of approximately every other week: 2/1, 2/8, 2/22, 3/1, 3/15, 4/5, 4/26, 5/3

Final Project: Grant Proposal

28 points Total

April 19

Extra Credit

Two extra-credit assignments of 1 point each will be provided. The first is during Module 4 where students will be asked to provide feedback on their experience so the instructor can determine any course changes if needed. The second involves developing a client grant marketing piece to be used for communicating a successful grant. If a secondary final grant proposal is submitted, up to 5 points of extra credit may be awarded.

Late Assignments
A half-point (.5) deduction will be made for every two days an assignment is late, not to exceed 2 points for each Module. Students must communicate with the instructor to advise of any late work. 

Other Relevant Information:

Pivot Database is available online through SJSU iSchool Databases. Please be prepared to access the King Databases with your Student ID and password.  We will also be exploring several other grants databases. 

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

INFO 282 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the grant-seeking process.
  2. Conduct research to locate sources of grant funding, analyze grantmaker guidelines, and assess whether potential funding sources match an organization and a specific project.
  3. Describe funder perspectives and know how to communicate effectively with prospective grantmakers.
  4. Write persuasive material that clearly articulates purpose, responds to the needs of an audience, uses the appropriate voice and tone, and builds stakeholder support.
  5. Analyze an organization's grant-seeking practices, identify areas of potential improvement, and prioritize grant-seeking opportunities.
  6. Assess specific library needs and future service development, identifying appropriate projects for grant funding.
  7. Develop a competitive grant proposal, including budgets, implementation plans, and evaluation criteria.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 282 supports the following core competencies:

  1. D Apply the fundamental principles of planning, management, marketing, and advocacy.
  2. N Evaluate programs and services using measurable criteria.


Recommended Textbooks:

  • Gerding, S.K., & MacKellar, P.H. (2017). Winning grants: A how-to-do-it manual for librarians (2nd ed.). ALA Neal-Schumann. Available through publisher.arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, BS-ISDA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation. You must repeat the class if you wish to stay in the program. If - on the second attempt - you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs' Syllabus Information web page at: Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.

In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.

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