LIBR 282-11
Seminar in Library Management
Topic:  Grant Writing and Persuasive Communication
Fall 2011 Greensheet

Lisa Valdez
Office Phone:  (408) 924-2496  
Office Location: Clark Hall 418-B
Office Hours: Virtually via email and by appointment

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
D2L Login and Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

You will be enrolled into the D2L course site automatically. The first day of the course is Wednesday, August 24.  The instructor will send more information as we approach this date.  An optional Elluminate session will be held on Sunday, August 28, at 5:00 pm Pacific Time, where the instructor will provide an overview of the course, repeating information found in the D2L course site, and you will have an opportunity to ask questions.  Students may also watch a recording of this optional Elluminate session.

Course Description

This course examines grant writing and other types of persuasive communication, with an emphasis on grant writing for libraries.  Students will work with a real library or non-profit organization (selected by the student), serving as a "consultant" to assess the client's funding needs, determine organizational priorities for funding, create a grant seeking plan, and develop a grant proposal aimed at meeting identified organizational needs.  Students will also explore how to apply persuasive writing skills in other professional venues, such as library marketing campaigns, public relations, and donor outreach.

Course Prerequisites: LIBR 200, 204 required.

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the course, students should demonstrate competency in the following areas:

  1. Understand the grant seeking process and know how to develop a competitive grant proposal.
  2. Know how to conduct research in order to locate sources of grant funding, analyze grantmaker guidelines, and critically assess whether potential funding sources are a match for an organization and a specific project.
  3. Develop project budgets.
  4. Understand how to develop evaluation plans using an outcomes-based approach to program evaluation.
  5. Understand funder perspectives and how to communicate effectively with prospective grant makers in order to build long-term relationships and maximize funding opportunities.
  6. Develop persuasive communication material that clearly articulates purpose, reponds to the needs of different audiences, uses the appropriate voice and tone, and builds stakeholder support.
  7. Understand how to analyze an organization's communication and grant seeking practices, identify areas where communication and grant seeking can be improved, prioritize grant seeking opportunities, and develop reports summarizing recommendations.

LIBR 282 supports the following MLIS Core Competencies:

  • apply the fundamental principles of planning, management and marketing/advocacy;
  • demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional level presentations.
  • evaluate programs and services on specified criteria
  • design, query and evaluate information retrieval systems

Course Requirements

The assignments for this course are listed below.  For detailed descriptions of each assignment, along with grading rubrics, see the course site in D2L.

  • Discussion Board.  Discussion group participation is a critical aspect of this course.  Participating in regular discussions with your peers and instructor assesses your comprehension of the assigned readings, gives you an opportunity to display your depth of knowledge, prompts you to engage in critical thinking, and expands your learning as you explain your viewpoints and interact with your peers and instructor.  There are 12 sets of discussion questions worth 20 points each.  (24% of final grade)
  • Funding Priorities Report.  Prepare a report for your client summarizing your recommendations regarding potential grant funders for your client's project.  This assignment will consist of a table or spreadsheet listing at least five potential grant funding sources for your client.  In addition, prepare a cover memo explaining your funder report to your client and providing recommendations regarding how to use the information.  (15% of final grade)
  • Persuasive Writing Piece.  Based on your client analysis, demonstrate your ability to write a persuasive writing piece for your client tailored to your client's needs.  Your persuasive writing piece may be website copy, text for a brochure, a blog post, a newsletter article, a donor outreach letter or email, or a news release or announcement.  (7% of final grade)
  • Mid-Course Formative Evaluation.  Submit a one page, single-spaced paper, describing (1) what is working well for you in this class, (2) how your learning could be enhanced, and (3) how you feel about the organization of the course in D2L. (3% of final grade)
  • Outreach Communication Piece Regarding Grant Award.  Develop an announcement that assumes your client has received a grant award as a result of the proposal you developed.  The announcement will be available for your client to publish on its blog or website, in its internal or external newsletter, or via email to a media outlet or email distribution list. (7% of final grade)
  • Peer Review Feedback on Proposal Drafts.  In this assignment, you will take on the role of peer reviewer and analyze the proposals of your peers in your discussion group.  This assignment will help you strengthen your own proposal development skills, as you learn to view grant proposals from the funder's perspective, while simultaneously benefitting your peers by providing diverse perspectives on their work.  (10% of final grade)
  • Final Proposal.  Develop a grant proposal for your client, aimed at seeking funding for a project your client desires to implement and developed specifically for a funder you identify as a good fit for your client and the project.  Your final proposal provides you with an opportunity to showcase all you have learned this semester, while also providing your client with a polished proposal, ready to submit to an identified funder.  (24% of final grade)
  • Case Study.  The case study will provide you with an opportunity to reflect on lessons learned as you worked with your client and developed your grant proposal.  Think critically about your experiences, both positive and negative.  Your reflections and critical thinking will expand your learning, so you are better prepared to implement what you've learned in the future and communicate your new knowledge to others. (10% of final grade)

Course Calendar

  • Week 1: Getting Started
  • Week 2: Introduction to Grant Seeking and Persuasive Writing
  • Week 3: Client Analysis
  • Week 4: Identifying a Fundable Project
  • Week 5: Funder Research
  • Week 6: The Funder's Perspective
  • Week 7: Effective Proposal Writing
  • Week 8: Needs Statement
  • Week 9: Program Description, Goals, Objectives, and Outcomes
  • Week 10: Program Evaluation and Dissemination
  • Week 11: Budget and Budget Narrative; Sustainability
  • Week 12: Peer Review
  • Week 13: Abstracts, Cover Letters, Letters of Inquiry, and Attachments
  • Week 14: Proposal Submission
  • Week 15: Reflections

Textbooks and Readings

Required Textbooks:

  • Durrance, J. C. & Fisher, K. E. (2005). How libraries and librarians help: A guide to identifying user-centered outcomes. Chicago, IL: American Library Association. Available through Amazon: 0838908926. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Karsh, E. & Fox, A. S. (2009). The only grant-writing book you'll ever need. New York, NY: Basic Books. Available through Amazon: 0465018696. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Koch, D. S. (2009). How to say it grantwriting: Write proposals that grantmakers want to fund. New York, NH: Prentice Hall. Available through Amazon: 0735204454. 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;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — 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 the following semester. 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.

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

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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