How to Win Grants for Your Library

Course Syllabus

This online course will be offered on the Moodle platform and will include two webinars, discussions via on online forum, and weekly readings and assignments. Participants will submit a sample grant proposal and get personalized feedback from an expert grant reviewer to discover how to write a grant proposal that funders will love.

Course modules are designed to follow this Grant Process Cycle, which illustrates how grant work is an ongoing process. We'll cover everything to do with grant work, from beginning to end.

Grant Process Cycle image


At the beginning of each week readings will be posted that cover the content for that week. Please read them at the beginning of each week and ask any questions about the content using the Discussion Forum for that week.

Recommended Text

Pamela H. MacKellar and Stephanie K. Gerding (2010). Winning Grants: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians with Multimedia Tutorials and Grant Development Tools. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc.

This text is not required for the course but it will provide you with more information about each step in the Grant Process Cycle, including examples, templates on a DVD, and success stories.

Course registrants can order the book from the ALA Store using the coupon code GERD14 for a 10% discount (20% for ALA Members):


Call Toll-Free
8:00 AM–6:00 PM Eastern, Monday–Friday

International Phone Orders (non-toll free)

Mail (including all orders with payments via check)
ALA Store
P.O. Box 932501
Atlanta, GA 31193-2501

Discussion Forums

The forums allow you to interact with the facilitator and with each other. This is a great place to learn and ask questions of each other about the topic of the week. Every week you will be asked to post to that week’s forum on a specific topic and to respond to other postings. There is also a General Discussion Forum for topics that don’t fall into the weekly discussions.

Interactive Webinars

There will be two hour-long webinars, which will be archived. Webinars will be:

Wednesday, April 23
Overview of Library Grant Work Webinar

  • 1:00–2:00 PM Eastern
  • 12:00–1:00 PM Central
  • 11:00 AM–12:00 PM Mountain
  • 10:00–11:00 AM Pacific

Monday, May 5
Winning Grants: Tips for Success Webinar

  • 1:00–2:00 PM Eastern
  • 12:00–1:00 PM Central
  • 11:00 AM–12:00 PM Mountain
  • 10:00–11:00 AM Pacific


Each week you will have a skill to practice or an assignment to complete. Stephanie will review and provide feedback on assignments and forum discussions. Assignments are not graded; however, you should complete and submit them on time because the content in the next week of the course will build on the knowledge you acquired by doing the previous assignment. You will learn more from this course if you practice skills and complete assignments. Your final assignment is to submit a short draft grant proposal, which will be reviewed with feedback. To receive a certificate of completion, you should participate each week (complete at least one weekly assignment), and submit the final assignment.


The course is divided into four weeks. We will cover all six steps of the Grant Process Cycle, proceeding through the steps sequentially. The content for each week will be posted by Monday of that week. All content will be available to you from the day it is posted through the end of the course.

Weekly Content Outline and Course Assignments
Week Content Assignments

Week 1 
April 21–25

  • Grant Process Cycle Overview
  • Plan the Grant Process: Prepare and Prioritize
  • Week 1 Reading
  • Edit your profile
  • Post to the Introduction Forum
  • Post to the Strategic Plan Forum
  • Post to Needs Assessment Forum
  • Attend webinar: Overview of Library Grant Work

Week 2 
April 28–May 2

  • Design Winning Grants
  • Library Grant Success Stories
  • Week 2 Reading
  • Post Outcomes to the Grant Project Forum
  • Design a Project Plan and submit for review
  • Post to the Success Stories Forum

Week 3 
May 5–9

  • Research Funders and Grants
  • Week 3 Reading
  • Research Skills Practice Worksheet: research grants and submit 3 possibilities
  • Post to the Sources and Resources Forum
  • Attend webinar: Winning Grants: Tips for Success

Week 4 
May 12–16

  • Create and Submit the Winning Proposal
  • Implement, Evaluate, and Continue the Process
  • Week 4 Reading
  • Prepare a short sample proposal and submit it for review to the Proposal Forum


If you have any questions, please post them to the General Discussion Forum or e-mail instructor Stephanie Gerding directly at