Loading Events

« All Events

Find Your Voice: Persuasive Writing for Grantmakers

August 11 @ 12:30 PMAugust 12 @ 4:30 PM EDT

Find Your VOice: Persuasive Writing for Grantmakers
We’re online! This workshop will be presented online through Zoom. All registrants will receive the access link and password via email the day before the event.

Program officers write a lot. Successfully distilling the ideas and work of grantseekers and communicating it to decision-makers is essential to the work you do, and it requires strong persuasive writing skills. Yet, it can be challenging to convey the passion and vision of a project within the confines of your foundation’s grant recommendation template.

This two-day, online course from The Grantmaking School guides you step-by-step through the process of effectively communicating an accurate, authentic representation of the proposed work within a template — while maintaining your own voice.

Ideal for program officers transitioning from a community organization to a foundation setting, the knowledge and skills gained through this hands-on experience can be applied to writing throughout the grantmaking cycle, including strategy development, reporting, and sharing knowledge.

Join us to build your professional writing skills and better support the grantees and communities you care about!

Instructors: Teri Behrens and Edward Smith
Deadline to Register: Wednesday, July 22

Meeting Dates & Times

This course takes place over two days. Participants will meet virtually on Tuesday, August 11 from 12:30–4:30 p.m. and again on Wednesday, August 12 from 12:30–4:30 p.m. (ET)

This course is a live, interactive experience. It will not be recorded or made available to registrants after the end of the live session.

Day One: Foundations for Persuasive Writing
  • The role and importance of writing in philanthropy
  • Writing for audience/purpose with an authentic voice
  • How to effectively present and support an argument from purpose statement to closing paragraph
  • Small group practice identifying, editing, and giving feedback on various samples

Day Two: BYOW (Bring your own writing!)
  • Editing: What to look for
  • Resources to support self-editing
  • How to give (and receive) feedback
  • Facilitated peer work groups: Bring your own writing sample with identified purpose/audience and practice the skills you’ve learned with a partner from the course. Instructors will circulate the online breakout rooms to assist and answer questions.


Individual Registration: $625
Group Registration: $575 per participant
TGS Alumni: $575 (use promo code TGSALUM50)

Who should attend this course?

This course is intended for foundation staff, donors, and others engaged in grantmaking. If you do not fit this profile but are interested in attending, please email tara.baker@gvsu.edu before registering.

Cancellation & Refund Policy

This course may be subject to cancellation if it does not reach the minimum number of registrants. In the event of a cancellation, you will be notified at least two weeks before the course start date and will be offered a full refund or the option to transfer your registration to another Johnson Center offering. Refund requests for any other reason must be made at least two weeks prior to the start of the course.

Photo: Teri Behrens

Teri Behrens, Ph.D. is the executive director of the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University and is the founder and editor in chief of The Foundation Review, the Johnson Center’s quarterly, peer-reviewed journal on philanthropy. Learn more about Teri.
Photo: Edward Smith
Edward Smith, Ph.D. is a program officer with The Kresge Foundation’s Education Program. He helps advance the team’s goals and functions by inviting and reviewing funding requests and making recommendations for investments in ongoing or emerging innovations. He also manages a portfolio of grants focused on promoting college opportunity and degree completion for marginalized student groups. Smith joined Kresge in 2019 after 10 years in education policy research, working to understand how city leaders develop and advance education attainment initiatives rooted in a city’s assets and suited to the needs of its people. Previously, he held positions at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, NASPA’s Research and Policy Institute and the Institute for Higher Education Policy. Learn more about Edward.


August 11 @ 12:30 PM EDT
August 12 @ 4:30 PM EDT
Event Categories:
, , ,




Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy’s The Grantmaking School