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Find Your Voice: Persuasive Writing in Grantmaking

September 29, 2021 @ 12:30 pmSeptember 30, 2021 @ 4:30 pm EDT

Persuasive Writing in Grantmaking

We’re online! This workshop will be presented online through Zoom. All registrants will receive the access link and password via email from Eventbrite before the event.

Build your professional writing skills to better support the grantees and communities you care about.

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: Tory Martin and Zelene Wilkins
Deadline to Register: September 15


Individual Registration:  $750
Group Registration:  $720 per participant
TGS Alumni:  $720 (use promo code TGSALUM30)

Meeting Dates & Times

This course takes place over two days. Participants will meet virtually on Wednesday, September 29 from 12:30–4:30 p.m. and again on Thursday, September 30, 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.

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 tgs@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: Tory Martin
Tory Martin, M.A., is the director of communications and engagement at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy. She is responsible for steering the Johnson Center’s messaging and brand expression, as well as the center’s efforts to connect our work and mission with a growing community of philanthropists and nonprofit professionals. Learn more about Tory.

Photo: Zelene Wilkins
Zelene Wilkins, Ph.D. candidate, is executive director of the Keller Foundation in Grand Rapids, Mich. She provides leadership and management of the foundation’s grantmaking programs and operations and facilitates board engagement, organizational learning, and impact assessment and provides technical assistance to grantees. As an independent consultant to foundations, Zelene supports foundations working at the community, national and international levels with grantmaking strategies and decisions, learning, impact assessment, human capacity building, grantee relationships, and board engagement.


September 29, 2021 @ 12:30 pm EDT
September 30, 2021 @ 4:30 pm EDT
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