2 Questions You Should Ask Before Getting a Grant Writing Certificate

Grant Writing Certificate. To have or not to have?

And then… from where?

This is a question I get all the time.

I get this question from freelance grant writers and aspiring freelancers, but I also get it from potential nonprofit clients.

Do you have a grant writing certificate?

This question, and 7 more common questions asked by nonprofit clients, I will go over in even more detail (and give you a fill-in-the-blank script) in my upcoming 5-Day FB Challenge, “Confidently Pitch Your Grant Writing Services to Nonprofit Clients” on March 8th – 12th. Sign up above.

But for this week’s podcast, I will uncover the answer to the elusive question, “Do you have a grant writing certificate?”

(We cover a few items in last week’s podcast, too. Click here to listen)

The thing is, first off you need to consider how a grant writing certificate will serve you.

External Considerations for a Grant Writing Certificate

When a nonprofit prospect asks you this question, really they are asking how experienced you are.

So if you do have a grant writing certificate, then say YES!

However, if you don’t have one, then instead let them know that there is not an industry requirement for grant writers to have a certificate. Because, well, there’s not.

Instead let them know that you have written X # of grants, secured $X of funding, or any of your experience in grant writing. Because let’s face it. Even if you did have the Grant Writing & Funding Certificate (yes, that’s a thing – wink-wink) a nonprofit lead isn’t going to know how many hours of grant writing you have done, how long it took you to go through a course, etc.

So even if you do have a grant writing certificate, then mention all the other cool things related to grants you have done.

Externally, what having a grant writing certificate will get you is a nod of approval, a signature of experience, and credibility. You can put the name of your certificate on your resume, website, or even a business card!

This lends to the external affirmation of your skills.

Internal Considerations for a Grant Writing Certificate

The real reason however is the process of getting a grant writing certificate can help improve your skills, knowledge, and confidence.

If you are looking to improve any of the above, then you may consider going through a course, workshop, or training to get a grant writing certificate. This is the heart of it.


Here’s the thing though. Grant Certificate or not, it doesn’t really showcase your grant writing abilities. To have long-standing credibility and a reputation and to implement your learned skills, you need to write grants. Real-world grants. Not just a sample in a grant workshop. You need a pen to paper (or, er, keyboard to monitor?) and get out there and write some grants.

So, yes, a grant writing certificate can increase your resume and improve your skills, but grant writing certificate or not, you need to actually write grants.

If you aren’t sure where to start, then check out nonprofits to volunteer at! And believe me, if you start volunteering the nonprofit won’t ask you for a grant writing certificate! But you may be able to ask them to pay for your grant writing certificate and then you will volunteer ;)

So do you really need one? No. However, a grant writing certificate can be helpful in increasing credibility, knowledge, skills, and confidence. But you still will need to actually start writing grants.



Related Episodes

  • Episode #73: What’s Your Grant Success? 5 Reasons This is a Myth. Click here.
  • Episode #159: 7 Myths That You Need to Know About Grants and Freelance Grant Writers. Click here.