Strengthening Grant Writing Skills (Korbel MA Students)

By Arianna Carlson, B.A. International Studies student and Jamie Polliard, OCPD Internship Program & Office Manager

A good grant writer must be an excellent researcher who not only finds the funding organization whose grants match with their non-profit, organization, or project but also must be an intuitive writer who knows how to appeal to the funding organization’s board. It is an important skill for many career paths in international affairs, whether working for a non-profit or searching for project/program funds.

Key skills include:

  • Excellent written communication skills
  • Top-shelf research skills
  • Ability to understand the needs of both the agency in need of funding and the organization that is offering the grant money
  • Great organizational skills
  • Being able to understand and execute complex instructions
  • Outstanding computer skills

The following are some resources that can help strengthen grant writing skills:

Grant Writing from UNC Chapel Hill

In the academic and research field, funding opportunities can be limited and it is beneficial to have the strongest grant application possible. This resource is intended to make sure applicants have a strong and clear case for funding as they define their research and navigate the competitive field. (Free)

Writing a Successful Grant Proposal

This resource provides insight into effective grant writing, from presenting your case for funding to key components of a successful grant application. The documents include considerations when calculating your project budget and utilizing funding, in addition to answering common questions about grant writing. (Free)

Grant Writing Course for Non-Profits

If you are working in the non-profit sector, grant writing is a great way to maintain or extend an organization’s work. With a collection of resources ranging from videos to entire courses, Nonprofitready has resources to help non-profit grant writers succeed in securing funding. (Free with the creation of an account)

Blog Series on Grant Writing

This blog series details key grant considerations, specifically for federal grant applications. When writing an effective application, it is critical to know what your audience is looking for. Fortunately, this resource seeks to help grant writers learn just that. In addition, related blog entries provide additional information relating to general grant writing questions as well as guidelines and eligibility for more stringent federal grant applications. (Free)

Don’t forget to check out our events on PCO – offering the opportunity to meet with alumni and professionals in careers throughout international affairs plus resources to strengthen your skills!  Questions? Email us at

By Jamie Polliard
Jamie Polliard Internship Program & Office Manager