The Certified Grant Writer® Credential is the industry standard for professionals in the field of grant writing. The credential is valid for a period of 5 years and documents that the professional has demonstrated proficiency in grant researching, proposal writing, budgeting, and professional ethics. The credentail may be renewed by earning 30 Renewal Credits every five years.
The CGW Workshop Series includes the following components:
Intro to Grant Writing Online Course
Program Development and Proposal Writing (4 day workshop)
Certified Grant Writer® Review Course (1 day workshop)
Certified Grant Writer® Examination (1 day exam)
Annual Individual Membership in American Grant Writers' Association
This series is appropriate for staff from nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, health organizations, government agencies, and native tribes seeking to write competitive grant applications and proposals.
The Introduction to Grant Writing Online Course
This online course is individual study and self-paced. Students are assigned an Online Instructor who will send course materials and assignments by e-mail. The course begins on the day of purchase and students have 90-days to complete the 4 assignments, although most students complete assignments in 3-4 weeks. A 90-day extension is available for $100. Students receive course materials and assignments one section at a time. Assignments must be completed in one section before proceeding to the next section. The course covers the following topics:
How to find Federal, State, Foundation, and Corporate grant opportunities and RFPs
Introduction to Proposal Writing - Common Grant Forms and Government Application Packages
Introduction to preparing nonprofit organization budgets and writing the Budget Narrative
Professional Standards and Ethics of American Grant Writers' Association
For the online course, the student will need a computer (with any operating system) that has internet access. Software needed is MS Word, Excel, and Adobe Reader. Students will also need an e-mail address.
Program Development and Proposal Writing Workshop
The four day workshop is offered in several locations across the US each year; students will decide which location/date when making the purchase. Students receive course materials upon arrival at the workshop. This workshop is a hands-on experience where students develop a program using a logic model, practice pre-writing exercises, write sections of a proposal, practice preparing budgets, and review peer's writing and budget exercises. The student learns the finer points of grant writing, enabling the proposal or application to be more competitive. The focus is on seeking program support, program development support, capital support, and general operating support. Research grants and construction grants are mentioned, but not discussed in detail. The course is taught from the employee's perspective who works for the grant applicant. The following topics are covered during the workshop:
Grantseeking and the Development Office
Nonprofit Organizations - Exempt Status and Charitable Status
Standards of Charitable Accountability
Program Development using a Logic Model
Understanding a Foundation's 990 PF
Evaluating Foundation RFPs and Government NOFAs
Researching statistics to document the Problem Statement
Writing goals and measurable objectives and outcomes
Planning program evaluations
Writing Letters of Inquiry, Proposals, and Applications for Foundation and Government Grants
Writing Government Grant Applications
Planning Nonprofit and Government Grant Budgets
Professional Standards and Ethics of American Grant Writers' Association
We recommend bringing to the workshop the following:
- a sweater or jacket because meeting rooms often feel chilly,
- a pillow for your chair,
- a laptop computer with a USB port and Word software for the writing exercies (a printer will be provided in the meeting room),
- a handheld calculator and pencils with erasers for the budget exercises.
The workshop begins at 8:30 AM and concludes at 5:00 PM each day, with a one hour break for lunch on your own. Morning and afternoon breaks are provided. Dress is casual.
Certified Grant Writer® Review Course
This one-day workshop is on the 5th day. The review covers study tips as well as content for all 5 sections of the examination. Course materials are distributed in the meeting room on the afternoon prior to the course. The course begins at 8:30 AM and concludes at 5:30 PM with a one hour break for lunch on your own. Morning and afternoon breaks are provided. Students should bring a handheld calculator, pencils with erasers, and a sweater or jacket; laptop computers are not used during this course.
Certified Grant Writer® Exam
On the 6th day the Certified Grant Writer® Exam is administered in a group setting. The exam is administered in 3 sessions:
Session 1: Section 1) Program Development & Proposal Writing
Section 2) Researching Grant Opportunities
Section 3) Professional Standards and Code of Ethics
Session 2: Section 4) Preparing Budgets
Session 3: Section 5) Writing Samples
The exam is administered from 8:30 AM until 4:45 PM. Students should plan travel arrangements so that they are scheduled to depart the hotel no earlier than 4:45 PM. We recommend scheduling airline flights after 7:30 PM. Morning and afternoon beverages are provided. Dress is casual.
Students are required to provide the following for the CGW Exam:
- Laptop computer with a USB port and Word software for the Writing Sample Section,
- Handheld calculator (with no text capability) for the Budget Section,
- State Issued Photo ID (such as a driver's license) as proof of identify and minimum age.
All of the course materials for the online course, 4-day workshop, and review course are provided. We recommend reading the following books prior to attending to enrich your learning experience:
- The writing reference is the APA Publication Manual of Style. Some writers prefer the Concise Rules of APA Style or the APA Style Workbook. All are available from American Psychological Association's online store www.apastyle.org.
- A Bachelor's Degree is strongly recommended, but not required.
- A strong math aptitude (Algebra I) is recommended to be successful.
- Knowledge of APA style prior to attending the Review Course is strongly recommened.
- The minimum age to sit for the CGW Exam is 21 years old by the date of the exam.
- Proof of identity and minimum age must be shown to the proctor prior to sitting for the exam.
- Only members of American Grant Writers' Association may sit for the Certified Grant Writer® exam.
Price: The CGW Workshop Series is $999 per person.
Passing the Certified Grant Writer® Exam
A score of 80% is required to pass each section, except a score of 90% is required to pass the Professional Standards and Code of Ethics Section. Students receive their grades and Certified Grant Writer Credential by mail four weeks after the exam.
The CGW Workshop Series entitles the student to sit for the Certified Grant Writer® Exam two times in an attempt to pass all 5 sections of the exam. For the second sitting, the student needs to only retest in the sections that did not receive a passing score during the first sitting. There is no additional fee to sit for the exam a second time, or to attend the CGW Review Course a second time. A private sitting is available for the second sitting for an additional $299 plus travel expenses of the proctor. The private sitting must be administered by American Grant Writers' Association and proctored by a person holding a valid Certified Grant Writer® credential.
To sit for the CGW Exam a third time, a student must wait a period of 12 months after the second testing and purchase the CGW Review and Exam for $499 as well be a member at the time of purchase and exam date.
As an IACET Approved Provider, AGWA offers CEUs. Students may earn 5.5 CEUs by completing all assignments and attending the entire 4-day workshop and 1-day Review Course. The CEU certificate must be purchased before the first online assignment is turned into the instructor.
Rescheduling, Cancellation, Refunds
Prior to making your purchase we recommend you read our web pages "Refund and Rescheduling Policies", "Professional Ethics and Standards", and "Debit/Credit Card Purchases".
Persons with Disabilities
Disabled persons may request accommodations. Requests should be in writing (mail or e-mail) and need to be received two weeks prior to the first day of a workshop or course.
If a prospective student, or current student, has questions on scheduling, technical support, coursework, or the exam please contact AGWA's Customer Service by phone or e-mail.
If your company is seeking training funds, you might want to contact the Workforce Development Board in your County. Some of the boards offer training funds to employers to reimburse up to 50% of training registration expense.