Grant Writing 101 Successfully Transitions to Virtual Format

June 19, 2020

By Jane Nolan Goeken, Community Development Specialist

Hands typing on a computer keyboardGrant Writing 101 is one of several programs from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development (CED) to be offered virtually. In the age of social distancing, CED specialists continue to adapt to the changing needs of Iowans.

Grant Writing 101 is a three-hour workshop that provides hands-on training in seeking and writing successful grant applications for representatives of nonprofits, local government, schools, and other organizations.

The virtual workshops are presented by ISU Extension and Outreach community development specialists Jane Nolan Goeken and Eric Christianson. Both have extensive experience writing and reviewing grant applications and working with various federal, state, local, and private foundation grant programs. During the workshop, they assist participants in exploring various public and private funding sources and provide instruction and tips on planning projects and writing successful grant applications.

Goeken and Christianson piloted the first virtual Grant Writing 101 workshop to 17 representatives of nonprofits, local government, schools, and other organizations in Wayne County of April 20. This workshop, originally scheduled as an in-person session in March, was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since successfully piloting the virtual workshop, Goeken and Christianson have completed sessions for two additional counties. ISU Extension and Outreach CED cosponsored a workshop with ISU Extension and Outreach – Madison County on May 21 for 23 participants and with ISU Extension and Outreach – Palo Alto County on May 27 for 14 participants.

Tom Leners, administrator of the Greater Madison County Community Foundation, lauded the impact of Grant Writing 101. “I believe the average application was a better-written, easier-to-read document,” he said.

“Better applications made the grant selection process easier for the board. Board members didn’t have to interpret the grant writer’s intent.”
As the state begins to reopen, Grant Writing 101 can be delivered either as a face-to-face or an online workshop. The fee for the program is $750, with sponsors permitted to charge participants to recoup part or all of the sponsorship fee.

Communities or organizations interested in scheduling a Grant Writing 101 workshop can contact Jane Nolan Goeken at 712-240-2504 or