A Grant Professional's Bookshelf

Having a bookshelf of valuable resources (and a pantry of snacks) is vital for a grant professional’s success, and an education grant professional's success. 


Author Diane Duane once said, “Reading one book is like eating one potato chip.” Grant writing can be demanding and requires countless books, a lot of time and many potato chips. A bookshelf is one of the most basic pieces of furniture in any grant professional’s office, and one of the most important; it holds invaluable resources written by grant experts to help you do your job.

In the debate of what works and why, there is a wide range of benefits to reading about grant writing best practices, whether directly feeding into improvement through research or, more broadly, gaining understanding and knowledge on grants. As research becomes embedded in your practice, you can gain a range of benefits. 

There is no shortage of books on how to write and manage grants. Here are my 11 suggestions for your bookshelf:

  • Grant Writing for Dummies, by Dr. Beverly Browning, is an all-in-one guide to locating and securing available grants.
  • The Only Grant-Writing Book You’ll Ever Need, fromEllen Karsh and Arlen Sue Fox, is designed to help nonprofit organizations craft proposals for grants from foundations, companies and government agencies.
  • The Anatomy of a Grant: Introduction to Grant Writing Principles and the Components of a Grant Proposal, written by Aija Butler, combines theory on grant writing and activity to engage readers in the practice of writing a grant proposal.
  • Perfect Phrases for Writing Grant Proposals, by Dr. Beverly Browning, contains hundreds of ready-to-use phrases to present your organization, explain your cause and get the funding you need.
  • Winning Grants Step by Step: The Complete Workbook for Planning, Developing and Writing Successful Proposals, written by Tori O'Neal-McElrath, offers a guide that any organization can use to secure funding from private foundations or the government.
  • Winning Strategies for Developing Grant Proposals, by Dr. Beverly Browning, is a comprehensive, yet easy-to-read, guide to writing effective grant proposals.
  • The Official Federal Grants Prep Guide: 10 Tips to Position Your Organization for Success, by Kimberly Richardson, is an easy to read and user-friendly roadmap that offers simple language and illustrations to help you understand the application process and position your organization to win.
  • Webster’s New World Grant Writing Handbook, by Sara Deming Wason, walks readers through every step of the grant writing process.
  • Writing Grant Proposals that Win, by Deborah Ward, offers step-by-step instructions and clear examples of how to write winning grant proposals.
  • Getting Funded: The Complete Guide to Writing Grant Proposals, written by Susan Howlett and Renee Bourque, guides you step-by-step through the grant seeking process.
  • Decoding Grant Management, from Lucy Morgan, is the ultimate survival/success guide to understanding federal grant regulations in 2 CFR Part 200.

Here are my five must-have education specific grant books:

  • Grant Writing in Higher Education: A Step-by-Step Guide, by Kenneth T. Henson, helps grant writers in higher education to secure funding.
  • Grant Seeking in Higher Education is from theUniversity of Missouri Grant Writer Network Staff. Mary Licklider, offers a hands-on resource for developing and managing the grant process from start to finish.
  • Direct Grant Programs and Definitions that Apply to Department Regulations (US Department of Education Regulations, 2018 Edition), written by The Law Library, presents the complete text of the Direct Grant Programs and Definitions that Apply to Department of Education Regulations.
  • The Administrator's Handbook on EDGAR (4th Edition), from Brustein & Manasevit PLLC, is a comprehensive guide for federal education grant administrators.
  • Federal Education Grants Management: What Administrators Need to Know (5th Edition), from Leigh Manasevit, Tiffany R. Winters, and Steven Spillan, is a clear explanation of the rules and regulations under the Education Department General Administrative Regulations.

When you use these books written by expert grant professionals as resources, you will access their knowledge of the components of grants, how to write successful grant proposals, laws/policy information, and everything in between. You will also lower your own stress level because you will not be reinventing the grant wheel.

What are you waiting for? Make your job easier - head out to the store or online to buy some great books on grant writing and a few bags of potato chips!

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