Community & Organizational Planning

Community & Organizational Planning

Beginner’s Guide to Grant Writing

Participants of the Beginner’s Guide to Grant Writing program learn how to write effective grant proposals and navigate the grant process. Both beginners and experienced grant writers learn to develop ideas into winning proposals, identify potential funders and understand the full proposal development, submission and review process.

This workshop is geared toward novice grant writers with an idea or a program in mind that will help their community. Past participants have included staff and volunteers from local governments, nonprofits and educational organizations as well as members of community groups, clubs and concerned citizens who see a need in their communities that they want to help address.



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The newly revised two-day Beginner’s Guide to Grant Writing program is a great skill builder for the beginner or intermediate grant writer. Even grant writers with years of experience describe the workshop as helpful and enlightening. Participants can come with an idea and leave with a proposal outline and all the resources needed to expand the outline into a full proposal. Participants return several weeks later for the second day of the workshop with their full proposal ready for a peer review, and they learn strategies for finding funding. Then they have the opportunity to polish their proposals and get feedback from grant writing professionals.

Today, Indiana is home to new community playgrounds, expanded libraries, community agencies and improved businesses and schools that are meeting the needs of Indiana residents through newly-funded programs and services. Organizations across the state have received millions of dollars in funded proposals since the program began.

Purdue Extension offers this program several times each year at locations throughout the state.


Federal and regional granting agencies and organizations have money available for local food system projects. Some grants are for farmers to add value to farm products they produce. Some are for farmers’ markets or for non-profit agencies. Local foundation dollars can often be leveraged for larger grants or to address an initiative like doubling food dollars for SNAP recipients at the farmers’ market.

Purdue Extension can help you connect to the grant information for food systems and also provide the training and education you might need to start, complete or manage a grant. These two webinars, designed to introduce you to the process and the basic components of an application, will help you start.

Kris Parker, Community Development Regional Educator, presents our webinars on grants above.

Writing a Successful Grant Proposal – this thorough, 12 page publication details the process; written by Drs. Maria Marshall, Aaron Johnson and Joan Fulton, published by Purdue Extension.

A change in policy in the 2014 Farm Bill increased funding for local food related projects by $500 million from 2014-2018. Funds are available for a very broad range of recipients and this can be difficult to navigate. If you are able to define what organization you are, what your needs are and what you need money to do, this USDA chart is a fantastic tool to help you find the names of the grants where you might qualify to apply.

Another great resource with clickable links to grant pages, organizes grants by where you are working in the food supply chain. This is from the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative.

Jodee Ellett serves as the State Trainer for AMSTA – the Agricultural Marketing Service Technical Assistance for the Farmers’ Market and Local Food Promotion Program Grants. Each winter, we conduct a workshop and/or a series of webinars to assist with the process of applying for one of these larger, federal grants. We work hand in hand with the Purdue Extension Educators in your County for this technical assistance.


To learn more about the Beginner’s Guide to Grant Writing program, contact:

Kris Parker

Kris Parker

Community Development Regional Educator

Kym Schwinkendorf

Kym Schwinkendorf