Skip to main contentSkip Navigation or Skip to Content
Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

CMNS 3251: Professional and Academic Proposal Writing

Students review literature on best practices for grant writing, and, through the development of a grant application, learn the key elements of the process which include defining the funding purpose, understanding mandate and accountability, adopting effective budget practices, preparing effective material, and completing post-funding due diligence. This course meets the needs of academic, research, government, health, community arts and non-profit professionals who seek the knowledge and skill to write persuasive, informative and professional grant applications.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of CMNS 3251, you will be able to:

  • Access helpful tools and resources in relevant fields for developing effective grant applications (proposals).
  • Analyze and Explain best practice strategies for planning and developing persuasive and professional grant applications to ensure the demonstration of mutual accountability between funding agency and applicant
  • Write a clear purpose statement and funding goals for a project/organization
  • Identify relevant potential funding sources from public and private sectors and understand the range of grant types available
  • Analyze the mandate and requirements of potential funding sources and assess the relevancy to an organization’s/project’s own parameters
  • Interpret grant guidelines and requirements, as provided in agency mandates and requests for proposals, including content, formatting, timeline, scoring rubric and jury composition

Course topics

The course is divided into the following nine lessons:

  • Lesson 1: Introduction to Proposal Writing
  • Lesson 2: Finding Potential Funders
  • Lesson 3: Determining Needs and Purpose
  • Lesson 4: The First Step of Application: Letter of Intent (LOI)
  • Lesson 5: Writing the Introductory Sections
  • Lesson 6: Developing Proposal Content and Evaluation
  • Lesson 7: Budget and Justification
  • Lesson 8: Writing a Summary and Compiling Support Materials
  • Lesson 9: Completing the Proposal

Required text and materials

Students will receive the following:

  1. O’Neal-McElrath, T. (2019). Winning grants step by step: The complete workbook for planning, developing and writing successful proposals. (5th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
    ISBN-13: 978-1-119-54734-1 Type: Textbook
  1. Orlich, D. C., & Shrope, N. R. (2013). Developing a Winning Grant Proposal, New York: Routledge.
    ISBN-13: 978-0-415-53535-9 Type: Textbook

Note: If you have any questions about course textbooks or other materials, email Enrolment Services or call 1-800-663-9711 (toll-free in Canada), 250-852-7000 (Kamloops, BC), and 1-250-852-7000 (International).


To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory exam.

Assignment 1: Short Report 1: Agency Profile /Project Definition 10%
Assignment 2: Short Report 2: Identifying Funders 10%
Assignment 3: Letter of Intent and Funder Grant Profile 15%
Assignment 4: Budget and Justification 15%
Assignment 5: Supporting Materials Portfolio 15%
Final Project: Final Application/Proposal and Post Funding Plan (mandatory) 35%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

Search To Top