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One way that grant writers can improve their insights into effective grant writing is to serve as a peer reviewer of competitive grant proposals. A second way they can do the same is to read books on grant writing and related topics.


The 15 books listed here (in alphabetical order) comprise a small library about grant writing and fundraising. The list is by no means exhaustive, but it does include the most current editions available for each title.


Some titles focus on how to plan and write proposals; others cover the entire grant life cycle from cradle to grave. Some titles zoom in on getting grants from foundations; others focus more broadly on getting grants from both public and private sources. Finally, some titles offer samples and/or models or provide templates and/or checklists. Many of the titles are available at no cost from public libraries or Foundation Center Cooperating Collections.


Shorter List on Grant Writing:

A short list of books for persons wanting to learn how to win competitive grants might include:

  1. Karsh, E. and Fox. A. (2009). The Only Grant Writing Book You’ll Ever Need: Top Grant Writers and Grant Givers Share Their Secrets. 3rd Edition.
  2. Thompson, W. (2011). The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Grant Writing. 3rd Edition.
  3. Wason, S. (2004). Webster’s New World Grant Writing Handbook.


Longer List on Fundraising:

A longer list of books for persons with some experience in writing proposals and an interest in other aspects of fundraising might include:

  1. Bray, I. (2010). Effective Fundraising for Nonprofits: Real-World Strategies That Work. 3rd Edition.
  2. Brewer, E. and Achilles, C. (2007). Finding Funding: Grantwriting From Start to Finish, Including Project Management and Internet Use. 5th Edition.
  3. Collins, S., ed. (2003). The Foundation Center’s Guide to Winning Proposals.
  4. Geever, J. (2012). The Foundation Center’s Guide to Proposal Writing. 6th Edition.
  5. Greenfield, J. (2002). Fundraising Fundamentals: A Guide to Annual Giving for Professionals and Volunteers. 2nd Edition.
  6. Grobman, G. (2011). The Nonprofit Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Start and Run Your Nonprofit Organization. 6th Edition.
  7. Klein, K. (2011). Fundraising for Social Change. 6th Edition.
  8. Margolin, J. and Lubin, S., editors. (2005). The Foundation Center’s Guide to Winning Proposals-II.
  9. New, C. and Quick, J. (2003). How to Write a Grant Proposal.
  10. Smith, N. and Works, E. (2006). The Complete Book Grant Writing: Learn How to Write Grants Like a Professional.
  11. Warwick, M. (2009). How to Write Successful Fundraising Letters. 2nd Edition.
  12. Wells, M. (2005). Grantwriting Beyond the Basics: Proven Strategies Professionals Use to Make Their Proposals Work. Book 1 in series.


Again, these are both short lists. If you’ve discovered other titles that have worked for you in competing for grants, please do let me know!



  1. do you have a business plan template?

    • I have no business plan templates. If you are in the USA and contact a local Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) office you may get what you need.

  2. What an excellent resource this is!

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