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COMPASS Initiative® PoWER Institute (Partners Working for Enhanced Results):
Grant Writing Series Seminar

PoWER Grant Writing Seminar Series
September 1, 2020 - October 23, 2020


The Emory University COMPASS Coordinating Center
The Emory University COMPASS Coordinating Center (ECCC) supports organizational capacity building through grant making, organizational assessments and technical assistance, and evaluation. By starting with the data, using innovative mapping strategies to meet unmet needs, using technology to promote information sharing, and careful program evaluation and monitoring, the Emory Center intends to help impact HIV in the south by:

  • Improving access to high quality services
  • Building sustainable organizational capacity
  • Nurturing the development of organizations that are of the community and responsive to community needs
  • Leaving organizational partners stronger and more resilient as a result of shared work

PoWER Institute (Partners Working for Enhanced Results) PoWER Grant Writing Seminar Series
Goal: By the end of the training series, to have effectively built the capacity of grant writers and program planners to design and develop successful proposals that are logical, reasonable, and feasible; grants that support standard program planning, design, monitoring, and evaluation requirements of most funders.

Learning Objectives: By the end of the training series, trainers will have:

  • Guided you through the process of grant development from start to finish;
  • Defined proposal development terminology;
  • Provided opportunities to respond to grant section statements using proper approaches and terminology;
  • Demonstrated how a logic model is developed for a prototype program using program design fundamentals;
  • Provided opportunities to practice developing logic models and other key grant elements;
  • Described the uses and benefits of logic models and other key grant elements; and,
  • Partnered on drafting an original proposal for potential grant submission.

The PoWER Grant Writing Seminar Series is an intensive, seven-week opportunity for organizations interested in enhancing the fundability of grants, focused on teaching participants how to seek appropriate funding opportunities, write winning grant proposals to various types of funding agencies, and avoid common grant writing and submission pitfalls. Classes are once a week every Tuesday afternoon 3 pm to 5 pm EST and every Friday beginning in the second week of classes from 3 pm to 5 pm EST, each lasting for six weeks over a seven week timespan. Participants are provided opportunities to develop a proposal from scratch with a grant writing coach offering personalized guidance and both peer and expert feedback.

This seminar is geared toward both new and intermediate grant writers, but can also serve as a refresher for more experienced grant writers. The course will cover the basics of grant writing.  Participants can expect to learn how to: 

  • Seek the right type of funding for your agency, including foundation, state and federal funding sources through “grant prospecting”;
  • Tell your program’s story, highlighting its unique and innovative approaches;
  • Develop a solid work plan, project timeline, evaluation plan, and realistic budget; and,
  • Understand the grant review and post-grant award process.

Participants will also: 

  • Hear from experienced grant reviewers sharing how they identify a “winning” proposal;
  • Get direct feedback about previously submitted proposals from skilled grant writers; and,
  • Receive 12 hours of group coaching and grant writing support from an experienced grant writing training team.


  1. Grant Prospecting: Resources and Researching Before You Write
  2. Grant Nuts & Bolts: Grant Architecture Deconstruction
  3. Logic Model Development Basics: Program Planning
  4. Logic Model Approaches
  5. Program Theory Clarification
  6. Monitoring & Evaluation: Demonstrating Program Progress
  7. Attachments
  8. Budget
  9. Post-Grant Submission: What Happens After 
  10. Closing/Questions

Who Should Apply?
Executive Directors, Board Chairs, Department Directors, or Development staff should apply, in partnership with an emerging leader from within their organizations.  Each organization is required to send at least one member of their organization who can commit to at least 80% of the series, including coaching sessions. This level of participation is mandatory to be eligible for any stipends and final mini-grant submission for consideration. These sessions are not intended for direct service staff without the engagement of a decision maker within the organization.

Organizations interested in participating in the PoWER Grant Writing Seminar Series must demonstrate a commitment to improving the functioning of their organizations and have an interest in expanding services in areas that have minimal resources available to people living with or impacted by HIV. At least twenty (10) organizations will be selected to participate, and a stipend will be available to organizations that are accepted. 

Organizations eligible to participate in the PoWER Grant Writing Seminar Series must:

  • Be an AIDS Service Organization; a CBO that prioritizes HIV/AIDS prevention or care services, or is a CBO with a substantial budgetary investment in HIV-related programs;
  • Be located in and doing work within the nine (9) Deep South states (AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN or TX);
  • Be a non-profit, tax-exempt organization as set forth in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Applicants that do not hold 501(c)(3) status must have a fiscal sponsor;
  • Be an agency with a two (2) year minimum of demonstrated HIV/AIDS experience; and,
  • Full participation including attendance of the face-to-face session. 

All PoWER Grant Writing Seminar Series participants are provided a training stipend ($2,500) for completing the first three sessions in a row and a second stipend ($2,500) for those who complete at least 80% of the seven week training series and submits a completed mini-grant application for consideration. Only training participants who complete 80% of the training series are eligible for PoWER mini-grant application submission.

PoWER Grant Writing Timeline; 2020 Cohort
Application Due                                     August 18, 2020 
Notification of Acceptance                     August 24, 2020
Launch/Orientation Session                  September 1st - October 16th, Virtual
Webinars (weekly)                                 Every Tuesday (3pm - 5pm)
Closing Session/Graduation                  Friday, October 16th, Location and Format TBD

Coaching Sessions                                Every Fri. 3 – 5pm (after the first week’s webinar)
Mini Grant Submission                           October 23, 2020


Application Instructions
A complete application for the PoWER Institute includes: 

  • Application form (including Participating staff profiles)
  • 501(c)(3) Verification
  • Commitments & Obligation Form

Applications should be completed ONLINE and submitted through the COMPASS Initiative® application portal. Required attachments should be uploaded in the appropriate place in the application. Applications received AFTER 11:59PM EST on August 18, 2020  WILL NOT BE REVIEWED or CONSIDERED for participation.


**Participation in the PoWER Grant Writing Seminar Series does not guarantee successful award of additional COMPASS Initiative® funding, nor other grant opportunities.

Please return to the Home page to apply for this funding opportunity.