Grant Training Institute

Don’t Leave Money on the Table

Why should you encourage your staff to become more familiar with the grant development process?  The Office of Management and Budget reports that the federal government spends $536.8 billion on contracts and $558.7 billion on grants annually.  A Foundation Center report notes that foundations award about $55 billion in annual grants. While not all funds are directed specifically towards not-for-profits, there is increased emphasis on health care, health, and social determinants of quality of life.

Innovative Funding Partners’ highly experienced team has been amazingly successful not only in assisting organizations with their efforts to gain funding but also in offering training for key staff.  Our strategy is built on creating synergistic models for achieving a culture of change through collaborative grant training and development strategies.

Let Us Help You and Your Organization

Innovative Funding Partners’ team of experts has decades of experience ranging from serving as principal investigators or project managers on grants to serving on grant review boards to consulting on all aspects of grant development.  We are also well known for our exceptional and comprehensive grant training expertise, including working with hospitals, community non-profits, and technology companies.   Our vast experience as successful grant writers stands in sharp contrast to many other trainers who have consulted on grant development efforts—this difference really stands out when it comes to submitting a competitive grant.

Our clients repeatedly say IFP’s grant training and development positively changes the culture of their organizations, resulting in staff who become excited and engaged in a continuous innovation mindset (i.e., they don’t work for the system but with the system).


Whether a not-for-profit is experienced with federal, state, or foundation funding or not, there is great opportunity to expand revenue, increase innovation, enhance training, and support community outreach through a variety of federal, state, and foundation opportunities.

The important question to consider is not if your not-for-profit should submit grants—it unequivocally should—but if you should do it alone?  Training for your staff will greatly improve the grant development process and increase constructive collaboration.


We have delivered content-specific, one-hour webinars through live, intensive multiday training for large academic medical universities, regional health care systems, small rural hospitals, community non-profits, technology startups, and educational centers (e.g., K-12 and higher education).

Grant Training is Not for Dummies Series:

  • Introduction to Grant Development Best Practices
  • Introduction to Program and Services Grants
  • Advanced Training in Program and Services Grants
  • Introduction to Research Grants
  • Advanced Training in Research Grants

All training will be designed with your organization’s specific needs in mind.  Sample training topics have included:

Introduction to Grant Best Practices:

  • Reading and understanding the RFA
  • Is this grant a good to best fit for organization or project
  • Creating a timeline of deliverables
  • Building a strong grant development and project team
    • Internal team development
    • External team development
  • Using compelling internal data
  • Using compelling community resources (census, databases, CHNA, etc.)
  • Methodology and statistical analysis
  • Best practices in grant writing by grant section—writing for the reviewers
  • Post-award best practices overview

Funding or Agency Specific Training (not an exhaustive list):

  • Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute
  • Health Resources and Services Administration: Workforce Development, Ryan White, etc.
  • CMMS Innovation Grants
  • National Institutes of Health: R01, R21, R18, R25, and R03 Grants
  • National Institutes of Health: Center, Training, and Professional Development Grants
  • Small Business Innovation and Research Opportunities
  • National Science Foundation
  • Department of Education, Investing in Innovation Grant (i3)
  • United States Department of Agriculture, Telehealth Grant
  • Department of Labor
  • Administration for Children and Families
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Finding Funding through Foundations

Research Specific Training:

  • Finding Funding Beyond NIH: Federal
  • Emerging and/or Trending Areas of Research
  • Emerging areas within Mental and Behavioral Health
  • Are you Ready for a Research Grant
    • Top 10 Research Idea Readiness Questions
    • Top 10 Research Team Readiness Questions
    • Top 10 Environment Readiness Questions
    • Top 10 Fatal Flaws in Grant Development
  • Developing Compelling Research Questions and Specific Aims
  • Developing a Compelling Narrative
  • A Primer on Research Design and Program Evaluation
  • Patient Engagement, Shared Decision Making, and Engaging Stakeholders
  • Non-Narrative Sections, Especially Budget, Human Subjects, and Letters of Support

Program and Services Specific Training:

  • Why and How to Use a Logic Model
  • Building a Collaborative Model for Grant Development
  • Making the Best Use of Community Stakeholders
  • Enhancing Grants through a Force-Multiplier Perspective: Creating Meaningful Partnerships
  • Enhancing Communication, Leadership, and Team Building
  • Developing a Compelling Narrative
  • Developing a Grant from Concept to Submission
  • Evidence-based, best practices
  • Design, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination expectorations and best practices
  • Process, Management, and Financial Compliance
  • Non-Narrative Sections, Especially Budget, Human Subjects, and Letters of Support

Expertise and Experience  Make a Difference

While the good news is that funders are providing resources to enhance support across numerous intersecting and broad areas of concern for hospital and community leaders, the bad news is that developing a competitive grant application has become more challenging.  For example, grant announcements are more complicated, have tighter deadlines, require greater collaboration, more sophisticated methodology and analysis, more budgetary guidelines and restrictions, and have very strictly enforced submission requirements, etc.  Funders even use elaborate algorithms to screen for key words, missing requirements, and other errors, to eliminate unresponsive applications prior to being sent to reviewers.

In response to the grant application process being increasingly challenging and time consuming, many successful not-for-profits bring in experts to provide technical assistance with some or all aspects of the process from concept to submission.  However, what they often fail to consider is enhanced training for their own staff to better prepare them for grant development.

Dr. Brian M. Kelley, the Director of the Innovative Funding Partners’ Grant Training Institute, has delivered over 100 training programs and/or invited professional presentations.  He is an award winning and widely published researcher and has worked with numerous organizations to tackle some of their most complex issues around funding as well as creating a culture of innovation.

Below is a list of grant and/or training related activities by just IFP Senior Partners (not exhaustive):

  • Georgetown University: CEO training on grant development best practices and evidence-based outcomes.
  • Care New England/Brown University: Full day training on research readiness, trending topics in research, grant development best practices, compelling quantitative and qualitative methods.
  • MedStar Health (MedStar Health Research Institute): Multiday training on research writing, grant development, to effective collaboration, including intensive one-on-one grant coaching.
  • ProMedica Health: Grant readiness assessment and all day training on creating a culture of innovation and extramural funding.
  • Texas Hospital Association: Grant readiness assessment followed by comprehensive, multiday training and grant development coaching for key staff.
  • Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene: All day training on collaborative grant development practices and strategies for health care innovation.
  • Mission Health System: All day retreat on research innovation and funding strategies for nursing and community health staff.
  • Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health: Comprehensive grant readiness assessment, training, evaluation, and grant writing.
  • Morgan State University: All day training for the school of public health on community prevention program best practices, outcome based programming, and grant development.
  • Columbia University, Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse: Up in Smoke: tobacco and American Youth.  Subject Matter Expert.
  • Staunton, Waynesboro, Augusta County Prevention Coalition: Multiday training on developing strategic priorities as well as designing, implementing, and evaluation successful community prevention programs.
  • Sugar Grove Naval Base: Training on evidence-based harm reductions strategies.
  • Quorum Health Resources CEO and CFO Annual Lunch and Learn—Future Grant Trends
  • Movement is Life National Conference—Finding Funding
  • Emerging Trends in Healthcare Grants and Cooperative Agreements—Association of Healthcare Philanthropy International Conference
  • Major Trends in Federal Healthcare Funding—Association of Healthcare Philanthropy Midwest Regional Conference

Other invited professional presentations/trainings sites include (not an exhaustive list):

  • University of Maryland School of Public Health
  • Virginia Military Institute
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Virginia Programs for out of School Placement
  • Bluefield State College
  • Rakhiv, Ukraine, Red Cross and Local Health Department
  • Eastern Mennonite University
  • Association for Community Health Improvement
  • Virginia Psychological Association
  • SRI International
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • College of Charleston
  • The Citadel