While a grant management certification may not be strictly necessary, it could be a huge benefit to anyone working with a nonprofit organization. How does one go about getting this type of training? Are there any drawbacks to spending time on earning this certification?
With many schools and institutions offering grant management programs, it’s not hard to find somewhere to get a certification. However, there is much to consider before enrolling in such a course.
The benefits of the certification often outweigh the trouble of spending time and money obtaining it. Those with a grant management certificate will likely find that jobs in grant management are more readily available for them, and those jobs will come with a higher pay, as well.
Additionally, this certification prepares people well for a grant management position, equipping them with best practices to support their organization. Grant management certification courses are very beneficial for anyone on a committee responsible for approving grants to learn all about managing a grant through its entire lifecycle.
Many universities and organizations offer certificate courses designed to help teach the finer points of grant management. Some of the requirements and necessary knowledge vary between federal grants and private ones. However, there are classes available for either, which enables the individual to cater their training based on what they need to know.
While the benefits of obtaining a certification are great, the process does not come without a few obstacles. First, the classes do take time; some of the programs take two to three years to complete. Additionally, they cost money. Not every organization can afford to enroll its employees in classes, and many people can’t afford to pay for them out of pocket.
The classes are often tailored to specific types of grants (e.g., from a federal agency). Therefore, someone earning certificates for multiple types of grants would need to go through the process multiple times, raising the time and money costs.
Class Options for Grant Management Certification
With many different organizations and schools offering these programs, there are many options to earn the certification. Most community colleges offer some sort of grant training, but there are other organizations, such as the National Grants Management Association or The Grantsmanship Center, who also offer programs. These organizations will potentially even hold a special session specifically for your office.
Some programs are entirely online, while others require more in-person class attendance. Many programs can be customized to only include the classes with pertinent information for a specific type of grant. This flexibility makes the classes accessible to people who may not be able or interested in attending otherwise.
The course still might not be a possibility for some people; there are alternatives to learn some of the concepts covered in the course. Grant management software is available to help with much of the collection and organization of applications and other data. There are free courses and seminars available from the Office of Management and Budget. While it does not involve a certification, these courses will still teach valuable knowledge and the ability to navigate the world of grant management successfully.
For those who wish to serve on a grant review committee, they can volunteer with some organizations and learn some of the same skills “on the job” as they would through a course. A simple internet search for ‘grant committee volunteers’ should bring up some options, both nationally and locally.
While there’s no one right way to earn a grant management certification, it’s a beneficial achievement to have on one’s resume. The increased pay and other potential benefits can, for most, far outweigh the costs. For those who can’t afford it, there are free options, or the possibility of an employer footing the bill. There are numerous options available for those wanting to take this valuable step in furthering your grant management career.