I certainly enjoyed the recent grant class you did at Anchorage and learned far more than I expected. It may have paid off already, as one of the grants I was working on while there was just awarded¦ Since class I have acquired many of the references you suggested, and am working my way through them. It is interesting to see the approach others use. Although my grant writing experience totals more than 30 years, because I am self taught, I have often looked at issues differently than you and others instruct. Hopefully broadening my knowledge will make me even more successful in this new period of high competition for limited resources!
Kalie Klaysmat, Grant writer
Soldotna Police Department
Soldotna Alaska


My testimony would be that the instructor presents information in a manner that is understandable and applicable to the real work world. He promoted good conversation in a manner that everyone was able to learn about grant writing strategies regardless of their experience level. I recommend anyone wanting to learn about grant writing strategies to attend an IFSD seminar. It is time well spent.

Be well,
Jolene Bell Makowesky
Vancouver, British Columbia


The grant writing workshop with the instructor was one of the most valuable professional experiences I’ve had in a long while. The three-day course flew by. The instructor teaching style is friendly, but direct; his presentations are informative, without being canned or pedantic; his examples reflect his own depthy experience in the funding world. It was amazing to watch how he could apply the varying interests and backgrounds of our disparate assortment of classmates to illustrate his points. At the same time, he was able to feed back invaluable informational nuggets to some very specific questions and situations. As a former technical writer, I’m no stranger to writing proposals, but I certainly picked up new tips and strategies. I’m pleased to say that, with the input gained from the workshop, our small nonprofit has been awarded two very welcome and needed grants over the past 6 months. When the time comes for me to sign up for a refresher course, I’ll know which one I’ll pick.

Peg Smith
Boulder Community Alliance


Warm greetings from Kapiolani Community College. I am writing to express great satisfaction with the ISFD Strategic Grant Proposal Writing Workshop. John O’Malley’s class was just the training I need to do a better job as my college’s grants developer. I particularly liked that John put the course within the context of Hawaii’s funding landscape. This was an excellent, high quality workshop that I’d recommend to my colleagues and any potential grant seeker.

Many thanks and bravo to you.

Brandon Marc
Grants Development Specialist
Office for Institutional Effectiveness
Kapiolani Community College


The grant writing workshop put on by ISFD was very well organized and conveyed the purpose of effective grant proposal writing. The workshop gave excellent techniques for searching for appropriate funders and strategies for aligning values between the grant writer and funding organization. The instructor was knowledgeable and engaging and presented in a clear and concise manner. He was entertaining and demonstrated an incredible working knowledge of grant writing and the process which funding agencies typically look for in grant writing proposals.

Thanks the instructor l for 3 days of valuable information presented in a way that was not only informative but easily understood.

Best Regards,
Jan Setter


I thoroughly enjoyed the instruction and the instructor. For the most part he tailored the program for his Canadian audience. He brought in personal examples which highlighted what we were learning and made the class very interesting. The diverse backgrounds of the participants also enhanced our opportunities to learn from each other.

Alice Maitland
Vancouver, BC


The course far exceeded my expectations. The instructor brings an absolute wealth of knowledge, experience and wisdom. He conveys this to the students concisely, professionally and with his own unique wit & wisdom.

Stan Kowalski
Peirce Law
New Hampshire


The content was very complex and I thought John delivered the training in a manner that kept the class engaged and alert! Class discussions were very insightful, as well as the breakouts and hands on activities. Morning snacks were great.

There was a lot to cover in three days, especially for people with little to no experience in grant writing. The handouts were very good. John said he would send us a copy of his Power Point, which will help. Luckily, I took copious notes – so I hope I know what I’m doing. I feel I can come to the table with information and know-how to share. I’d sure like to collaborate with others who have more experience than I do for the first few grant proposals, however, the information given will serve me well – even if I have to pull one off by myself (Hope not!)

I thought this was an excellent program. I learned a lot of new information and new ways to present our story in proposal format. I have been to other grant workshops and this was one of the best.

Anne Tribby
Developmental Educational Assistance Program
Missoula, Montana


This was a fabulous hands-on experience-hard work, but all of it valuable and practical. The instructor was knowledgeable and engaging; his presentation was well-organized, and crafted in such a way as to maximize each student’s learning experience. I’ve taken one other grant writing workshop since this one and walked away even more impressed with John’s presentation. I would recommend this highly to anyone considering grant writing or wanting to further develop their grant writing skills.

Lisa Burke-McCoy
Squam Scott, New Hamphire


The workshop was fantastic. I learned so much and feel better equipped for the proposal-writing process. Alan Paul was a great facilitator and kept us on track! Most facilitators I have seen have a hard time cutting off those who take the group off track, but Alan was excellent in this, a very great trait for a facilitator!

A very enjoyable class. We benefitted from the various experience and expertise of the people from different backgrounds that were present at this class. I especially enjoy the exercises and the humor that John displayed.

The length of the class (3 days) was necessary to do the homework, but it helped promote camaraderie and networking. The instructor was especially good with sharing experiences with the group, as well as bringing in samples of trade newspapers. He was patient and attentive to participants, but was effective at directing workflow to move on.

Vu Hoang
City of San Jose, CA


Workshop was Excellent. The instructor had great knowledge and enthusiasm for topic was great. The organization of the materials presented was very effective and easily understood.

Brandi Turnipseed
College of Southern Idaho