Applications now open!

Applications for the first cohort of the ROI Grant Writing Fellowship will be accepted through May 28, 2021.

Does grant writing feel daunting? Not sure how to build a project budget or tell your story? Do you wish you had a network of fellow grant writers to bounce ideas? ROI’s Grant Writing Fellowship is for you!

This initiative will support grant writers pursuing projects and programs that improve the quality of life for Uplands residents across a variety of community needs. In this year-long program, fellows will learn from experts how to effectively develop compelling grant applications, including gathering data, developing budgets, improving your message, finding funding opportunities, and much more. Fellows selected for ROI’s inaugural grant writing cohort will also receive:

  • $1,000 commitment stipend to be paid at graduation 
  • Up to $1,000 in matching funds for no more than two successful grant applications


ROI recognizes the need to provide a competitive advantage to support communities in seeking and securing funding through a variety of sources to accelerate and support ongoing work in the Indiana Uplands. To address this need, ROI has developed a Grant Writing Fellowship to create a network of skilled grant writers in the Uplands region. Fellows selected for this program will:

  • learn to identify grant opportunities that are ideal for their community or organization
  • develop skills in writing proposals in accordance with grant guidelines 
  • explore ways to tell your community’s unique story
  • discover how to develop partnerships with other community stakeholders 
  • develop detailed budgets
  • identify metrics that can show community impact 
  • determine how to best visualize and present impact data 
  • learn about long-term program sustainability and managing grants to a successful conclusion 

Fellows will learn how to navigate the proposal process from idea conception to grant submission and beyond. Fellows will also receive continuing professional development on a variety of related topics, connection to a network of peers, and information on available opportunities. Each session will include a “spotlight” on a granting agency in or around Indiana, including the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA), Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), Indiana Arts Commission and other funders.

Who Should Apply

Fellows will be selected through an application process. Candidates will be considered on the basis of commitment to expanding and building resource capacity, a passion for improving outcomes for the residents of their community, and commitment to training and collaborating with partners around the Uplands region.

To qualify for the fellowship, Fellows must commit to providing grant writing services to their community through their organizations and/or businesses for a minimum of two years. They will also need to attend all ROI professional development workshops, classes and meetings throughout the fellowship. 

Session Topics

At this time, we anticipate that professional development in the 2021-2022 year to be a hybrid of both in person and live online events. The first two events will be in-person while the rest will take place virtually.

Session 1: Grant Writer Workshop 1
Session 2: Grant Writer Workshop 2
Session 3: Professional Writing for Maximum Impact 
Session 4: How to Build A Better Budget 
Session 5: Developing Partnerships 
Session 6: How to Create Metrics to Show Impact 
Session 7: Presenting Your Data 
Session 8: Program Sustainability 
Session 9: Grant Management 
Session 10 : Telling Your Story – Building a PR Campaign for Your Community


  • May 28, 2021: Applications Close
  • June 14, 2021: Selected Fellows Notified
  • July 22, 2021: Grant Writing Workshop 1 in French Lick, IN
  • August 5, 2021: Grant Writing Workshop 2 in French Lick, IN
  • September 2021- April 2022:  Virtual Monthly Professional Development Sessions and Grant Agency Spotlights (Third Thursday of the month from 9 – 11 a.m.)
  • May 20, 2022: Final Session & Graduation (Location TBD)


 Please contact Lisa Abbott, Vice President of Economic and Community Development, at