Phil Johncock started his grant writing career in 1988 when he received a call the day after he received his masters degree from the University of Nevada, Reno. While he was flattered to be asked to write a grant, unfortunately he did not feel adequately trained to write a successful proposal. “Don’t worry,” he was told by he future boss. “There are some videos on grant writing in the library, and there are resources here to help you.”
The videos put him to sleep. And, while some resources were available, it was through interviewing successful grant writers that he learned the most in those early years. His first Federal grant for $125,000 was successful. Expecting to serve 250 newly legalized immigrants, things changed when 500 people showed up the first week of registration to take classes. Luckly, he knew enough to document the need and people on the waiting list. He then went to the State of Nevada Department of Education and requested an increase in funding, which he received.
Eventually, he received $500,000/year for 5 years and taught English and citizenship skills to over 3,000 newly legalized immigrants. The grant-funded program received national recognition. He grant professional career was launched!
In the last 24 years, Phil has written 58 proposals, 54 which have been funded. That’s a 93% success rate.
In 1993, Phil was again asked to do something he didn’t know how to do … teach grant writing. The local community college asked Phil to teach a seminar to leaders in the local community. 45 people showed up for that first class. Throughout the course of the last 20 years, Phil has taught over 2,000 students.
In 1997, Phil designed the first online course for the entire University and Community College System of Nevada. He was again asked by a local college to teach more grant writing classes. However, because he wanted to live near Lake Louise and Banff National Park (Ontario, Canada) and finish writing his second book, he designed the course so that all assignments would be on a website and students would be able to critique proposals, write successful applications, and email all assignments to their professor. This distance education course would allow Phil to teach from his home in the Canadian Rockies. This was the birth of 4Grants.Net, a leader in online grant education.
In 2001, Phil designed the first college grant writing certification program at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada. Almost 200 students entered the program in the first two years. In 2003, he wrote and published the first of 13 books, entitled Dream-Making to Billions: Grant Writing Tips from the Experts. The book was based on research conducted as part of his 2nd masters degree thesis on the process and tips successful grant writers to be successful. The book was time-tested by hundreds of students in the grant writing certification program.
In 2010, Phil became the Education Chair for the Nevada Grant Professionals Association (NGPA). In this capacity, he soon realized that only 3 grant professionals in Nevada had taken and passed the Grant Professional Certified (GPC) exam. While there was indeed an interest in an online course to prepare NGPA members to pass the GPC exam, there were not enough interested Nevada folks to make putting together a course. So, it was decided to invite non-NGPA members and offer an 8-week webinar series leading up to the GPC exam on October 5, 2011. This would allow NGPA folks to study with and learn from other grant professionals outside Nevada.
This led to the design and launching in 2011 of the Grant Professional Certified (GPC) Exam Prep Course Online, the first course of its kind in the world! As a result of the 8 webinar series, practice test, small group discussions, etc., 100% of the students passed the GPC Exam on their first tries! Although they were GPC-certified, our award-winning faculty were required to attend a specialized training program in how to facilitate “participatory” webinars rather than 1-way webinars.
In 2012, Phil designed and piloted a new training in how to create a Grant Readiness 3-ring binder. Over 1,000 people took advantage of this unique grant education online. Hundreds of testimonials poured in to attest to the power of this training in getting 80% of your application ready “before” the Requests for Proposals (RFPs) even are announced. It is a huge time saver.