Grantwriting In Valued Environments Project

Grantwriting In Valued Environments (G.I.V.E.) is a BTU Priority Investment project in the English Department that advances students' professional writing goals by connecting their coursework to the writing needs of small non-profit organizations in the Baltimore/Washington region.

Guiding Principles & Vision

This project takes the stance that access and resources are meant to be redistributed, and this act of sharing takes a lifetime of effort. According to the Association of Black Foundation Executives, only 23% of Black-led organizations in the United States receive general operating support, despite the crucial role that it plays in keeping an organization open. This type of inequity is what motivates G.I.V.E. We aim to leverage and redistribute power to the surrounding community in honor of the historical injustices that have been inflicted on them. 

This legacy frames our approach to the work we do: we acknowledge the legacies of injustice in Maryland and work within an anti-racist, anti-colonial framework in order to ethically and equitably empower our partners and students.  We disavow the legacy of white supremacy, settler colonialism, and violence that has been institutionalized and embedded in our culture. This is why we must actively center the needs and expertise of Black communities, as well as other marginalized groups.

Our commitments

We are committed to create spaces that resist the harmful ideologies (racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, sexism, classism, ableism) that perpetuate harmful practices impacting us and our communities. These commitments create transparency and accountability in our efforts to counteract these practices.

  • Centering grassroots, Black-led organizations (particularly in West Baltimore) to fulfill their visions for change.
  • Prioritizing the goals, viewpoints, and authority of these organizations and communities at all times; they lead us on the journey. 
  • Providing professional development opportunities for TU student writers interested in advocacy, grant-writing, and nonprofits.
  • Leveraging Towson University’s resources for distributive justice within an acknowledgment of our role in historical inequity.
  • Centering and uplifting local community knowledge and historically marginalized voices.

Our purpose

  • Offer small, community NPOs in the Baltimore/Washington region a chance to compete in a philanthropic economy that necessitates receiving income from more than just private donations and fundraising events.
  • Research, write, submit, and track grants for our partners.
  • Provide narrative and text that helps tell the story of organizations.
  • Offer help with other writing genres such as web content, e-newsletters, etc.
  • Develop students professional goals related to the non-profit sector.


  • G.I.V.E. participants have raised over $560,000 in grants, all funds going directly to area NPOs.
  • Participating TU students have been hired as grant and proposal writers and grants administrators by Johns Hopkins, The Maryland Food Bank (grants manager raises $7.3 million a year), Parks & People Foundation, CCBC, Kittleson & Associates, FEi Systems (Columbia), The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Power52, The National Center for Transgender Equality, Cal Ripken Foundation, St. Vincent De Paul, Safe Alternative Foundation for Education, Fly by Light, and more.

G.I.V.E. is embedded within TU undergraduate and graduate level curriculum, providing participants the opportunity for real world application while receiving course credit. Two classes spend their semester working on projects—from writing grant proposals to leading writing workshops—for G.I.V.E. community partners.

Course Offerings

History, theory, and practice of writing in public, non-profit, democratic, and humanitarian spaces. May include the study of rhetoric, writing, and communication as it applies to: service learning, community engagement, community organizing, grants, fundraising, charity drives, advocacy, social movements, e-newsletters, social media, public service announcements, and public relations. Prerequisite: Two ENGL courses.

Communication process, with special emphasis on writing, within the profit/nonprofit organization. Theories of organization, management styles, and relationship of written messages to the function of climate of the profit/nonprofit organization. Strategies of preparing written communication to meet internal and external needs. Prerequisite: Admission to MPW program or consent of instructor.


Participating Students

  • Interact with professionals from outside TU
  • Build professional relationships
  • Enjoy practical writing assignments
  • Often realize they want to work in the philanthropic sector and/or create content that impacts the world in a positive way
  • Become facilitators of language and advocates for constituents that aren’t able to always speak up or write for themselves
  • Use their privilege and education to convey to others the particular needs of communities that are less privileged
  • Obtain internships, enter graduate school and land dream jobs

The University Community

  • Receives validation of the importance of and responsibility to our proximity to Baltimore and to philanthropy
  • Advances its goals related to diversity and inclusion
  • Demonstrates 21st century skills for English and other Liberal Arts majors

 Please contact Prof. Zosha Stuckey at  for more information.