For Grant Writers At Municipalities, Identifying Foundation Funds Can Help Close Budget Gaps

grant firefighters


New Philadelphia leaders didn’t need to search far and wide for a grant. The funding source lives and works in town.

A local connection helped the city’s fire department secure a $9,000 grant from the Westfield Insurance Foundation, which will be applied toward the purchase of new thermal imaging cameras. Joel B. Day, the mayor of New Philadelphia, learned about the grant through a relationship the city has with Bill Weisgarber, owner of Tuscarawas Insurance Agency, a local small business.

As a member of the New Philadelphia community, Weisgarber said his small business has a civic responsibility to support local services, especially projects that will help save lives. Due to budget restrictions, Mayor Day said singling out grants that can be used toward the purchase of new equipment is an important assignment for any municipal government. And that role involves research. is a valuable resource for local nonprofit and government agencies to identify funding opportunities from foundations and the full details a grant writer will need to construct a compelling proposal. In some circumstances, grant writing requires assistance. GrantWriterTeam, a service of GrantWatch, matches grant seekers with grant writers for submitting winning proposals.

Foundations are nongovernmental trusts or corporations. As nonprofit charities, foundations are established for the prime purpose of making donations. Hundreds of billions of dollars are available from thousands of foundations each year. Most foundations grants, like the one from Westfield Insurance, are designated to improve the standard of living within a community. Grants are typically targeted to a specific subject.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of GrantWatch, said the odds of winning a grant from a foundation are very good. For one, they are generally not publicized and do not receive as many applicants as other governmental funding sources. And, in good times or bad, foundations are required to offer at least 5 percent of their assets, averaged over five years, in charitable grants.

Although foundation grants may help establish a new program or strengthen an existing one, state and federal grants are the lifeblood of local municipalities. Foundation grants are usually not large enough to sustain an organization or department over a long stretch of time.

In addition to the grant money, New Philadelphia also had to use $3,000 from the fire’ department’s new equipment fund to supplement the purchase of the cameras, which cost $6,000 each. Fire Chief Jim Parrish said the new units are smaller, easier to carry and represent a technological advance over the four 12-year-old cameras in the department’s inventory.

The Westfield Foundation has awarded nearly $1.8 million in grant money in the past four years. Tuscarawas, which has been affiliated with the Westfield Foundation for the past 75 years, was one of 88 insurance agencies in 17 states this year to distribute grants to 95 nonprofits totaling more than $500,000 in the Westfield Legacy of Caring grant program.

Grant writers from all backgrounds who have the talent to craft a compelling proposal for funds are encouraged to sign-up on, a service of Joining GrantWriterTeam is easy. Create a profile, fill out the application and begin to bid on grant writing jobs.

About the Author: Staff Writer for GrantWatch


Grant Writer Thankful for Career Opportunity to Put in Good Word for Animal Shelter


Do you want to make a difference in the animal community? Well, this grant writer did!

While she enjoyed making jewelry, Signe Ross-Villemaire knew early in childhood she had a heart of gold for animals that bled for their welfare. But, the former goldsmith could not find an answer to satisfy both her passion and career ambitions until she began working as a grant writer for the Humane Society of Sonoma County.

From dogs and cats to rabbits and roosters, Ross-Villemaire writes descriptive content that will hopefully soften an adopter and find these pets a new home. She is instrumental in the shelter’s communications that includes a quarterly magazine and newsletter, social media messaging and writing grant proposals to bring much-needed funds to the California nonprofit.

Ross-Villemaire credits classes in grant writing and nonprofit management for easing her through the career transition. Her acquired skills have helped secure more than $300,000 in grants for the Humane Society.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of, said animal welfare is a priority of charitable organizations including foundations and nonprofits, and some corporations. Animal shelters rely on these funds; however, as nonprofits, most are not fortunate to have a grant writer at their disposal. matches requests from animal shelters, animal welfare organizations and other nonprofits, as well as small business, and entrepreneurs with a qualified grant writer, who can provide proposal assistance.

A good grant writer is viewed as the key person in what can be a challenging and time-intensive process to obtain funds for animal and pet adoption, animal shelters, facility improvement, and animal education. Beyond strong punctuation and grammar skills, an effective grant writer will know how to communicate and tailor a proposal to different philanthropic audiences; research funding opportunities on; and build and maintain relationships with potential donors.

Up until her job interview at the Humane Society of Sonoma County, Ross-Villemaire had never stepped foot in an animal shelter. She wanted no part of witnessing the abandonment, neglect and suffering firsthand. But, that was five years ago. Her part-time job has since evolved into a full-time position along with an uptick in the number of animals the shelter houses.

As a result, Ross-Villemaire figures she has written about 700 pet adoption descriptions and, much to her predilection, she has learned that the Humane Society is as a kind, caring place where people like her are committed to helping pets find safety and love.

Grant writers from all backgrounds who have the talent to craft a compelling proposal for funds are encouraged to sign-up on, a service of Joining GrantWriterTeam is easy. Create a profile, fill out the application and begin to bid on grant writing jobs.

About the Author: Staff Writer for