On Johns Island, Grant Writers Could Help Rural Mission Keep Doors Open

From an increasingly valuable 5-acre waterfront lot, Linda Gadson can look past the poverty around her on Johns Island to see how the affluent homeowners on Wadmalaw Island live. As large, city-approved development projects begin to integrate the haves with the have nots on Johns Island, the executive director of Rural Mission wonders how she will keep the nonprofit’s doors open.

For a half-century, the faith-based charity organization has assisted migrant farmers and rehabilitated homes for low-come residents on the barrier island near Charleston. But, a reduction in funding has drained the mission’s bank account, forcing Gadson to cut staff, services, and programs. Meanwhile, more families seek assistance as Rural Mission struggles to help itself.

With a permanent staff of five, Gadson is juggling both fundraising and grant writing. She needs bodies, even on a part-time basis, to chip in and handle the roles.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of GrantWatch.com, said many nonprofits in the same predicament will turn to GrantWriterTeam.com, to identify grant writers who can secure funds for projects from public and private foundations, government sources and corporations, and crate a YouHelp.com free fundraising page. GrantWriterTeam gives nonprofits a head-start in fundraising by matching them with a grant writer who already possess skills in writing, research and communicating and is persistent, personable, organized and creative enough to handle diverse assignments.

Skilled grant writers are always in high demand. Hikind said more than 1.5 million nonprofits and hundreds more organizations rely on their unique qualities and skills. Communications professionals who have a background in journalism, public relations, marketing or English or a liberal arts degree, three successful grant proposals, as well as a desire to serve as a voice for nonprofit programs and services are encouraged to join GrantWriterTeam.

Without a grant writer, nonprofits like Rural Mission will continue to struggle to obtain funding. Most funding sources award grants to only those charity organizations that are sustainable. Rural Mission is now somewhat behind the eight ball.

Gadson said a new board of directors charged with developing a needs assessment is a step toward reversing its misfortunes. A needs assessment will help a grant writer present a clear and concise rational for funds along with the urgency.

In the case of Rural Mission, the needs assessment will describe how a cut in federal funds has put a dent in the nonprofit’s budget and ability to pay basic bills and operational costs. Right now, Rural Mission needs about $12,000 to stay afloat.

Because in addition to renovating homes and working with migrant farm laborers, Rural Mission the mission also buses worshipers to non-denominational services held in a chapel on the property. And when funds are available, provisions for medicine, transportation, food and cash to pay utilities in crisis situations.

For Linete Nesbit, that emergency played out last year when her home was flooded during Tropical Storm Irma. She is one of 200 residents awaiting help. We do not know today how many more people have been flooded from Michael.

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

About the Author: Staff Writer at GrantWatch