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


If I Only Had The Time, I Could Write The Grant Myself

When you receive the grants newsletter from GrantWatch, do you find yourself saying,"If only I had the time!"?

Your job as an executive director is to grow your nonprofit in order to serve more and more of your constituency.  So how do you do that on a shoestring budget?

First off, you cannot be penny wise and pound foolish, thinking "with grants there are no guarantees." Yes, you are correct. Grant writing has its risks. You could pay a grant writer and have a beautifully written grant that can score a 95, but there may be five others that score a 96 and above, and they got funded and you did not.

But here is the caveat: you have a beautifully written on-target proposal. With some tweaking and matching of another funder's requirements, you can reuse that grant application, and apply it to one or more funding sources.

How do you pay for a grant writer if you are short on funds? Local community people really respect an organization looking for funds for capacity building. When you ask for a donation that will pay for a grant writer to complete a few proposals, you will get that donation. You wouldn't be asking for an annual salary — just enough for the grant writer consultant. And if you were to open a YouHelp campaign, you could raise the money from more than one funder; so, smaller contributions that total your immediate needs.

Where will you find that grant writer that matches your organization's needs? GrantWriterTeam has a service to match you with grant writers. Once you put up a request for a grant writer and pay the $50 administrative fee, you receive bids from skilled professional grant writers. You can review their one-page writing samples from three different grants and see if you like their writing style. In their bids, they will list grants they have won and their experience and expertise. You can see if they have the background that matches the mission and vision of your organization.

What will it cost you to hire a grant writer? Or what will it cost you if you do not hire a grant writer? Just look at the GrantWatch newsletter to see all your the missed opportunities.

There are two ways of working with a grant writer. You can locate the grant yourself and the grant writer will give you a flat fee from start to finish (you will list the URL of the grant in your grant writer request), or you will request that the grant writer do the research and locate a certain number of grants for you to choose from (allot a certain number of hours for research). And then when a grant is chosen, you will negotiate the flat rate for the proposal. 

Do you really have the time or do you have someone on your staff who is capable of and has the time to locate federal, state and local grants; and find foundation and corporate grants? Do you have the time to write proposal narratives; developing budgets; research the needs of your target population; complete the needs assessment; and research literature for best practices

Grant writers on GrantWriterTeam have the time and the skills for all of these tasks and they work with a system of deliverables in which the project is broken into smaller parts (with the exception of the small retainer to start the work). You pay only when a deliverable is completed and then you receive the work within the hour of payment.

Writers at will collect your background data, articulate your concepts and ensure that your passion jumps off the page. If you don’t have the time and energy to commit to finding or writing a grant proposal, will help you find a qualified writer who does. Request a grant writer here or call 561-249-4129.

About the Author: Libby Hikind lives and breathes grants and funding for nonprofits and small businesses A retired NYC Public School Teacher and Grant Writer, she established GrantWatch to serve the nonprofit community. Libby is the Founder and CEO of,,,, and

Building Relationships is Essential to Police Work and Grant Writing

GrantWriterTeam has found an instance where grant writing has become a candidate's political advantage in a race for Sheriff of Modoc County, California. 

If all goes well for Ken Barnes, he will be the new Sheriff in town. The former police chief for Alturas said he should be elected because he knows every responsibility that goes with being a county sheriff. And, according to the self-professed “grant writer,” that certainly would include grant writing.

Barnes, who is running against current Undersheriff William “Tex” Dowdy, said he likes “to write a lot of grants.” As chief of police for 15 years in Alturas, he wrote close to $3 million in grants for alternative funding and equipment for the city. If elected, he said he plans on continuing to write grants to reduce overhead and solve the need for more deputies.

Grant writing is an important responsibility in any local government agency and is more than just identifying available funding from federal, state, local, corporate, foundation and private grants.  It is also about building those important community relationships.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of, said a successful grant writer should be able to develop relationships with funding sources and with local community organizations. Programs at nonprofits do not operate within a vacuum.  They need to attract the target population and work in consort with other agencies that supplement the program with other much needed and related services. 

Libby said, "Communication with the funding source provides a clearer picture of what they are most interested in and how your proposal should align with their area of focus. 

"While not every well written and crafted proposal is awarded  – building and maintaining relationships with funding sources will allow you to go back for a second try with the funding source, remembering you in a positive light. "

A simple phone interview or site visit with the funding source can often do the trick, but for organizations that are hard-pressed to allocate human resources, finding the time can be challenging. As a result, many nonprofits as well as small businesses and government agencies that cannot invest in hiring or training a grant writer will turn to to hire a consultant grant writer. Proposal writers at can translate your ideas to create a compelling statement that markets your organization and demonstrates the effectiveness of your product or service to the funding source.

Grant writing is a skilled craft that involves time, accurate management plans and well-packaged reporting mechanisms. The process and the ability to communicate a vision should not be underestimated.

Writers at will collect your background data, articulate your concepts and ensure that your arguments are well-documented. Grant writing can be extremely puzzling and require multiple applications before achieving success. If you don’t have the time and energy to commit to a proposal, will help you find a qualified writer who does.

Grant writers from all backgrounds who have the talent to craft a compelling grant proposal are encouraged 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

Food for Thought – Adding Grant Writers Helps Yolo County Secure Funds for Farmers Market

What kid will pass up a free meal, paid for with play money to “purchase” eight pounds of produce at a farmer’s market program?  The program preaches health and nutrition to low-income preschool and elementary school student populations across Yolo County, in California.

The free weekly Kids Farmer’s Market, hosted by the Yolo Food Bank and supported, in part, by a grant from the Walmart Foundation, has helped to distribute more than 224,000 pounds of fresh fruits, vegetables, rice and beans to county children, at least 70 percent of whom are eligible for free and reduced-priced school meals.

Now, to broaden the nonprofit’s ability to serve and enhance the common good of the community, the Yolo Food Bank is adding two grant writers to the organizational staff. Grant writers Cristina Larsen and Maggie Memmott each bring diverse skills – namely writing, research, project management, program evaluation and budgeting – to their new roles with the food bank. Both will be tasked with conveying to potential donors how poverty and homelessness affect individual health and the reverberating impact malnutrition has throughout the community.

Writing proposals is a big part of any fundraising campaign, said Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of GrantWatch and GrantWriterTeam. The more work put into each proposal, the better chance a request has to secure funding. But, not all nonprofits, entrepreneurs or small businesses can add a full-time grant writer to staff, much less two like Yolo Food Bank. Without the human resources or time to dedicate to grant writing, many of these fund-seekers turn to to request an experienced grant writer to help with proposals.

GrantWriterTeam receives a high number of requests from organizations that seek qualified grant writers who will know how to communicate a message to different audiences; research funding opportunities; and build and maintain relationships with funding sources. Hiring a grant writer is simple. Click the Request a Grant Writer tab at GrantWriterTeam and answer a few short questions.  GrantWriterTeam will keep your organization anonymous until you choose the grant writer you want to work with. The goal of the grant writer is to gauge the potential impact an organization will have along with strategies to promote future growth.

According to the USDA, more than 42 million people nationwide are food-insecure, which means that they may not know where they will find their next meal. In Yolo County, 31,000 residents in 19,000 households are food-insecure.

In the past, grant writers have crafted successful proposals for the Yolo Food Bank that have been used to purchase equipment needed to handle fresh food, including refrigerated vehicles; coolers and freezers for transporting, storing and distributing food; and thermometers and temperature calibration devices. To their credit, effective grant writers helped the Yolo Food Bank and its 70 partner agencies secure funds in the pursuit of ending hunger and malnutrition in the county, where one-in-seven people including 10,000 children struggle to access nutrition-rich food.

Grant writers who can help secure funds for projects from public and private foundations, government sources and corporations are always in high demand. Those who already possess a proven track record of grant writing, research, planning and budgeting combined with persistency and organization are encouraged to join the GrantWriterTeam.

Grant writers from all backgrounds who have the talent to craft a compelling grant proposal should 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


First time Grant Writer Bridges Gap Between Winona City Council and Access to Lottery Proceeds

Walking across Highway 61 had never been a pleasant experience for locals, but the tragic death of a 17-year-old boy who was struck by a car on a stretch of the Minnesota roadway near East Lake Boulevard, shed light on the danger.

That’s also when one concerned Winona local decided to apply for a grant that would fund an estimated $3.5-million pedestrian walkway to connect the east end of Lake Park to East Lake Boulevard, at the base of Sugar Loaf, a bluff on the Mississippi River that overlooks the city.

The grant proposal, endorsed by the Winona City Council, requested funds from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources, which makes recommendations to the Legislature on how to spend the lottery proceeds placed in Minnesota's Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, established for the preservation and enhancement of Minnesota’s natural resources.  

Anyone could apply for the grant. Lynn Carlson, a resident of Winona, did just that! Carlson had never written a grant. But, she believed her attempt would be a great way to improve the city.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of GrantWriterTeam said grant writers who have successfully written and been awarded grants can apply and join our team.  They are hired by nonprofits and individuals to research and complete grant applications that meet the needs of the client. Many of these applications from local, state and federal government agencies, corporations, and foundations can be found on, a search engine for grants, awards and other funding opportunities.

A good grant writers should possess a solid command of the written word and efficient research skills to craft a successful grant proposal that matches the interests of the funding source. The grant proposal is a document that makes a case for the request for money following all the requirements of the funding source. The task for the grant writer is to convey what the money will accomplish, who will benefit and why the funding source should support the work.

Hikind said the website receives a high number of requests from organizations that seek qualified grant writers. Nonprofits, without the funds to hire a full time in-house grant writer often turn to GrantWriterTeam.  They complete a form to request a grant writer and the grant writers bid on their grant writing opportunity.

Winona City Council members appreciated Carlson’s grant proposal and were glad she took the initiative. In the city’s 2017 walking and biking plan, pedestrians and cyclist pointed to crossing Highway 61, in general, as one of the most troublesome areas.

Carlson began the research process by observing pedestrian bridges in neighboring cities, before turning her attention to writing a proposal. And while writing is only a small part of developing a proposal, Carlson said she relied on advice and feedback from funding organizations and agencies to articulate Winona’s problem.

“I would go through these little towns and see these beautiful recreation bridges,” she said. “I thought, ‘Why can’t Winona have that?’”

Libby invites Lynn Carlson, if she is interested and others, to pursue a rewarding career in grant writing.  After Lynn gets two more grants awarded, she would be eligible to join GrantWriterTeam. 

Libby Hikind said, "Passion to solve the need and a lot of spot-on research, speaks volumes to grant reviewers and is the advantage that propels one grant to be funded over any other."

Grant writers from all backgrounds who have the talent to craft a compelling grant proposal should 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


Show Them the Money: Erie Grant Writer Eager to Provide Value to City

Show him the money. That’s the directive Erie Mayor Joe Schember has given the city’s first full-time grant writer.

Abby Skinner, who the city hired to successfully access local, state and federal funding resources, said addressing this priority is a grant writer’s dream. After all, she loves reading grant guidelines and has a database of funding opportunities to prove it.

Writing is just a small component of crafting a winning grant proposal. Skinner said before she starts writing, she must first determine if the grant is a good fit for Erie. That starts by understanding the parameters and guidelines attached to each opportunity and adhering to deadlines.

Skinner said templates and outlines can be helpful tools to gather information from colleagues and expedite grant applications. Her background reminds her that not all organizations have a full-time employee devoted to the process.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of, said organizations with limited human resources that don’t have the time or staff to identify funding sources and follow through on applications are always looking for qualified grant writers. These requests can be found on, a service of GrantWatch. Applicants must first create a profile on to review these positions at no cost.

Grant writers can earn upward of $100 an hour; however, most entry-level positions offer compensation around $25 per hour. Successful and reliable grant writers are often invited to enter into long-term contracts with many of these organizations.

Skinner was destined for Erie City Hall after building her grant-writing resume with the Warren County Historical Society, the Regional Center for Workforce Excellence and the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership. She says the city has a plan and now a position in place to identify grant opportunities. It’s up to her to secure the money.

Grant Writers from all backgrounds who have the talent to craft a compelling grant proposal can search for grant writing opportunities at, a service of Joining the GrantWriterTeam is easy. Create a profile, fill out the application and begin to bid on grant writing jobs.


About the Author: Staff Writer for


Volunteer Turns Passion for Charitable Causes into Grant Writing Career

Preparing food, bagging non-perishable items for distribution, and delivering meals to homeless shelters, halfway houses and community centers proved to be an ideal way for Emily Francis to make the most of Spring Break.

Little did she know those humble experiences at a food bank in between semesters at Ithaca College would eventually reward her with career in grant writing.

Francis is a foundations relations associate for the Capital Area Food Bank, in Washington, D.C., where she writes grant proposals for the nonprofit she had volunteered at, a few years ago. And while writing all the time is her dream job, Francis said helping to provide healthy and nutritious foods to people in need really resonates with her.

For wordsmiths like Francis who paired her background in journalism with a passion for charitable causes, grant writing can be a good fit.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of, said the website receives a high number of requests for qualified grant writers. Nonprofits that have internal grant writers on overload or new organizations that can’t afford the annual salary of a staff writer turn to to post available opportunities.

FREE GrantWriterTeam Membership has 34 grant-writing jobs open for bids. Applicants must create a profile that illustrates their writing experience and includes a list of 3-5 grants awarded, writing samples, and references. During February, grant writers can bid on any or all of these jobs without a fee.

"Potential clients are seeking qualities beyond great grant writing skills," said Hikind. 

Grant writers can earn upward of $40 an hour. Successful and reliable grant writers are often invited to write additional grants under long-term contracts with many of these organizations.


About the Author: Staff Writer at

The Secret Life of Grant Reviewers – What Exactly Are They Looking For?

I am a federal grants reviewer and have been for approximately seven years. There are very specific reasons why federal grants fail to get funded — and those reasons can go well beyond poor program design or not following the rules. I can therefore bring the perspective of a grants reviewer — whose job is to assign point values based on the rubric provided for each section of a grant.

Grants writers who are not clear and concise consistently lose points in program design, sustainability, program goals and objectives, and sections dealing with community partnerships.

Have you ever wondered what causes one reviewer to score a grant application high, while another receives a lower score? What makes each perspective differ?  What guidelines can I follow to ensure that I have written the strongest grant application possible given my writing style. Does it matter that I lose points in some areas of the grant that may not be weighted as heavily as other sections? Why? Why not?

The 21st Century Learning Grant is, perhaps, one of the largest federal after-school program grants in the nation. I have served on a state vision team for this grant for many years (these are half-million dollar, multi-year grants). The current emphasis is on community partnerships because they reflect long-term relationships, authenticity, and true sharing of resources.

Reviewers examine budgets to determine the overall quality and strength of a proposal, but differ on what makes a strong grant versus a mediocre one. What will carry weight with any reviewer is how much detail the applicant provides in terms of the what are you planning to do, where, how, when, and how will you measure your success. Reviewers don't make final funding decisions; but their individual scores on any application factors in heavily. An understanding of how they score and what matters to them in distinguishing one application from another is essential.

"A grant writer's job is to fully respond to every single point raised by the funding source," said Libby Hikind, CEO of GrantWriterTeam. "The weight of a score for a particular section is for guidance purposes, only. Never, ever do you leave out any question or point. The weights are subject to change. At the time of review, a section can be deemed unfair or not clear and then all weights are readjusted."

"If your organization cannot respond with experience and clarity to a specific question or point, consider a partnership with an organization that you have an established understanding of referral or some working relationship," said Hikind. "Their experience and expertise will strengthen your proposal and touch on the point." 

About the Author: Elaine Rose Penn is an experienced and successful reviewer of federal grants.

How to Write an Effective Needs Statements for Grant Proposals

All nonprofits are created to serve the needs of a target audience.

Funding organizations want to know what these needs are in grant applications. The money a funding source will allocate for projects and services will be determined by how effectively nonprofits can convey these needs in the grant proposal process and how they will use the requested funds to meet the need. 

All grant applications must always include a needs statement. The purpose of a needs statement in a grant proposal is to present both facts and stories to support the needs for a project or program. How well the applicant addresses those needs will determine the success of the proposal.

Prior to writing a needs statement, the grant writer should understand what the problem is and its nature, reasons and causes. The needs statement should define why this problem is both important to the applicant and of interest to the funding source. Compelling needs make for compelling projects worthy of funding. 

According to Libby Hikind, CEO and founder of, "A grant writer works with the organization to determine the needs of the target audience and research the current data to support the need within the application. The need may be supported through newspaper articles, data sources, surveys, maps, literature, published research and or interviews."

An effective needs statement must grab the attention of the funding source and communicate the urgency of the problem in terms of human interest anchored by hard facts. To do so, a needs statement should

  1. clearly relate to the mission and purpose of the applicant;
  2. describe the problem and the people who would be served;
  3. and be supported by evidence including statistics, expert views, and current events.

Libby Hikind explained, "The grant writer should review their draft needs statement with the organization's Board.  While the grant writer may be happy painting the dimmest picture of the target community to increase the chances of being awarded the grant, the Board may not want the application to be as severe.  There is a fine line between stating the urgency and defining a population in the grimmest of terms.  Be careful what you write and how you write it!"

About the Author: Staff Writer for Grant Writing Institute


In High-Demand: GrantWriterTeam Connects Proven Grant Writers to Job Opportunities

The city’s first splash pad isn’t scheduled for completion until June, but Candy Jones can’t wait to see the kids’ faces when the water playground becomes operational.

Jones has been the city of Conway’s grant administrator for less than a year, yet, she’s already knocking projects out of the park including the proposal she wrote that won a $165,000 matching grant from the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism to build the splash pad in Laurel Park. Writing with a purpose has been gratifying for Jones, who has helped the city acquire almost $900,000 for projects that will help to improve the quality of life for the community. Proven grant writers, like Jones, are in demand.

Bonnie Houk, the director of grants management for the Southeast Kansas Education Service Center at Greenbush, says her history background prepared her with the essential research skills she needs to perform her job. As a grant writer, Houk said she tells the story and history of the organization she is writing for to the funding source. Her work has obtained more than $70 million in grant funding for school districts, municipalities and organizations.

Grant writers come from all backgrounds. Nicole Ambrosio told a skeptical audience at the Westerlo board meeting that she had been working in education before she was hired on as the town’s first grant writer.

Although success is never guaranteed, grant writers have a better chance of writing a good proposal if they’re passionate about the causes for which they seek funds.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of, says she built GrantWriterTeam in response to the steady stream of requests from grant seekers who are looking for grant writers to help secure funds for their projects from public and private foundations, government sources and corporations.  Not all government agencies or nonprofits have the time, experience, staff or skills needed to prepare a winning proposal. Our clients include nonprofits, charitable organizations, museums, schools and small businesses.

Grant writers at GrantWriterTeam are sometimes required to do any of the following: assist in creating a nonprofit, nonprofit grant research, draft and submit proposals, write curriculum and or create a crowdfunding fundraiser.  Hikind said,, is a service of GrantWatch.

Joining the GrantWriterTeam is easy. Create a profile, sign your contract with us, pay your membership fee and enter your PayPal email (to receive payments),  When all is complete, you will be able to bid on as many jobs as you want as long as your membership is current. Whenever a grant seeker chooses you, be it while you are a paid member or a few months down the road, the job is still yours.  Membership is only required to bid, and your contract, however remains in effect.

Like all self-employed occupations, finding enough work can be challenging and it disrupts the writing process. Hikind said GrantWriterTeam consolidates the imposing search-for-work process and the need to market yourself.




About the Author: Staff Writer for