Category Archives: Grants

Wisdom from GrantStation’s Report on the State of Grantseeking

I recently came across GrantStation’s latest State of Grantseeking Report, based on the first half of 2017. The report aims to help readers understand recent trends in grantseeking and identify benchmarks to help measure their own success in the field.

Because of the uncertainty caused by federal and state government program changes, the report suggests that grantseekers project the same total number of government awards for 2018 as in the previous year and to not plan for any increase from those awards.

Private foundations and community foundations were funding sources for 80% and 64% of the report’s survey respondents, respectively: a 1% and 4% decrease from the previous 2 reports. The report also provides many statistics about award amounts, characteristics of grantees, and a host of related issues.

I found 3 other areas of the report especially interesting:

1) The report highlighted collaborative grantseeking as one strategy that has worked for some organizations. Collaborative grantseeking entails several organizations joining together to submit an application  for joint activities or programs. It’s a good strategy to pool resources, leverage funds, and demonstrate to funders that you are not duplicating efforts but instead are coordinating work with your allies to get more done. The whole is really more than the sum of the parts, and the more we can work as a team to fit into a funder’s grantmaking strategy. the better off we all are. Continue reading

We’re Hiring for Our Grantseeking Team!





As you may know, Writing to Make a Difference focuses on both grantseeking and content development. Right now, we are looking to add a few excellent sub-contractors to our team to help complete client work on grant proposals or reports on a variety of topics. Might you be the person we are seeking?


  • Expand your client base without having to attract or manage client relationships or engage in business development
  • Opportunity to deepen your knowledge on a variety of (possibly new) topics
  • Opportunity to accept or decline any specific assignment without jeopardizing an entire client relationship
  • Opportunities for professional feedback, dialogue, and collaboration


  • At least 8 years of successful experience writing grant proposals and/or reports for foundations, corporate funders, and/or government agencies (experience as an independent consultant preferred)
  •  Availability 5-15 hours per month for at least 3-6 months, with an interest in potential long-term affiliation
  • Content knowledge in your area/s of expertise and/or resourcefulness to get up to speed quickly
  •  Strong writing, storytelling, editing, proofreading skills
  • Ethics/integrity/reliability (including avoidance of conflicts of interest)
  • Strong listening/interviewing skills
  • Budgeting and/or funder prospect research skills a plus

Continue reading

Featured Service: Grantwriting Coaching

With grantwriting coaching, anyone on your team can make grantseeking improvement a regular part of their professional development! They can choose to work with their coach for any period of time, from a few hours to several months, either one-on-one or alongside a team of colleagues. They will:

  • Get expert feedback and individual instruction that fits their learning style
  • Work on specific skills or fill knowledge gaps
  • Boost their confidence
  • Get their creative juices flowing

Thus far, all of my coaching clients have seen improvement in just a few sessions (some in as little as 1 session!).

Here are some recent comments:

“As someone fairly new to the fundraising world, I found it easy and not intimidating to approach Dalya with my questions… And best of all, her strategy is really working! This year we secured support from new funders and we are thrilled to finally diversify our portfolio.”

“We have had this project idea for a year and [working with Dalya] really helped prioritize the value of what we’re trying to do. I know that I’m going to get something out of every call, so it has made me actually set the time aside.” Continue reading

Remembering Rebecca Vermillion Shawver’s Contributions

Well-known grantwriter and teacher Rebecca (Becki) Vermillion Shawver recently passed away, and I wanted to be sure to share her story and some articles she wrote for CharityChannel. I only worked with Becki a few times but quickly saw that she was obviously a true professional in the field; she will be missed!

Rebecca Vermillion Shawver was the Director of Grant Administration at Brazosport College. She was an active member of the Grant Professionals Association and earned her GPC. Additionally, she was a member of the Council for Resource Development (CRD) for community college fund development professionals. Rebecca was a past CRD Director for Region VI and a past member of the CRD National Board. She presented numerous workshops at multiple regional and national CRD conferences.

A native-born Hoosier, Rebecca continued to serve as a consultant for agencies located in the State of Indiana. Additionally, she was the author of What Funders Want: Developing Evaluation Plans to Support Your K-12 Grant Applications (LRP Publications).

Rebecca was a dedicated volunteer working with the AFS Intercultural Programs. As the Volunteer Chair for the AFS Cradle of Texas Team, she was responsible for implementing and coordinating the AFS high school exchange program in part of Harris and all of Brazoria County, Texas. She hosted 22 exchange students over the past 25 years!

I want to share a few of Rebecca’s outstanding articles, which are among the dozens she authored for CharityChannel: Continue reading