Why I (Continue to) Write Grants
The ATM Grant Writing and Consulting Corporation serves as a one stop shop solution for organizations of all sizes. Our primary focus is helping organizations find and secure grant resources to complete their mission and empower others. We also provide tips to build solid relationships with potential funders for mutually beneficial partnerships. But why did I choose to write grants and make a career of it?
Our business began with a challenge. As I transitioned from active duty military service (U.S. Navy) I found employment in county level court administration where my first task was to write a $200,000 grant to rehabilitate substance abusers. With no previous experience as a grant writer, it was actually a visionary supervisor who had faith in my education and experience, and she encoura
ged me to pursue the challenge. After many weeks of study, research, writing and re-writing, we learned that the grant was successful- and then the magic happened.
The gift of grant writing allowed the court to enroll people into the program. I witnessed soberizing persons work daily for counseling and treatment that they would otherwise not be able to pay for or access. More captivatingly, I saw them start AND finish GED programs, become employed, pay taxes, reunite with their children, and reside in stable homes, thus changing the demographics of communities previously plagued with crimes associated with drug abuse (i.e., prostitution, theft and fraud). These previously marginalized people were not only given another chance, but also the opportunity to take control of their lives AND give back. Their spirits were inspired and many of them continued community service long after the court orders expired and they also began to experience positive interactions with law enforcement and neighbors after being in the program. The more they were exposed to the concept of community and support, I witnessed over 400 of them succeed in their own lives and that program continues to be successful today. In continuing to write grants, I also saw similarly positive results for over 1,000 juveniles and their families in terms of school attendance and rising graduation rates. My grant writing currently helps more than 10 million people retain public television and educational services in North Carolina. I fully recognize, and I am even proud, that I serve as the catalyst for these amazing works as grant writing has paved the way for volunteerism and collaboration that makes visible community changes that make our streets safer and better equipped to support each of our needs. I’ve learned that the positive outcomes in grant writing lasts for years beyond the awards as we are able to use funding to invest in ourselves. This perspective that inspires me every day.
In the upcoming year, we plan to expand services throughout the eastern US and eventually nationally, marketing to train other organizations and grant writers in every state so that nationwide collaborations can form for long term sustainability, strengthening collective impact and the likelihood of grantor funding. We will pursue IRS 501C3 nonprofit status so that we can apply for operational funding and cut costs for community organizations that cannot afford professional grant writing services. Our final shift is to initiate quarterly grant writing workshops for clients.