Grant Writing

A successful grant proposal starts with a well-planned program and well-matched funder, then makes an irresistible case for support by using practical logic, powerful research, moving storytelling, and eloquent writing, persuasively tailored to match the funder’s priorities. I will facilitate your planning process to create solidly fundable programs with reasonable budgets and strong evaluation plans; research grant prospects and assist you to pursue invitations; build compelling, research-based need statements; make sure you are implementing and showing nonprofit best practices; and write strong letters of inquiry and proposals that move reviewers and win funds. My grants have raised over $15 MILLION for nonprofits.

Grantmakers, like donors, need to be cultivated. This means both connecting with prospective funders and strengthening bonds with current ones. I will help you build funder relationships by strategizing and creating key communications beyond official requirements, and I will write grant reports that show the incredible impact of work, demonstrate transparent honesty about your challenges and learnings, inspire confidence in your organization, and lead to renewal funding.

Whether you need someone to research prospects and take charge of all grantseeking, report writing, and attachments for your organization, or you just need occasional help when you have too many deadlines at once, or anywhere in between, I’d be happy to assist you.

If you can’t afford to hire out for grant writing, I can review your current or previous letters of inquiry, grants, and/or reports, giving you invaluable feedback to strengthen your in-house writing. This can be a one-time feedback session or an ongoing relationship. I can also train or coach your staff or volunteers in effective prospect research, planning, and grant writing.

The grant writing process gives you even more than proposals likely to win funds. It also helps you to:

  • Find and repair the weak links in your work
  • Adjust to utilize the best practices in nonprofit management, increasing your effectiveness
  • Make the case to show your constituency’s need for your organization
  • Evaluate and demonstrate your impact
  • Clarify and develop your strategic and program plans
  • Create a genuine organizational voice
  • Develop eloquent language that can be re-purposed across all communication channels
  • Feel re-inspired by the fabulous work that you do

Strategic & Program Planning & Evaluation

Do you and your staff have clear goals with measurable and achievable objectives to help you reach them? Are effective evaluation plans built into your programs? Do your evaluations produce constructive critique AND prove the impact of your programs AND generate stories and quotations you can use to promote your work across all channels? Do your plans identify your greatest obstacles and assets, and then address the obstacles and capitalize on the assets? Is it all written in clear, accessible language that brings your work to life?

Perhaps my greatest strength is that I come from the heart and bring a highly logical mind. I can help you organize your ideas into an eloquent and logical system that assists you in staying true to your mission, working more effectively and efficiently, and showing others the great work you do. I will facilitate your planning process and help distill your ideas into concise and effective words and charts. We can create logic models (goals, objectives, strategies, and outcomes), SWOT analyses (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), strategic plans, evaluation plans, and more.

Whether you are just starting a new nonprofit, or you saw a need and jumped into the work that you have been doing for years without building much infrastructure first, or you have been running for many years and come to a juncture where what you have in place is no longer enough, I can help. I will teach your staff or board about nonprofit best practices and guide you in getting to know your constituency and developing your mission, vision, goals, objectives, strategies, evaluation plans, procedures, sustainability plans, messaging strategy, branding,
and more.

Outreach & Fundraising Strategy & Materials

Whom do you need to reach, where can you reach them, and what messages will inspire them to join your cause and your community? What are the major obstacles to engagement and how can you address them? I will facilitate your process in thinking strategically about who your donors and constituents are, what benefits they want from you, and what you can do to make them want to get involved and enjoy staying involved.

Our work might range from a single strategy session to an ongoing relationship. Together, we will look in-depth at how to tailor your communications to speak to your audience and meet your needs. We will examine people’s perceptions of your organization and explore both bold and subtle ways to strategically alter those perceptions. We will create plans and calendars that coordinate your various communications with the seasons and holidays, and your programs, events, and campaigns, and we will clearly detail roles, responsibilities, and timelines for implementation. I will help you find the stories that bring your work to life and tell those stories in ways that captivate your audience. I will write strategic messaging in the voice people already recognize as yours, or help you find your organization’s own unique style to attract donors and/or program participants.

Materials include: donor communications, appeal letters, newsletters, press releases, website content, annual reports, brochures, flyers, blogs, video scripts, and social media.

Teaching and Speaking

I will happily come to your office or venue to give a presentation or workshop. I can offer or adapt the workshop below, or we can discuss other possible topics.

Be Mine: The Art of Writing Grants that Woo Reviewers
Click here for a full, printer-friendly synopsis.

“Wonderfully fresh and clear use of fundamental good
writing principles to liven up dry and boring grant writing-ese.”

~Lisa Middents, Development Coordinator, Franklin County Home Care Corporation

“Super fantastic workshop. So glad I came. Great group of attendees, too!
Erica really helped me learn a new way to write a grant proposal. Lots of takeaways!”
~Shelly Bathe Lenn, Executive Director, Rick’s Place

This 2-3 hour participatory workshop explores writer’s craft techniques that bring your  grants to life and woo reviewers. Whether you have written 100 grants or none, I will give you a fresh perspective with concrete, useful tips for any kind of nonprofit. The workshop employs an original framework I created to make grant writing more fun, creative, and effective. We will view a grant as a sort of love letter aiming to interest the funder in a long-term relationship, and I will show you how to apply five sensible dating tips to grant writing. For each dating tip, we will go over specific writers’ craft methods to help you make the right impression and show what a great catch you are.


High quality communications are essential to a nonprofit’s success. If your budget dictates that your staff or board members do the writing, have it reviewed and polished by a professional writer specializing in nonprofit grants and messaging. This is a cost-efficient way to ensure that your materials are strategically and compelling written to successfully engage participants and supporters.

Materials include: grants, letters of inquiry, grant reports, websites, annual reports, articles, press releases, solicitation letters, flyers, blogs, video scripts, social media, etc.

Commitment to Social Justice

I recognize my privilege as a cisgender, white woman from a middle class family, educated at a highly-respected university and partnered with a cisgender man. As a Jewish person whose spirituality is earth-based, I also know what it feels like to be a minority, inherit ancestral trauma from oppression, face both bigotry and sexism, and sometimes feel unsafe – but I do not know what it feels like to be a visible minority living daily with over-policing, economic oppression, racial bias, and more. I recognize the people most impacted by social justice issues as the experts in how to move the world toward true equality; since I am not one of those people, my role is to support their leadership and to help keep others accountable to them.

Written Wings is a mission-based business in service to people striving for a better world. My business is a way of leveraging my privilege by working as a consultant to stand behind and uplift the leadership of oppressed people. I seek constantly to learn and grow as an ally, and strive to be aware of and compassionate to the dynamics that oppression and trauma bring into the spaces where I work, especially with people who experience far more oppression than I do. To increase access to my services, I offer a sliding scale based on the economy of the client’s location, the client’s ability to pay, and the extent to which the work to be supported assists people who are systemically oppressed. It is also my role to gently but firmly call out organizations that are not adequately serving, consulting, or representing people living with oppression, and to advise them in how to correct these issues.

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