Grant Writing & Funding

By Holly Rustick

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Holly Rustick, creator of WEGO Consulting, is known as ‘the grant girl’. She’s been on both sides of the grant writing coin – writing them for over a decade as well as managing and reviewing them on behalf of numerous organizations. She also conducts grant training workshops, offers grant-related products, and hosts this podcast. Holding a Master’s in International Political Economy and a Bachelor’s in Political Science, Holly is not only a successful technical writer for federal contract bids but also facilitates fundraisers, crowd funding campaigns and solicits in-kind donations from large corporations. "Grant Writing & Funding" offers you tidbits of tips, advice, and answers about grants and funding. Check out these nuggets! Check out for FREE grant writing and funding templates!

Episode Date
032 Finding Grants On GuideStar
Are you getting grants from foundations? Does it feel like an uphill battle of constant rejections? Or are you not even sure where to look? In this episode, we are going to look at a great resource for finding foundation grants and how to find the best-fit foundations to fund your projects; is a great resource as you will see, and it’s free to utilize most of the services. But how do you use it to find the best-fit grants? I'll show you four simple things to look for when searching foundations on GuideStar. Make sure you stand out when applying for grants! It’s simple, but it does take time. However, when you take the time to do research and find good-fit foundations it can pay off big time. And, hey, if this type of research just isn’t for you, WEGO Grants nerds out on a regular basis and can help you. Just let me know at Want more FREE funding tips? About once a week, I send out my Grant & Funding updates to valued members (you can unsubscribe at any time). When you subscribe to the FREE Grant & Funding membership you also get: Funding Toolkit: Top 10 Tips to Position your Nonprofit for Funding Downloadable Templates 15% discount on my online grant writing course Weekly podcast episode/blog updates Current Grant Opportunities Grant and funding tips, opportunities, and resources Occasional musings on the joys and perils of nonprofit work Your first Bonus Gift, is the FREE Funding Toolkit: Top Ten Tips to Position Your Nonprofit for Funding. Visit: for more information!
Jun 14, 2018
031 The Four Best Places To Find Contracts For Your Nonprofit
Do you know what the difference is between a contract and a grant? Are you aware that contracts might be able to cover operational costs for your nonprofit in AMAZING ways? Listen to this podcast to find the Four BEST places to find city, state, and federal contracts for your nonprofit. Plus, get pros and cons for each of these places. I know your nonprofit wants funding in diverse ways. Listen to this podcast to find more funding opportunities! Like listening to the Grant Writing & Funding Podcast? Check out all of our services and resources at While you are there check out our FREE Grant Writing & Funding Membership. Thanks for listening! Holly Rustick Owner, Grant Writing Expert, and Bestselling Author
Jun 08, 2018
030 GDPR For Nonprofits & Grant Writers
In today’s podcast we will talk about what the GDPR is, why it doesn’t just effect the EU, what the impact is on nonprofits and on grant writing consultants, and give you some free downloadable templates. Now, some of you may be scratching your heads when I mention GDPR. Although, if you are in the EU, then you have probably been running around like it’s Y2K. Remember the turn of the century panic? Yep, I hear it’s a lot like that. But chances are, you have seen an increase of emails in your inbox over the last week with companies or people asking you to check a box giving them permission to email you or asking if you’d like to remain on their email lists. This is all due to the new European regulations or GDPR. The pure IT nature of this regulation makes it a global concept at the very least. Rashmi Knowles, chief technology officer at RSA Security states that “GDPR is interesting because it is the first time that the EU is exporting regulation. In the past, everything created by the EU applied to the EU. Now we have this regulation, but it is going to apply globally. If anybody wants to use the data of EU citizens or consumers, they have to comply, so it is exporting privacy rules to other countries.” In today's podcast you get great tips on how to be GDPR compliant for your nonprofit or grant writing company, plus free privacy policy templates, and links. Check it out at
Jun 01, 2018
029 Review A Federal Grant Opportunity And BEST Tips On Grant Writing
Here is your crash course in looking over federal grant announcements and great grant writing tips! Are you confused on how to look through federal grants on Looking for grant writing tips that will get to an awarded grant? If you answered 'yes' to either of those questions, then this is the episode for you! Grant Writing Expert Holly Rustick gives a free video lesson on what to look for on, what the snapshot means, how to deduce a federal grant opportunity, PLUS the best grant writing tips EVER. Watch today, and for more info be sure to check out her amazing grant writing and funding website at: There you will find FREE templates, podcast links, and simple grant info.
May 24, 2018
028 in a Nutshell: Pros and Cons
Today I am going to explain the functions offered on the website and give you my favorite tools. This is great information for you grant writers or for those who aspire to be grant writers. The reason I am breaking down is because it is a mammoth website for federal grants, and being such, it is very busy. I have been going to for years but tend to stick to looking for grants and applying for grants. So I decided to dive in and find out the full capacity of the website, so all of us grant writers might actually use it. Let's check it out! Do you feel overwhelmed when it comes to running a nonprofit or working with nonprofits? From figuring out how to start a nonprofit to wondering how to engage your board of directors, working with nonprofits can feel overwhelmed. I am offering a FREE Funding Toolkit available at It includes a short 10-question quiz and gives you added templates and resources to position your nonprofit for funding. Literally. Just visit www.grantwritingandfunding and download the Funding Toolkit: Top Ten Tips to Position Your Nonprofit for Funding! I’m super excited about it, as I’ve spent the last few months putting it together - and I am giving it away for FREE! Warmly, Holly
May 17, 2018
027: How To Register On Grants.Gov
00:20:04 is the haven for federal grants. Are you registered? Need some tips on all the "pre" enrollments, such as EIN, DUNS, and SAM to then be able to register on Check out this short podcast on the process and go to to see the short video on how to apply on and getting the new templates for SAM notarization.
May 09, 2018
026: Where To Find Grant Opportunities
“Obscurity is a bigger problem than money,” quotes Grant Cardone and this could not be truer when it comes to finding grant funding sources. If these funding sources are hidden away in some obscure world to your nonprofit, then this becomes the main root of not having any grant money. If you cannot find the sources that hold the money, then you will never be able to tap into the funding. Want to read more about where to find these grants? Go to for more information and for Grant Opportunities! Have grant writing or funding question? Send Holly an email at
Apr 27, 2018
025: How To Find Grants: What Is a Grant?
To find grants, it is first important to understand what they are and what they are not. Let’s start with what they are not. Let me say this very clearly. 1) Grants are NOT free money. I mean, sure if you handle them correctly it is money given to you that you do not have to pay back. Holly, how is that not free money? Well, because you have to spend the money on what you said you were going to spend it on, reach the objectives you stated you were going to reach, and send a report to the funding source on how you will achieve all of this. Want to read more about What Grants Are, What they Are NOT, and the Different Types of Grants? Go to for more information and for Grant Opportunities! Have grant writing or funding question? Send Holly an email at
Apr 13, 2018
024: Data Management Plan
First you will want to know what the needs are (through the Needs & Strengths Assessment), identify potential projects, and then evaluate those projects and refine your objectives. Don’t get scared by the term “Data Management Plan” which sounds super academic. Basically what this means is that you need to show: Why you are getting information? What are your project goal(s) What are your objective(s)/ data elements? What information do you desire? What data needs to be collected? Who collects the data? How will the data be collected? What is the frequency of the collection of data? Where will the data be stored? Why will this data be useful? Who will you share this data with? That sounds like a lot, but it make sense, right? Just think if you were to hire someone to do this job or if you assigned this role to an existing employee or peer. You could hand over this Data Management Plan and they could run this initiative. Check out the website for your FREE Data Management Plan template at or, just click on Episode 024 under podcasts. Have grant writing and funding related questions? Ask Holly at
Apr 06, 2018
023: Evaluating Projects
“Why should I evaluate a project and why we even talking about that before we just start the project? Can’t I just make the project happen and then look back at it and give my review of it worked or didn’t work?” I hear these types of questions when nonprofits may just want to move. Heck, I asked these same sorts of questions when I was just starting out as a grant writer myself. When we are all pressed for time and ready to go this may seem to make more sense, the ‘do it imperfectly and get it done approach,’ rather than spending a bit more time planning. I get it. I understand sometimes the ‘over planning’ and ‘too-many-meetings’ syndrome. But projects that will really make great impact to meet the numerous needs in your community aren’t a simple blog post to just get done imperfectly and publish online to move you forward. Projects have deeper repercussions and should have major impact on your beneficiaries to initiate change. Setting up and Evaluation Plan is vital in the success on how you will meet your desired goals and make real change in your community. This podcast will give you the roadmap on how to do that. For more resources on grant writing and funding strategies for your nonprofit, please visit Who is Holly Rustick? Holly is founder of WEGO Consulting and is known as ‘the grant girl’. She’s been on both sides of the grant writing coin – writing them for over a decade as well as managing and reviewing them on behalf of numerous organizations. She has an Amazon Bestselling book, "Wish Granted! Tips, Tools, and Templates to Write a Winning Grant," online grant writing courses, conducts grant training workshops and services. Holding a Master’s in International Political Economy and a Bachelor’s in Political Science, Holly is not only a successful technical writer for federal contract bids but also facilitates fundraisers, crowdfunding campaigns and solicits in-kind donations from large corporations for nonprofit organizations. Visit, for your grant and funding resources!
Mar 30, 2018
022: Developing Projects for Your Nonprofit
Where to begin. You have the information of what the need is in the community, now it’s time to establish what your team needs for the the specific project. If you found that there is a huge need for transporting clients to services, what do you need to help overcome the transportation barrier? Would it be possible to create an Uber-like project? By establishing local or regional programs in areas that are easily accessible, giving out bus passes, creating a carpooling activity, connecting with the local transportation system, implementing more online courses, etc? Let's look at how to identify projects and how to manage those projects... For more info, visit
Mar 09, 2018
021: Needs and Strengths Assessment
Are you blaming your beneficiaries on your failed latest project? Did you happen to first conduct a Needs and Strengths Assessment to actually find out what they needed and what was already working? Maybe it's time to take a moment and actually go back to the drawing board. In this podcast, we will look at Why a Needs and Strengths Assessment is vital for your nonprofit, what it is, different methodologies, designs, incentives, and sample size. For more information, check out, or be sure to send Holly an email at
Mar 02, 2018
020: The Key to Success. Annual and Quarterly Planning
Annual planning is where it’s at. “Where what is at?” you may be asking. Well, ‘it is the amazesauce productivity that exists for those super successful nonprofits that make you want to drool or cuss at, in trying to understand how they do it. Either way, close your mouth, and realize that you can have the ‘it’s’ too. You can be that super successful nonprofit that others drool or cuss at, by implementing actions. Before you hop up and down, let me tell you nothing crazy successful happens immediately. For FREE grant writing templates, visit: Have a grant writing or funding-related question? Go ahead and send me an email at Holly Rustick, founder of WEGO Consulting, is known as ‘the grant girl’. She’s been on both sides of the grant writing coin – writing them for over a decade as well as managing and reviewing them on behalf of numerous organizations. She also conducts grant training workshops, offers grant-related products. Check her out at
Feb 20, 2018
019: Strategic Partnerships for Your Nonprofit
Sometimes nonprofits exist inside a vacuum. This is not conducive for sustainability, let alone the chance of survival. The things is, partnerships are resources. Partnerships can literally make the difference between your nonprofit being able to pay the bills or have to shut down. There are different types of partnerships, but all are extremely valuable. ● Comprehensive Service Partners ● Corporate / Funder / Donor Partnerships ● Beneficiary Partnerships I'll be talking about each one of these partnerships in this podcast, as well as how they can increase your funding and resources! Want FREE grant templates? Sign up to receive grant writing templates at Thanks for listening to this podcast! Please leave a review :) As always, feel free to send me an email at for any grant writing or funding questions! Warmly, Holly aka "the grant girl"
Feb 16, 2018
018: How to Get Your Nonprofit from Surviving to Thriving
Is your nonprofit stuck in survival mode? Planning is key, but taking the time to do it is where you need to start (refer to GWF 0015 to see how to set a schedule). Once you have taken the time and have reviewed your previous year, it is time to set your goals, objectives, and activities, so you can go from struggling to thriving. So what the heck are the differences between goals, objectives, and activities? Goals are the overarching, comparable to a large globe of aspirational destinations you want to reach. Objectives are the tangible flights or boats on how you are going to reach those places. Activities are how you do the day-to-day work of saving up for your trip. Visit for more info on how to get your nonprofit from surviving to thriving!
Feb 06, 2018
017: Crowdfunding for Your Nonprofit
Are you struggling with figuring out how to crowdfund for your nonprofit? Do all podcasts and blogs only discuss how to crowdfund for products? In this podcast Steve Vick, Founder of Nonprofit Ally, discusses how to run a successful crowdfunding for your nonprofit. As executive director for Noble Paws, he has had his own share of crowdfunding and has learned what to do and NOT to do. Check out this podcast if your nonprofit is looking for additional streams of income and are trying to master, or heck, just figure out how to crowdfund. Stop struggling when it comes to crowdfunding for your nonprofit! Check out the YouTube podcast here: To visit Steve's website and to get a FREE e-Book on Crowdfunding for Your Nonprofit, visit: Want the full e-course? Get it here: For other funding needs, be sure to check out
Jan 26, 2018
016: Reviewing Wins and Challenges
You’ve started your organizational strategic planning, now you are ready to evaluate last year and move into planning for this year. If you haven’t, no worries, just go ahead and listen to episode 0015 on Grant Writing & Funding. Or better yet, visit our website at to get the free downloadable to set yourself up for 2018. You may be at the point where you have completed your “Why,” reviewed your organization’s mission and vision statements, conducted a S.W.O.T. analysis, outlined your agenda, and now you are ready to review last year and get going on this year. But how do you do this without it turning into a griping session about all the failures or only celebrating the wins and dismissing any lessons to be learned? Today’s podcast will discuss how to conduct the best evaluation. Visit to download the free printable!
Jan 17, 2018
015: Your Agenda for Strategic Planning 2018
It’s a new year and you are ready and organized with all your quarters outlined, projects in place, and all fund-raising events set up, right? I mean, you know when you will be applying for grants and have your calendars synced for all employees and board of directors…or do you? Or, like many other nonprofits, you are starting 2018: ● stuck in survival mode ● too busy to make time for planning ● have been meaning to do some research but are preoccupied ● don’t even know where to start as things change quickly and constantly If this sounds like your organization, like so many nonprofit organizations (i.e. the majority of nonprofits), then this article is for you. It is time to change the way that you have been functioning, get organized and prepare for the new year so that your capacity and revenue will increase. This article will change the life of your nonprofit. This isn’t hyperbole, it is the pure facts. This podcast will take your organization for survival mode to thriving zone. 1. What is your Why? 2. Mission and Vision Review 3. S.W.O.T. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis 4. Evaluate what worked and didn’t work for the previous year (we will go over this more in the next article and podcast) 5. Outline Goals, Objectives and Activities 6. Brainstorm and list all resources and partnerships 7. Take out a calendar and list down usual and new major events, such as fundraisers, crowdfunding, or projected grants 8. Make a list of all committees required to get each task done 9. Schedule a monthly (at least) review meeting of the plan To download the toolkit agenda, visit To watch this podcast on YouTube, please visit: Please leave a review or subscribe!
Jan 06, 2018
014: Creating Credibility and Culture Part IV: Lead Generator for Nonprofits
Lead generators, oftentimes known as free opt-ins or email list builders, are essential for nonprofits. Online businesses have this down to a T and use lead generators on a regular basis. Lead generators are catching on in the nonprofit sector and websites, but some of you still may be saying, “Lead-what?” Just what is a lead generator? Want more information? Check out the full post on or for your FREE downloadable toolkit.
Dec 14, 2017
013: Creating Credibility & Culture: Part V Branding, Call to Action, and Website Audit
Oh boy. That’s right. It’s time to address it. The big W. Your Website. This episode is a nonprofit’s crash course on different types of websites, how to communicate your brand, and what you should NOT do on your website. Nonprofit websites, in particular, can be a little overwhelming and are known for being the cause of one too many headaches. With the prevalent combination of tiny fonts, non-contrasting colors, and a scream to “Give! Give! Give!” with no clear vision of why one should give or an easy way on how to give. ARRGH! We are going to go into the overall approach to your website, give some tips on how to get the traffic it deserves and reveal ways for visitors to take the call to action that you provide. It doesn’t matter if you use WordPress, Square Space, Wix, or any of the other countless web platforms that are available. The formatting that we are going to discuss will work for them all in providing a better way to communicate your brand. As a favor, I would love it if you would provide a review on iTunes or SoundCloud! Or better yet, send me a question at If you are looking for more information on grants and funding, please visit my website at for free resources and to get the Amazon Bestseller Workbook "Wish Granted! Tips, Tools, and Templates to Write a Winning Grant."
Nov 22, 2017
012: Creating Credibility & Culture: Part IV Website Vs. Facebook
I know a lot of organizations are only using Facebook pages nowadays thinking websites are outdated and all they need is social media, but that is a very unwise perspective. Why? In this podcast I will share the five main reasons why your organization needs a website and not just a Facebook page(Hint: branding, emails, and credibility). Are you loving this series? Let me know what other questions you have related to grants and funding at Also, be sure to subscribe to receive these short podcasts every two weeks. :)
Oct 04, 2017
011: Doing the SWOT
So why do this fancy analysis? Well, it is very important to conduct an analysis of what stage your organization or company is at and where you want to go. This is especially true when you have a new administration come in, or if you are expanding and growing. For instance, your organization may get some new grants and expand to a different target demographic. Or you may launch a new product to expand your reach and generate more income. Maybe you just haven’t really analyzed your programs and projects for several years and the workflow and projects are stagnant. Or possibly you could have high turnover rate of staff and want to mitigate unforeseen or foreseen changes. Like these podcasts? Pleas subscribe or check out my website at to get grant writing and governance swag.
Sep 15, 2017
010: Creating Credibility & Culture: Part II What is Your Why?
What is your why? Or more specifically, what is the why of your board members, employees, volunteers, and beneficiaries? This question may seem like a no-brainer until you actually try and answer it. Is your organization challenged by poor governance, a high turn-over staff rate, or disgruntled beneficiaries? It may be due to not asking these four questions that explains what your why is. Want FREE grant writing templates? Go to to get some FREE grant writing templates. Please subscribe to get these bi-weekly podcasts!
Aug 30, 2017
009: Creating Credibility & Culture: Part I Mission and Vision
The six questions that will refine your mission and vision statements from 'meh' to amazing! Get clear and concise on your culture while creating the credibility that funding sources require. Do you need to listen to this podcast? If you, your staff, or your board of directors has to google your mission statement, then, yes, you do need to listen to this.
Aug 17, 2017
008: Part Five: Project Design
Part Five of the 5 parts to write a winning grant. You will learn how to write about the following elements to write a winning grant in this podcast: • Activities • Selection process • Location • Challenges, contingencies, and sustainability plan • Nonfederal partners and resources • Leveraged resources • Oversee and monitor nonfederal resources and partners
Aug 02, 2017
007: Part Four: Budget and Budget Narrative
It’s time to talk about the money. The budget. The good news is you don’t have to be a CPA to write a budget. You do, however, need to understand budgets. In this podcast, you will learn how to write a consistent budget and budget narrative in the format that grant reviewers appreciate. You will know which category to put each item of your budget and how to calculate costs. You will also get links to resources to help you put a reliable cost on each item. Check out for the free templates and links.
Jul 19, 2017
006: Part Three: Goals, Objectives, and Outcomes
This section of the grant is where the magic happens. Once you know your problem statement (listen to the previous podcast), you can figure out clear objectives, goals, and outcomes. This is the backbone of your project. A grant is like a big jigsaw puzzle, and this section is really the backdrop and what guides you to be able to find and connect each piece of the puzzle. It’s the part of the puzzle that is the backdrop fence or the house with the clean line you use to connect the pieces. If you have your objective, you will be able to formulate a budget, implement activities, and solve your problem (and build your house). In this segment, you will learn how to write clear goals, S.M.A.R.T. objectives, and measurable outcomes. Additionally, you will also learn how to implement your goal, objectives, and outcomes through the process of an action plan timeline. Visit for FREE downloadable templates!
Jul 06, 2017
005: Needs and Target Demographic
Needs. We all have them, but how do you make yours stand out? How do you get funding sources to think your needs are crucial? How do you even identify the community you are serving? Welcome to the second in the series of the five basic parts of writing a winning grant. This podcast will articulate your target demographic, how to clearly state (and cite) your needs, and how to write a powerful problem statement to get funded. Sign up for FREE grant templates at Or send me an email if you have a grant specific question:
Jun 22, 2017
004: About Your Organization
Welcome to Part I of The Five Main Parts of Writing a Grant. Today we will be looking at your organization. Do you have everything prepared in advance so that when a grant comes around you are READY? For instance, is your tax-exempt 501(c)3 accessible, do you have a bio for all your board members and staff, and do you know all the grants your organization has received and in what year? In 25 minutes Holly will take you through the entire process of what you need to have prepared and how to prepare it. Plus, there's a free downloadable template included! See to sign up for templates! Oh, and sorry about the cold! I might have lost my voice a bit. :( Please visit me at or
Jun 06, 2017
003: How to build the best grant writing team
The ideal grant team is comprised of the lead grant writer, the budget lead, the grant coordinator, and any potential specialists. The executive director should really oversee the process and be involved in the design process, but he or she should ultimately be someone whom you report to, who reviews the grant, and may be the one who submits the grant. We will talk about the process in the podcast and identify your team! Want a free printable so you don't have to track all this? Go to
May 23, 2017
002: What are the different types of grants?
Understanding the different types of grants is critical when applying for grants. In this podcast, Holly will discuss the different types of federal, state, and foundation grants so you know what the heck they are and which ones to apply to! She will talk about formula and discretionary grant, contracts, and private foundation grants. You will get simple definitions and examples, as well as tips and templates!
May 08, 2017
001: The Mindset Behind Grants
"So, when I get a grant I can just spend money on anything?" Er, no. No, you cannot. In this podcast of Grant Writing & Funding, we will go over the why. It's time to stop adulting and be a teenager again.
Apr 06, 2017