Client Spotlights

The Grants Galore Mission:
Expanding the capacity of nonprofit organizations to fulfill their missions.

It is my great joy to consult with nonprofit organizations, to learn about their work and the people they serve, and to tell their stories to potential funders. Here is a brief description of selected organizations that have used my grant writing services.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Illinois Capital Region, an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, helps children realize their potential and build their futures by pairing them with caring adult mentors.  The Springfield-based nonprofit serves a five-county region in central Illinois.  BBBS contracted with Grants Galore when their long-time staff grant writer resigned after the United Way grant cycle had begun.  Kristin Olson picked up the pieces and submitted a winning proposal.

Founded in 1837, Blackburn College is a four-year private college that is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA) and located in Carlinville, Illinois. One of only six colleges in the U.S. considered to be a “work college,” Blackburn offers a unique campus culture that melds a nationally acclaimed student-managed Work Program with a rigorous liberal arts academic curriculum. Blackburn calls on Grants Galore to research potential funding opportunities for general operating expenses as well as project-specific support. Grants Galore also saves the College valuable staff time by reviewing grant guidelines to determine eligibility.

Chaddock was founded as a ministry of the United Methodist Church in 1853 and maintains a covenantal relationship with the UMC to this day. The Chaddock team includes over 200 highly trained employees who serve thousands of children and families every year through foster care and a full range of preventative, educational, and treatment services. Grants Galore worked with the agency’s development staff to apply for a $1.6 million federal grant that established the Chaddock Trauma Initiative. During the last year of the project period, Chaddock contacted Kristin to assist with submitting a proposal for the next grant cycle.

Cultivadores is a grassroots organization that provides an array of services to Latinos in the Village of Rantoul, IL, and northern Champaign County. Like most new organizations seeking grant funding, Cultivadores lacked a quality that grantmakers desire – experience administering grants. To establish a “credit history” for the organization in the grant world, Grants Galore helped Cultivadores secure their first grant from the local community foundation. The agency went on to secure additional local grants as well as a series of state grants to fund their outreach programs to youth and families.

Fishes & Loaves Outreach Ministry, also known as the Springfield Literacy Project, was established in 1999 as a charitable nonprofit organization. Fishes & Loaves focuses on literacy for adults including non-readers, low-level readers, and those with limited English proficiency. Fishes & Loaves also offers family literacy activities and serves as an Illinois workNet Center. Kristin assists with annual renewals of the agency’s Illinois State Library grants as well as other funding applications that align with the agency’s mission.

genHkids is a grassroots, volunteer-driven organization founded in 2008 by Dr. Kemia Sarraf to address the childhood obesity epidemic in Illinois. The Coalition is comprised of health professionals, educators, fitness experts, nutritionists, parents, and other concerned citizens, all dedicated to creating generation Healthy! genH contracted with Grants Galore to find and apply for government and foundation grants so they can expand their reach within and beyond Sangamon County.

Founded with the belief that no one should have to fight cancer alone, Imerman Angels matches cancer fighters and their caregivers with Mentor Angels–individuals diagnosed with the same type and same stage of cancer.  The Chicago-based nonprofit has connected people in all 50 states and in 60 countries located on six of the seven continents.  Grants Galore identifies potential grant opportunities, prepares and submits letters of inquiry, and develops grant proposals to fund Imerman’s mentor program.

Memorial Behavioral Health, an affiliate of Memorial Health System, is one of the largest providers of mental health services in central Illinois, serving individuals in a six-county region. Because most of the agency’s clientele live well below the poverty level, MBH relies on public funding to keep its doors open. To diversify its base of financial support, MBH began seeking grant funding from foundations and government agencies. Building on the success of their first six proposals getting funded, the agency began reaching out to community partners to develop proposals to fund larger and more broad-reaching projects. Kristin Olson works as a team member to guide proposal planning, write and edit grant narratives, and provide peace of mind throughout the application process.

Springfield Urban League, Inc., the 6th largest Urban League affiliate in the U.S., is a multi-faceted community-based agency in Springfield, IL. The organization is an aggressive grant seeker to support programming in five departments and multiple locations. Division directors have extensive experience with developing and submitting grant proposals; however, they often outsource grant writing tasks to Grants Galore. Examples include determining eligibility to apply, developing grant-specific task lists, editing proposals, and completing federal grant application forms. Grants Galore has helped the agency secure $54 million in foundation grants and government grants and contracts since July 2006.

The Village of Manchester is a small rural town located in Scott County in west-central Illinois. Although there are only 350 residents—50 of whom are children and adolescents—Manchester hosts an annual Gospel Music Festival at the community park. This event features nationally-known gospel singing groups and draws a crowd from a five-state region. The Village Trustees realized that the playground equipment, most of which dates to the WWII/Korean War era, was unsafe and inadequate to serve the number of children who live in and visit Manchester. They had the forethought to establish a Playground Equipment Savings Fund and designate the proceeds of an on-going lease agreement with the local Internet provider. However, they needed several thousand dollars to purchase and install the new playground equipment. Grants Galore secured $24,000 from two private foundations, allowing the Village to complete the project in time for the next festival. For more information, contact Mayor Ron Drake at (217) 587-2121 or at


Learn more about how Grants Galore can help you with your grant writing needs…