Hi, I’m Elaine. I started my grant-writing journey in 2009 when my new boss, the Executive Director of a 25+ year-old arts organization (#bosslady), thought she would ask the fresh new intern to write a project grant proposal for a new event that the organization was hoping to present. Spoiler alert, I was that intern. Being qualified as I was [insert sarcasm here], I gave it a go. After all, I had always loved writing. English and writing has been my jam since elementary school! :)
O.M.G. - IT WORKED!
What ended up happening was that I wrote the grant proposal with zero prior experience and zero clue. I still vividly remember the day a couple months later when my boss called me into her office. Incredibly, we were awarded the funding! My boss was thrilled - parades were thrown in my honor - the whole shebang (mostly kidding.) But truly, that was all it took for "grant writer" to become the primary component of my career during my nearly 10 years with said organization. I secured grants from private foundations, county coalitions, state agencies, and federal arts grantors. I collaborated with other civic departments and nearby city jurisdictions, writing grants to support multi-faceted and multi-year projects. It was exhilarating, sometimes heart-breaking, but something I grew to master and ultimately, to love.
PASSIONATE ABOUT PROMOTING THE ARTS
I am forever grateful to my former boss who saw my potential long before we secured even a cent of funding. Since then, my time has been focused on both the grant-seeking and the grant-making sides of the equation. I serve on two arts & culture boards focused on providing capacity building, operating, and event/project grant support for nonprofits and cultural facility operators. This experience allows me to put myself in the shoes of funders and evaluate grant proposals through this lens. Having this vantagepoint affords me to ability to craft the most compelling and competitive grant proposals possible for my clients.
I can't wait to get to know you! Let's collaborate and create a long-term, sustainable grant seeking strategy to best support your organization's goals and dreams.
Just Look Left comes from an epic mother/daughter adventure in Europe back in summer 2017. My mom and I were meandering through the streets of Barcelona, London, and Reykjavík and continued to stumble upon these amazing little gems off the beaten path, tucked away in quaint neighborhoods. These finds were not your average tour guidebook recommendations and ended up being some of our favorite memories from this trip. We would find these places, more often than not, by “just looking left” down alleys and side streets when we were walking around the more populous areas of town. When we got home, I purchased the URL justlookleft.com with the intention of starting a unique food and beverage guided tour in my hometown’s downtown core. Instead, I sat on the URL for a few years and then struggled to find a name for my grant consulting business. Then, it clicked. Although the subject matter for Just Look Left is entirely different from what I first envisioned, the intent is the same – work with an open mind and desire to discover and you never know where you might encounter the most incredible opportunities.
Passion fuels passion. If you’re excited about your idea, then odds are, I will be too. I want nothing more than to help others who are doing amazing things bring those ideas to fruition.
So, if you have an existing project, event, or program that you want to grow, or a new idea that you are passionate about and you don’t know where to start, let’s have a conversation and see how we can make it happen.