Holly Rustick on Grant Writing Lessons Learned


This week’s podcast is another ‘behind-the-scenes’ show in our Open Kimono series where I share all with you to help your freelance consultancy grow!

This is definitely for you if:

  • You want to increase your grant writing skills
  • You are an aspiring or newbie consultant and want to 10X your business by listening to lessons learned!

In this episode, Ph.D. James Pann interviews yours truly! Dr. Pann has become a fellow friend and colleague in the grant world. We originally met on LinkedIn (I am telling you, I am meeting the GREATEST people on LinkedIn!), and started coordinating on efforts.

If you’d like to check out the past podcast interview, I did of Dr. Pann, check out the episode 112: https://grantwritingandfunding.com/successful-evaluation-section-james-pann/

He discusses how to do the evaluation section of a grant and has a super interesting approach on how to get paid as a consultant for doing this.

So back to this week’s podcast. James wanted to do an interview with me and pick my brain on podcasting and some other elements of grant writing.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Why & how Holly started writing grants
  • Why it is important to conduct a Needs & Strengths Assessment
  • Why Holly started her grant writing company
  • Where do you find grants and what are they?
  • Lessons learned from podcasting
  • A positive mindset in grant writing
  • How to create realistic expectations with clients
  • What to tell nonprofits if grants do not get awarded
  • Where to start in writing a grant with the G.R.A.N.T.S. formula
  • Why you should become a grant reviewer
  • The mindset behind grant writing
  • Great resources for aspiring grant writers
  • How to use Instagram to build your connections

List of Sources and Data

  1. Grant Writing & Funding Podcast
  2. Dr. Pann’s YouTube Channel
  3. The Beginner’s Guide to Grant Writing Book
  4. The G.R.A.N.T.S. Formula

James’s Bio:

James Pann received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin. He obtained his M.S.Ed. in Mental Health Counseling and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Miami. Dr. Pann completed his clinical internship at Nova Southeastern University Community Mental Health Center in neuropsychology, behavioral medicine, and adult and child psychotherapy. Additionally, he had a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric behavioral medicine at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Miami/ Jackson Memorial Medical Center. He also completed a Family Therapy Externship at the Center for Family Studies at the University of Miami.

Dr. Pann is also an Associate Professor at the Abraham S. Fischler College of Education where he focuses on teaching program evaluation and conducting research and evaluation projects. Dr. Pann is interested in the use of program evaluation approaches to study and improve educational, health and human service programs. He is a licensed psychologist in Florida and an active member of the American Evaluation Association.

Dr. Pann has been the Principal Consultant of EvalNetwork, a research and evaluation consulting firm, since 2000. EvalNetwork specializes in working with education, health and human service organizations and grant making entities. The firm has worked on a wide variety of projects, from systems of care and other collaborations to substance abuse, mental health and afterschool programs, with organizations of all sizes. EvalNetwork has worked as an evaluator or research partner on local and national projects funded by foundations and government agencies.

Connect with James:


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