Grant Writing Palooza 2018!!
View Registrations Tell a Friend About This EventTell a Friend
Grant Writing Palooza 2018!!

Grant Writing is a critical skill for nonprofit professionals. Participants in this full day of grant writing training will learn about grant writing best practices from local experts.

When: Wednesday, June 27th
8:30 AM - 4 PM CDT
Where: UNO Mammel Hall - College of Business Administration
6708 Pine St (Aksarben Campus)
Mammel Hall Auditorium
Omaha, NE  68108
Contact: Rosey
402-557-5800 x 4

Online registration is closed.
« Go to Upcoming Event List  


Grant writing is a critical skill for nonprofit professionals. Join NAM for a full-day workshop aimed at improving your technical skills, providing you tools, and offering guidance in grant writing.


Wednesday, June 27th, Mammel Hall, University of Nebraska at Omaha


NAM Members: $89 // Standard: $209

Includes lunch, refreshments, handouts, networking, and parking.

Contact Abby at for any questions.

Our Agenda:

8:30 – 9:00:  Registration, Coffee & Networking


9:00 – 10:00:  Organizational Readiness: Are You Grants-Ready? 

Pre-planning for grant applications can allow you to be ready to respond to any grant opportunity that arises. By having key information already at your fingertips, you don't have to spend time re-creating the wheel or chasing down people to get the information. This session will cover all the organizational information you need to be fully prepared for your next application. Presenter: Maggie Wood, Inclusive Communities


10:00 – 10:15: Break


10:15 - 11:15: Readability Stats: How to Write with Greater Power, Clarity, and Economy

You can use Readability Statistics to measure your writing and say more with fewer words. This session teaches how to use this little-­known tool in Microsoft Word, how to interpret scores, and a few techniques for improving your readability score. Presenter: Shane Pekny, Boys Town


11:15 – 12:15: Grant Budgeting: Do Your Numbers Add Up?

Accurate budgets that are both cost-efficient and cost-effective can be the most critical and convincing component of a successful grant proposal. This section will cover types of budgets; a breakdown of standard budget categories and how to clearly delineate project costs by line-item; how to create an effective budget narrative; and other important tips. Presenters: Robert Patterson, Kids Can Community Center & Kristine Hull, Nebraska Appleseed


12:25 – 12:55: Lunch & Learn: Prospect Research

Grab your boxed lunch and hear an overview of tools available to help you find grants.

Presenter: Natalie Simmonds & Kevin Grubb, dotted-i Writing Services


1:00 – 2:30:  Evaluation & Reporting: Making it Work For You and Your Funders

Reporting on grants is sometimes more challenging than writing grants. How do you create a strong link from the start to the end of the grant process?  This session addresses how to prepare for evaluation and reporting from the beginning to prevent headaches later. Topics include creating a realistic & meaningful evaluation plan, attending to donor and grantor relationships, reporting on project activities, financials, lessons learned, future plans, sustainability, and what to do when something goes wrong. Presenters: Joanne Hull, Jane Howard, Sarah Ruttle, Frank Shimerdla, & Haley Martinez; Grant Professionals Association


2:30 – 2:45: Break


2:45 – 4:00: Making Friends with Funders

This session will provide a realistic look at what it takes to create funder relationships that are authentic, high-integrity, and that work for your organization. Learn from a real-world, local example of an agency/funder relationship that has led to thriving, impactful programming. Presenters: Megan Addison & Nicole Everingham, Collective for Youth; Tess Larson, The Sherwood Foundation and Pat Thraen, Peter Kiewit Foundation


About Your Presenters:


Megan Addison has been with Collective for Youth since 2007 and served as the Executive Director since 2011. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Master’s Degree in Social Work, and over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, including Camp Fire USA and Salvation Army. Megan’s experience on the ground combined with her management experience has helped Collective for Youth to build a strong foundation.  Megan’s expertise expands to a national level where is she is a valued member of Every Hour Counts, a nationwide convener of intermediaries focused an expanding awareness and impacting policy in the out of school time field.

Megan is married to her husband Tim and they have three beautiful daughters. 

Megan believes that all children deserve high quality out of school time programs, no matter where they live, because she knows they make a difference.


Nicole Everingham is the Development Director at Collective for Youth.  Nicole has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Nicole has nine years of fundraising and nonprofit experience. She also has extensive grant management experience. Nicole loves to work with community partners and continue to make afterschool programs sustainable by blending different funding streams.

Nicole is married to Joe and has three young children. 

Nicole is passionate about using her time and energy to bring people together in order to make a difference in the lives of young people.


Kevin Grubb has worked in the nonprofit community for over 20 years, with 15 years of direct grant-writing experience. He has worked in a diverse range of sectors in human care, youth development, conflict resolution, and water access, to name a few. Prior to his work as senior writer with dotted i, Kevin was lead grant coordinator with Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, and director of international programs at the Vibrant Village Foundation in Portland, Oregon. With his local, national, and international experience, Kevin has honed his skills in organizing and writing complex grant proposals to state and federal government agencies under the Department of Justice, Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of State, and the United States Agency for International Development. A native Cornhusker, Kevin grew up in Omaha and Wayne, and graduated from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.


Jane Howard, MA, GPC is the Grant and Contract Director with Heartland Family Service. She is also the HFS Culture of Inclusion Council Chair.  Jane is the Nebraska Chapter Treasurer and also serves as Chair of the GPA Ethics Committee. Jane has been a Nebraska Chapter member since 2007.


Joanne Hull serves as President of the Nebraska Chapter of GPA. She has been involved in grants and fundraising for 21 years. She currently serves as Director of Donor Relations at Legal Aid of Nebraska. Joanne has been a member of GPA for 6 years.


Kristine Hull CPA, CGMA is the Director of Finance and Administration at Nebraska Appleseed and has over ten years of experience in the nonprofit sector serving nonprofits of varying sizes. She is active in the community and currently serves on the board of directors for Hear Nebraska and Inclusive Communities. She also serves on the finance committee for Women's Fund of Omaha and the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands. She is a graduate of Leadership Omaha and the Nonprofit Executive Institute, and has been recognized as a Ten Outstanding Young Omahan and Midlands Business Journal 40 Under 40. Kristine is a graduate of University of Nebraska-Lincoln (BSBA) and Creighton University (MBA).


Tess Larson, The Sherwood Foundation - Bio to Come


Haley Martinez became a member of GPA Nebraska in 2016 and joined the GPA Board in 2017. She currently serves as Grant and Contract Manager with Heartland Family Service and has been working in the grants and development field for over 4 years


Robert Patterson has been with Kids Can Community Center for over 19 years, starting as Program Director, then Assistant Executive Director, and was named Chief Executive Officer in 2010.  He is active with many nonprofits including Komen Great Plains, Film Streams, and Digg Site Productions.  Robert is a graduate of Stanford University’s Executive Program for Nonprofit Leadership, Leadership Omaha and the Nonprofit Executive Institute.  Robert holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Masters in Management Degree from Bellevue University and holds a Certificate for Fundraising Executives (CFRE).


Shane Pekny: Shane Pekny is a grant writer for Boys Town, a national child and family services provider. Previously, he worked for Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill Industries, Iowa Western Community College, and the University of Nebraska Omaha. He has experience in volunteer engagement, program management, performance analysis, teaching English composition, and grant writing. He also writes creative nonfiction, most recently for Nebraska Life magazine, Vox, and


Sarah Ruttle has been a member of GPA Nebraska since 2010 and joined the board in 2017. She has over 11 years’ experience in grant and program development and has worked in public health and human services for 19 years. She has filled the role of Grants & Advocacy Coordinator for Visiting Nurse Association and Easterseals Nebraska for the past four years.


Frank Shimerdla has been a member of the GPA Board since 2009 and has previously served in the roles of Secretary and President.  Frank has nearly 18 years of experience in the grants field.  As the President, Owner, Bookkeeper, and Custodian of A&O Grants Consulting, he provides his clients with services ranging from targeted communications and grants development to program evaluation.


Natalie Simmonds is founder and senior writer at dotted i writing services, LLC. She is an avid writer and is passionate about issues of social justice and disability rights. Dotted i helps a variety of nonprofit organizations fulfill their missions through grant writing and management, fundraising, and public relations. Natalie currently works with organizations focused on serving people with disabilities, at-risk youth, low-income seniors, survivors of trauma and exploitation, and organizations that enhance the lives of individuals through music and arts education. She also works with international humanitarian organizations that provide health care and relief efforts.

Natalie graduated magna cum laude from Boston College in 2000, with a double major in English and Communication. She has extensive experience in marketing, public relations, community outreach, writing, and nonprofit partnership campaign development and leadership. In 2012, Natalie earned her master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). She currently serves as the secretary of the Omaha Mayor’s Commission for Citizens with Disabilities (MCCD), secretary of the board of directors of Kicks for a Cure, and as a member of the Marian High School Alumni Board. In 2017, Natalie was one of the first recipients of the Build Up Omaha Award from Nebraskans for Civic Reform (now Civic Nebraska) for her advocacy work.


Pat Thraen grew up in a small town in western Iowa and moved to the metro area for post-secondary education. Her career at the Peter Kiewit Foundation began immediately after college and she has had the opportunity to serve in various roles over the years. Currently, Pat is a Program Officer in our Youth Pathways to Success impact area, focusing on ensuring vulnerable youth have access to the programs and services they need to be prepared for academic, personal, and professional success. In this role, Pat works closely with area youth organizations through the Youth Initiative to improve the quality, capacity, coordination, and reach of the out-of-school time sector and to provide underserved youth in Omaha with quality out-of-school time experiences throughout the year.  In Pat’s previous role at the foundation, she served as the Grants Manager where she was responsible for overseeing grant policies, processes, and practices. 

Pat received her Associates Degree from Iowa Western Community College and her B.A. in General Studies with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  Pat currently sits on the High-Quality STEM Program Committee of the Omaha STEM Ecosystem and has recently served on the Collective For Youth Lead Agency Selection Committee, as well as the UNO IS&T Code Crush Selection Committee. 

Pat is married to her husband Tony, and they have three adult children (Tyler, Scott, and Emily), a daughter-in-law (Kelsey), and two adorable twin grandsons (Jackson and Christian).


Maggie Wood (she/her/hers) joined Inclusive Communities as Executive Director in September 2015. Maggie moved to Omaha in 1997 with a general contracting team to build the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Courthouse and chose to stay in Omaha when the project was completed. In addition to her for-profit work, throughout her 20-year career, Maggie has worked successfully for some notable nonprofits, including Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Film Streams, Opera Omaha and CFDC/CDI Head Start.  She has managed budgets, solicited funds, empowered volunteers and has overseen the daily operations of various sized organizations.  


Attend if you:

  • Are brand new to grant writing
  • Want to improve your grant writing skills
  • Have questions for the experts