Ashley and Faith worked together for years before the concept of Gateway Grant Services was born. It thrives today as a viable business that helps people in nonprofit organizations accomplish their goals. With a unique blend of personal skills and professionalism, the founders of Gateway Grants are prepared to make a difference in the nonprofit sector by teaching about, finding, and writing grants for nonprofits who can then use their resources accomplishing the mission of their own organization instead of spending precious time with fundraising and administration work.
With over a decade of experience in counseling and helping families and kids with special needs, Faith Edmondson is also raising four young children. Because of her time working for the Center for New Beginnings, Faith specializes in nonprofit development and brings a strong sense of what belongs in a grant for a given organization. Before Ashley came to the Center for New Beginnings, she was the primary researcher and grant writer. As a board member of another local nonprofit, she has experience from multiple perspective. Faith can help nonprofits find sustainability and build legacy.
Ashley Ashe’s writing experience began in college when she tutored in academic writing, growing her strength in the technical aspects, while earning her BS in English Education. This May she gave birth to her first baby - an adorable little girl - and is adjusting to her new life as a mom and professional. She took several courses through the Georgia Center for Nonprofits and is one course away from attaining a Certificate of Fundraising in Grant Management from GCN’s Nonprofit University. After teaching English for a few years, she then applied her writing skills to work for Center for New Beginnings where she partnered with Faith to write grants.
While Ashley and Faith worked on grants for the Center for New Beginnings, they realized that their writing styles and work ethic connected in a way that could benefit other organizations and that there might be a successful business idea in the making.
Grant writing is a highly technical skill that requires detail, not only in word choices but even the fonts and spacing have to be perfect. Ashley and Faith have honed a method of working together to find applicable grants, make a plan for application, and applying for those grants on time with perfection.
Ashley says, “Writing anything, especially grants, is like putting a puzzle together - all the pieces have to fit perfectly together, and any piece that does not fit will stick out like a sore thumb. Funders don’t want to work too hard to understand what a nonprofit does or what they’re asking for, so I try to ensure that each question is answered thoroughly and clearly while also highlighting and connecting to the funder’s interest.”
Gateway Grant Services also offers grant writing classes for nonprofits seeking to strengthen their writing staff. Faith admits to coming alive when these workshops are being taught, getting energized from sharing the wealth of information she has gleaned over a career in the nonprofit sector.
“What I really like to do is teach workshops,” Faith exclaims. “I like to teach others how to communicate the passion of their nonprofit through the grant process while including all the needed information to make a grant competitive. Putting practical information into the hands of those who need it and walking them through the steps.”
All of this experience is leading to many symbiotic partnerships with local nonprofits to help strengthen their funding profile and develop the wording needed to apply successfully for a grant. For now, Ashley and Faith are looking forward to this summer full of fun and family. Ashley and her husband are spending the summer getting to know their new baby girl! And Faith is looking forward to summer travel and seeing extended family. Every day is an adventure with the Edmondson kids as they explore the world around them!