I’m Alison Aucoin. I’ve been a development consultant to nonprofits for over a decade but I came into this life in a pretty unusual way. I have a master’s degree in public health from Tulane University and a BA in art history from Louisiana State University. I started my career working in the Louisiana Office of Public Health coordinating HIV research. My work was grant funded and I really enjoyed writing the grant – crazy, I know – and when I decided to start my own business, grant writing was an obvious choice. Seems like everyone hates doing it and since I don’t, why not pay me to do it?
My Past Clients
Over the years, I’ve worked with all sorts of nonprofits, from small mom and pop shops to large national organizations, from art museums to HIV clinics and homeless shelters. My grants portfolio includes:
- Federal (USAID, CDC, HRSA, HUD, NIH, Department of Education, OAH, and SAMHSA), state, and local government agencies
- Small and large foundations (including Robert Wood Johnson, Annie E. Casey, and Kellogg)
- International development agencies (AusAID, DANIDA, DFID, NORAD, and Sida).
Despite the diversity of the organizations and the great successes we experienced together, I found there were common struggles that nearly all of the organizations faced: chaotic grant preparation and reporting processes, fundraising activities that were time consuming and distracted from the organization’s mission, and ultimately, little stability in funding from year to year.
My experience has taught me that in order to be effective, fund raising activities must be incorporated into a comprehensive and strategic development plan and must not only raise money but also increase the capacity of the organization to meet its goals and serve its target population. Two birds one stone.