Melissa Ralston

I started my career as a fundraising generalist where I learned donor strategies for every type of fundraising. At the small organizations where I worked, every dollar was fundraised and every dollar mattered. I bring that sense of urgency in raising funds into my everyday work.

When I think through a proposal strategy, I bring my in-depth knowledge of the local funding community. I have worked for small, medium, and large nonprofits and have had my hand in grant writing and management in each. I have raised $14 million through private and corporate grants, family foundations, and local government funding opportunities for local, state-wide, national, and global programs.

My top three focuses are strategy, collaboration, and inclusivity. When I’m collaborating with organizations to build a grant strategy, I like to work as an extension of your strategic vision and find the compelling elements of your work that go beyond the standard program description. This is how I help your proposal stand out for the reviewer. I love demonstrating impact and writing compelling community needs statements. Inclusivity is extremely important to me. I take great care in using inclusive language and choose statistics that do not perpetuate negative stereotypes. Throughout my career, I have regularly attended diversity, equity and inclusion trainings and I continued that practice when I became a consultant.

I hold a Master’s in Public Administration from Seattle University, am a Board Member with the Puget Sound Grantwriters Association, a volunteer and member of the Grants Professional Association, and am an avid reader of books on race, social justice, and inequality. I’m also a licensed foster parent.

Fun facts about Melissa:

  • I love ice cream. I make my own ice cream and always look up new places to try when I travel.
  • I’ve won the Washington Women’s Foundation full grant twice.
  • I used to write for and publish zines in the 90’s.