Talk to the Experts

As part of our mission, we offer Kentucky nonprofits free 1-on-1 sessions with grant professionals. These one-hour teleconference sessions are perfect if you have a specific question about a grant application or if you need help getting started with grants.
Bookings are first-come-first-served for Kentucky nonprofits, with a focus on under-resourced organizations. To ensure fair access to this resource, we limit organizations to one session per month and reserve the right to cancel bookings that appear to violate our requirements.

Lauren Yates

(she/her)
Lauren has extensive corporate and philanthropic foundation experience as well as state and federal grant writing. Lauren has written grant requests from $2,500 to $5 million. She has extensive knowledge of Louisville and Kentucky foundations and private funders, and her national experience includes grant wins from the Hearst Foundation, the Lilly Endowment, Toyota, Honda, State Farm, and many more. She has experience with federal grant writing through Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Agriculture, Department of Justice, Department of Health & Human Services, and Department of Education.

Ruthie Caldwell, MA, PMP

(she/her)
Ruthie is the owner of Vision Granted, LLC where she serves as a grant writer, project manager, facilitator, and bureaucracy navigator for organizations in Kentucky and Central Appalachia. She specializes in helping organizations new to grant writing gain resources and build their abilities to apply for small grants first and then build up to larger grants. Since the pandemic began, Ruthie has helped dozens of organizations of all sizes gain a total of over $6M in grant funding. Sponsors include: AML, ARC, EDA, FCC, HRSA, KY Justice & Public Safety, NEA, NEH, USDA, USDOL, and private foundations and corporations.

Melissa Sesco Vermillion, GPC, MBA

(she/her)
Melissa has extensive experience with state and federal grant writing as well as a particular interest in assisting rural nonprofits and communities achieve their goals. She has successfully written grant applications to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Development Administration, Abandoned Mine Lands Economic Revitalization Program, State of Kentucky, Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Appalachian Regional Commission, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HRSA), U.S. Department of Education Trio Programs, Kentucky Community and Technical College System, James Graham Brown Foundation and several other private funders, securing over $40 million in grant funding.