Get help applying for Best Starts funds!

Did you know you can get free help applying for Best Starts for Kids funding? Whether you need help on just a single element of your application, or you need help with the whole thing, our providers are here for you. Check out this video to meet them and learn more about how they’ll work with you to create a strong application.

How to access assistance

To get started, select a provider who will be a good fit for you and reach out directly via the contact information listed below. Please include the name of the RFP you’re seeking assistance for in the subject line of your email.

Verrenti Consulting

Catherine Verrenti is thrilled to have an opportunity to support CBOs that are deeply embedded in the community. She offers skills and insights gained from her twenty years of hands-on experience, including at Neighborhood House and YouthCare. This expertise includes grant development plus managing a wide range of culturally responsive youth development, family support, out-of-school time, case management and homeless programs. She approaches this work by first listening to what CBOs hope to accomplish for youth in their community. She would then customize an approach to focus on the support they seek to reach that vision with BSK funding. This might be articulating a strong needs statement, helping to develop partnerships or forming a compelling grant narrative. She can be uniquely helpful in fine-tuning program designs, projecting achievable performance targets and developing budgets. She is particularly excited to help CBOs think through all parts of their program to ensure strong program launch and implementation.


RHL Consulting

Roxanne Hood Lyons promotes community impact through executive coaching, capacity building and assisting organizations in accessing funds. With experience as a funder, consultant and executive director of a small community based organization, she will help you build a proposal that leverages your staff and community strengths while increasing the capacity of your organization.

Working in a conversational style, Roxanne will help you highlight your stories to create a compelling proposal that build on your unique ideas and community’s strengths. She is happy to support you in identifying how your program fits with Best Starts for Kids, editing and increasing the power of your proposal, and developing a budget that supports your work.


Nonprofit Assistance Center

The Nonprofit Assistance Center (NAC) advances equity and social justice by strengthening communities that have historically been marginalized, including communities of color, immigrant and refugee, LGBTQ, and working-class and low-income communities. We do this by supporting organizations embedded in these communities as well as partnering with public and private funders to deepen their equity lens and impact. For over 17 years, a major component of NAC’s work has been providing technical assistance to help hundreds of community-based organizations successfully apply for funding to continue their critical work. Our staff and consultant team – Sarah Tran, Aimie Kawai, Morgan Wells, Nourah Yonous, and Annie Laurie Armstrong – partner with organizations to help them understand the application process, identify and highlight their strengths, and convey their ideas in the clearest and most powerful way to the funder. Within our team, we also speak Vietnamese, Somali, Swahili, along with intermediate Spanish reading and writing skills.


Emerging Design Consulting

Emerging Design Consulting’s multicultural, multiracial team – Bonnie Olson, Kevin Baker and Mora Uch – can provide a full range of support for your Best Starts application.  This includes: feedback on your strategies and design and RFP requirements, budgeting, making your case with data and community stories, editing, and other technical support. We will work with you to submit the strongest application possible for your program, in ways that match your community culture and realities. Our team has extensive experience in: support for small nonprofits, culturally responsive approaches for African-American culture and leadership, youth mentoring, equitable partnerships, early childhood programs, school-based programming and curriculum design, immigrant and refugee programming, and much more!  We are flexible to meet with your team and can work with community-based leaders to conduct meetings in any language, if needed.


Bulle Consulting

Hassan Wardere has worked with numerous community-based organizations, government agencies, and as a consultant. He assisted in developing programs that are culturally responsive, and also creating a collaborative process that is community-driven. Hassan prioritizes a Return on Relationship model that promotes authentic connection, and cross-functional collaboration in programs. He grew up in Denver, Colorado, and graduated from the University of Colorado. Other than English, Hassan is fluent in Somali and Swahili. He also consecutively served as a Citywide Review Team member for the City of Seattle’s Neighborhood Matching Fund. Specific experience include: project management, TA with immigrant and refugee CBOs, and grassroots organizations.


ALR Grant Writing Services

Anna Raksany has supported many organizations apply for funding over the past 20 years, having chosen her career as a fundraiser after a great experience as a teenager receiving services from a small grassroots nonprofit. She approaches a project such as this one in an interview style, asking questions in conversation and trying to distill the answers into a few key points that are most important to the organization and relevant to a particular funding opportunity. She wants your voice and values to come alive in a proposal, so that reviewers tasked with the tough decision of selecting only a few grantees can see your impact on paper. Anna is committed to supporting you in crafting a competitive proposal whether you’re a small startup or an established organization. She has many years of experience with grant writing, feels comfortable with a range of proposal elements, including narrative portions, outcome measures, budgets, and staffing descriptions. Anna also is fluent in Spanish.


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