Tackling our Communities Biggest Social Challenges through Strategic Grant Writing with Arlene Siller

When Arlene Siller reached a career crossroads, she knew she had a choice: continue trudging through a field that was no longer aligning with her personal values, or take a leap of faith and apply her skills in a completely new industry. She chose the latter and never looked back, entering the world of grant writing for nonprofits.

Arleneโ€™s research background proved valuable as a grant writer. She had experience securing funds, but now she could help the causes she was passionate about raise the money they needed to fund their mission and strategic vision. She hit the ground running, raising over $35 million in four years for a multi-state organization. In 2019, Arlene expanded her impact by founding Ascend Nonprofit and Business Solutions LLC, helping women and minority owned nonprofits around the country secure essential funding through grants.

Ascend NBS offers so much more than just grant writing services. The group also works with leaders to improve their organizations strategic vision and workflow, allowing the grant writing process to blossom to new heights. Now, Arlene wants to help you secure the funding your organization needs to take that next step in your overall growth.

Tune in to ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜‰๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด ๐˜‰๐˜ฆ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜—๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ต โ€”

What You Will Discover:

โœ”๏ธWe all have transferable skills. Arlene did not start in the nonprofit sector, but her experience researching, writing, and advocating for her work proved vital to her success as a grant writer. No matter where you are coming from or where you are going, take time to identify traits that make you successful in your current position. Those talents will certainly translate to whatever field you find yourself in.

โœ”๏ธDonโ€™t settle for less-than-ideal clients. If your clients are not as eager to work with you as you are to work with them, there is a strong chance the partnership will not work out. Use these moments as learning opportunities, both for yourself and for the client. A customer may not realize they could be doing more to hold their end of the bargain, and the results from a symbiotic relationship can greatly increase your revenue growth.

โœ”๏ธ Create and evolve your processes. Everybody needs a plan, and when times get tough, that plan can be crucial to the success or demise of your vision. When Arlene founded Ascend in 2019, she factored in resources and plans to prepare for when times get tough. These processes helped her coast through the 2020 pandemic, with a little tweaking here and there. When other businesses crumbled, hers ascended, all because her strategic plan gave her buffer room for tough times.

โœ”๏ธ Diversify your revenue streams. Get creative in where you look for grants, and if you feel like youโ€™re hitting a wall, donโ€™t be afraid to partner with and learn from other organizations seeking the same funding. We are all trying to improve our world, and sometimes teamwork is the key to doing that. This can apply to our personal ventures as well. When Arlene wanted to connect with clients who could not afford the full scope of her services, she created online courses that taught the same skills while not requiring a total financial commitment. She quickly began reaping the rewards.


Dr. Arlene Siller is an accomplished grant writing expert with a passion for democratizing grant funding. Her company, Ascend Nonprofit & Business Solutions (NBS) LLC, helps fundraising organizations improve their grant writing skills and secure funding for their missions. With over 29 years of experience in securing multimillion-dollar grants, she has built a reputation as an expert in her field. In 2020 she expanded her business, creating Grant Yourself Successยฎ (GYS), the training arm of Ascend NBS.