Back to Case Studies

Grant Proposal Budget

Becca Atkins, the Executive Director of Artreach, Inc., came to Catchafire in search of a professional who could help her identify and obtain new funding sources. As a nonprofit living “lean and mean,” this need was a high priority.

The Challenge

Despite the need to find new donors to diversify funding sources, grant-writing was not Becca’s strong suit.


  • Expand and refine outreach efforts to increase funding.
  • Develop a customizable and adaptable template for multiple grant proposals.

The match

“I cannot build a house, I cannot fix a toy and I surely cannot tutor kids to do well on the SATs. That said, I know how to put together a lean and mean budget. Catchafire matched me with ArtReach and I was immediately drawn to their mission to provide creative arts, alternative wellness and recreational opportunities to adults with psychiatric disorders.”

The Solution

  • On the initial call, Jane and Becca discuss the goals and scope of the project, as well as their individual communication styles. They agree the final deliverable will be a customizable Grant Proposal.
  • Jane visits Artreach to meet with Becca in person and observe a writing workshop to gain a better understanding of the program, its participants and the inner workings of Artreach’s budgeting.
  • Jane begins to work on the budget proposal.
  • Within a few weeks, Jane presents a first draft of the budget to Becca and they walk through the details as part of a 1-hour phone conversation.
  • Over the following week, Jane communicates with Becca over email and phone to tweak the budget and finalize the template.

The Result

Jane provided Becca with a customizable budget template for submission with various grant proposals. The inclusion of a detailed, well-organized budget has bolstered Artreach’s fundraising abilities. This has ultimately helped her achieve her goal of diversifying her funding sources.

“Working with Jane was great. She is a very clear communicator. I’m a creative type -- not a numbers type -- and she was able to communicate with me about how that worked and develop a document that I could understand and thus that I could use into the future. That made me very happy. I loved that we were able to work in person. She came up here and saw where we worked and really got a feel for what we are doing. That was really helpful.”

The impact

Becca has a better understanding of how to deliver a compelling grant proposal budget. This transfers to the development and funding of Artreach.

“I’m very happy with the result. The template Jane developed works for a very specific grant proposal budget like a new wellness program we want to run and I can also change it for future grants. It’s going to be something that benefits us in the long run as well as in the immediate. This project has changed my ability to effectively apply for any grant.”

“It was wonderful to meet Becca and learn more about such a special organization. The mission of ArtReach is absolutely inspiring and I especially hope to learn more about mental health and continued to bust myths about psychiatric disorders. Becca was warm, welcoming, and ready to talk through the intricacies of the organization. She was kind enough to spend half a day showing me their offices and really digging deep into where the organization began and her vision for the future.”

Jane’s 25-hour project resulted in $3K saved for ArtReach.

The Organization
Artreach, Inc.’s mission is to use the creative arts to support sustainable recovery from psychiatric disorders. Artreach provides theater, music, creative arts, alternative wellness and recreational opportunities. These activities enhance the quality of members’ lives and teach skills that help them achieve & sustain recovery after experiencing mental health issues.
The Volunteer
Jane is a Senior Analyst at Salesforce, with years of experience as an auditor at Ernst & Young and Controller for IMG Media. She came to Catchafire hoping to employ her skills and make a tangible difference. She has completed 5 Catchafire projects and counting!