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On The Road With GrantWatch

Grants at Seattle Parks Foundation

Leah Bostwick

Manager

A conversation between Leah Bostwick, the manager of grants and institutional engagement at Seattle Parks Foundation, and Libby Hikind, the founder and CEO of GrantWatch.com.

Hi, I am Libby Hikind, the founder and CEO of GrantWatch.com, and I am here today in Seattle, Washington, with Leah Bostwick, and she is the manager of grants and institutional engagement at Seattle Parks Foundation.

Q: What is your role in the organization?

A: My role here is to secure funding not only for our internal operations but for the 100 partners that we support across the community. We support 100 grassroots groups across our community as a fiscal sponsor. What that means is they do not have their own 501(c)(3) status, so we help them with administration, finance, fundraising, communications, and marketing. So, it is our job to know what their needs are and to utilize services to help them secure funding to make their projects a reality.

Q: Okay, Leah, you have been doing this for quite some time, not only here, but in other locations, you have had the same title. Tell us about your grant finding.

A: I have been using GrantWatch for about five years, my entire career as a grants manager in the US. I found it particularly useful for federal grants, you know, state grants, things that are outside of our local community.

Q: What is it about GrantWatch that sets us apart in your mind — from the other grant websites?

A: I have always felt very supported by GrantWatch for sure. Every time I have ever had a question or an issue, I get a response immediately. And it is really nice to have that personal touch.
That is the goal of all our professional development at GrantWatch, that everybody answers immediately and is responsive. And if they do not know the answer, they contact me, and I give it to them right away. And you know, we just continue with training to help everyone. That is great to hear... that you feel it and feel the warmth. Yeah, absolutely. And I have also attended the webinars that you yourself have given and I found those very helpful as well.

Q: Leah, throughout your career as a grant writer and grants manager, what grants do you remember that were the most precious to you that you won?

A: There are so many, it is hard to choose. But particularly here because we have a lot of smaller community organizations that we support, the dollar amount can range from $5,000 up to $50,000. And depending on the size of the organization, that really creates such an impact. It does not sound like much to some people, but $5,000 can be the make or break for a lot of our community-level projects. One of the things that I do here at Seattle Parks Foundation is Grant Tip Tuesdays on our Instagram account. So, if you want to give us a follow there, I do some fun little reels where I give different tips on how to secure grants and how to write the most compelling proposals.

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