Do you ever find that you or your team are struggling to stay on track with goals? Or getting lost in the complexities of a project? Well, look no further than a well-crafted work plan, something we teach clients how to create for federal grants and nonprofit work in general. In this blog post, we dive into the four essential elements of a winning work plan. …
In a previous post, we introduced you to the art of writing government proposals, one of our specialties here at Lydia Sierra Consulting. Over the next few months, we’re going deeper into this topic, sharing proven methods from our grant writing team, who spent the past year developing an online course for organizations seeking federal grant opportunities. To kick this off, we’re starting with the importance of writing a powerful needs statement. …
The holiday season is often touted as a time of joy and celebration, but it can bring about a range of difficult emotions. The pressure to spend money, attend holiday parties, and maintain a cheerful facade can lead to guilt and increased stress levels. On top of that, the emphasis on family can amplify the absence of loved ones or magnify complicated relationships, stirring up feelings of grief. …
In the four previous blog posts, we’ve highlighted end-of-year tasks that every nonprofit should be doing or at least thinking about to prepare for the upcoming year. Now, as the year comes to a close, we want to emphasize the importance of creating a projected budget — a financial roadmap showing how you will finish the fiscal year or what you anticipate for the year ahead, with a clear overview of expected revenue and expenses. …
Sachin Prasad, Salesforce Consultant Sachin Prasad is a Salesforce certified expert and app builder with more than eight years of IT consulting experience. He holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Sikkim Manipal University. He is an expert at Salesforce configuration and customization for non-profits. He currently helps organizations to set up Salesforce for project management, donations/grants management, and custom applications. His focus is on helping non-profits spend less time on administration and more time on what really matters – delivering high-quality programs to their constituents and making an impact in their communities. Sachin sets up client Salesforce accounts for individual donor management, grants management, and additional customized applications.
Andy Draheim, Senior Proposal Writer
Andy earned a BA in Metropolitan Studies at Michigan State University’s James Madison College and a MA in American History at Indiana University. Drawn to Lydia Sierra Consulting by the team’s deep-seated passion and desire to see youth, families, and communities thrive, he helps LSC’s inspiring roster of clients share their compelling stories and pitch their vital programs to charitable foundations, government agencies, and other grant funders. Andy brings more than two decades of proposal writing experience to LSC from his executive fundraising and development roles with major state and national nonprofits in the environmental and pro-democracy movements. An avid runner who has finished more than a dozen marathons, Andy enjoys family vacations on the amazing waters of northern Michigan where he grew up, visiting his three children who are scattered across the United States, and tailgating with friends at Michigan State University football games.
Candace is an experienced nonprofit consultant with expertise in grant research, research methods, micro and social enterprise, gender, environmental justice, wildlife conservation, and sustainable development. Since joining the team in 2021, Candace has performed deep grant research with nonprofit leaders in social and environmental justice, youth development, sustainable economic development, reentry, juvenile justice reform, and more. Prior to LSC, Candace worked in Donor Relations at Stony Brook University and was co-owner of a social enterprise focused on helping children in war torn countries get access to peace-based education. Candace is also currently finishing a PhD in Global Governance and Human Security with a focus in Global Environmental Governance at the University of Massachusetts Boston where she is also a National Science Foundation IGERT Fellow and also has taught multiple sustainability courses at Babson College She also has an MS in International Studies with a concentration in International Human Development, Society, and Education and a BS in Finance with minors in French and Accounting from Oklahoma State University.
Megan Sweat Lopes, Fund Development Specialist
Megan holds a Masters of Public Health in Social and Behavioral Health from Virginia Commonwealth University and has 15 years of multisector work experience in education, health, and nutrition. Megan’s expertise includes program design and evaluation, learning and professional development, and grant writing and management. For 9 years, Megan was Maryland’s Team Nutrition Training Grants Director, where she worked with diverse teams from community-based organizations, universities, and state/local agencies to provide training and nutrition education to school nutrition professionals, teachers, administrators, and children across the state. She has written federal and private grants, managed funds in excess of 1 million dollars, and established and managed funding opportunities for schools, child care centers, universities, and community-based organizations. Megan started her career as a Peace Corps HIV/AIDS Community Mobilization Volunteer in Namibia, and she worked closely with a local government and community based organizations to apply for HIV funding opportunities. Megan currently resides in Portugal with her husband and daughter where they love to adventure to new towns and cities and experience new cuisines.
Megan Rozzero, Director of Accounts and Administration
Megan earned a BA in Business Communication from Assumption College. She helps form the backbone of Lydia Sierra Consulting, providing a high level of support and performing essential administrative functions that keep LSC’s day-to-day operations running smoothly. From developing proposal outlines to packaging and submission, Megan is a professional administrator, providing oversight, guidance, and capacity for team members of her department and company-wide operations. She is an expert in project and systems management (including government databases, Salesforce, and other cloud-based management software), as well as event planning and customer service. Prior to working at LSC, Megan worked in development at Brown University and Providence College where she was responsible for coordinating administrative activities associated with gift solicitation, processing, and donor cultivation, including interfacing with donors of all levels. She also has a passion for the arts and enjoys taking a variety of dance classes, particularly jazz and tap.
Jamie Andersson, Director of Fund Development
Jamie earned a Master’s of Fine Arts degree in Writing from Bard College and has 20 years of experience providing strategic fund development services for organizations at a variety of scales (from new organizations with operating budgets under $100k to established multi-million dollar institutions). In addition to private foundation and corporate grant procurement, Jamie’s expertise includes proposal development for a wide variety of federal, state, and local government agencies. Jamie served as Managing Director of a non-profit technical assistance provider in NYC for over a decade before joining LSC in 2019. She now manages a talented team of LSC writers and grants managers to provide highly effective services to our vibrant roster of clients. Jamie works closely with organizational leadership, gaining deep knowledge of each client’s programs, systems, needs, goals, and funding gaps, allowing her to become a collaborative partner in visioning the most effective and efficient path to mission-driven growth. She’s also served on the Boards of several non-profit organizations in her home state of New York. Currently, she lives in Sweden with her husband and son.
Lydia Sierra, Founder and Principal Consultant
Lydia earned a Master’s degree and completed two years of doctoral studies in Human Services Administration. She has over 30 years of experience in the nonprofit sector in areas such as youth development, juvenile justice, arts education, community organizing, immigration services, community development, community health and more. Prior to establishing Lydia Sierra Consulting, she was the founder and director of a community-based organization that served as the social service arm of a Bronx church. As a Bronx native, her unique aptitude and passion for understanding and addressing the needs of underrepresented urban communities have led to her raising tens of millions of dollars to support vital community work. She is an organizational development specialist and a fundraising expert who has developed assessment tools, toolkits, and a treasure chest of strategies to help community-based nonprofit organizations grow to the next level. When not hard at work for her clients, you might find Lydia spending time with her five adorable grandchildren, hiking in nature, buried in a book, or writing in her journal.