By Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, www.writerruth.com
Margit Brazda Poirier, MS, GPC, of Mendon, NY, created her consulting business, Grants4Good LLC, in May of 2009 to "help nonprofit organizations and businesses find and get grants to make their work possible." "We work with organizations to help them get more grants in less time through interactive training sessions, individual and group consultations, and assistance with finding grant opportunities and preparing grant proposals," she said.
Before becoming a consultant, Poirier had "lots!" of other work experience. "I worked for the Monroe County Planning and Health Departments for 14 years - that's where I wrote my first grant applications," she said. "I've also taught environmental science as an adjunct at MCC and RIT, consulted in environmental work, and was director of a large family foundation in the Rochester area. That is where I really was able to appreciate the important work that nonprofits provide in our community."
Poirer's decision to go into consulting was "serendipity." She left the foundation to have more time at home with her son and "found myself starting to help nonprofit organizations from my home office." The business seemed to grow almost on its own: "Now it's me full-time, and two part-time associates!"
Before launching her consulting business, Poirier did her homework. "I read books about consulting and took an online course specific to launching a grant writing consulting business," she said. "Since then, I've continued learning from books, webinars, my peers and at conferences."
Most of Poirier's clients are nonprofit organizations of all sizes throughout the Greater Rochester region and New York state; she also works with some businesses. "All of them have one thing in common: They realize the need for grant funding to supplement their revenue."
While Poirier greatly enjoys the independence and flexibility of owning her own business, her clients are equally important to why she revels in consulting. "I love the ability to plan my own schedule and work with some wonderful and dedicated people," she said. "I admire their work, and that motivates me to give them my very best."
Multitasking and being well-organized have been key to Poirier's success as a consultant. "The ability to manage multiple deadlines and clients priorities is one of the biggest challenges, so it requires strong organization and time management skills," she said.