Local Grant Writing Firm Celebrates 15 Years and $31 Million Raised for Nonprofits

Hertlein Grant Writing of Coupeville is celebrating 15 years in business this spring.  Owner Robin Hertlein started the business as a way to support the work of local non-profits, and over the years she has raised grant funds for dozens of Whidbey Island agencies.  Current clients include:

  • Whidbey Health Foundation
  • Readiness to Learn
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Head Start
  • Island Senior Resources
  • Toddler Learning Center
  • Whidbey Island Arts Council
  • South Whidbey Historical Society
  • Whidbey Children’s Theater
  • SPIN Café
  • Penn Cove Water Festival. 

The firm also does pro-bono work for Coupeville Farm to School, Percussion Education Program, The Backyard, and Whidbey Community Foundation.

Grant writing is a relatively new field which combines research, budgeting, creative writing, and fundraising.  Professional grantwriters work for nonprofit agencies, governments, schools, and other charitable organizations, writing funding applications to private and public foundations, corporations, and local, state and federal government sources.  Many are staff members that write grants exclusively for their organizations, but there are a growing number, like Hertlein, that work on a consultant basis for a number of different agencies.

10 years ago the number of clients and grant applications grew to the point that additional staff was needed, and the firm now includes two full-time and two part-time grant writers.  Both full-time grant writers, Hertlein and Josh Martin, are two of only seven grant writers in the state to have the federal designation of GPC – Grant Professionals Certified.  One of the part-time workers is based out of Turkey, and specializes in international clients.

Over the last 15 years of operation, Hertlein Grant Writing has contracted with more than 100 clients, raising $31 million dollars through close to 1,800 successful grants.  The business has expanded to serve agencies large and small, from all areas of the country.  In the last couple of years the grantwriters have worked with clients in 15 states and 4 countries, as well as many agencies from around the state of Washington.  In 2018 more than 200 grants were awarded to 38 agencies, for a total of $5 million. 

Still based in Coupeville, Hertlein Grant Writing now works for small nonprofits such as the annual Penn Cove Water Festival, and for large nationally-known organizations such as the San Diego Zoo.  “Although it is fun and interesting to write grants to support panda research at the San Diego Zoo,” says owner Robin Hertlein, “we are most excited to be able to find funding to support local Whidbey Island agencies.”